Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has announced that private schools in the emirate will gradually return to full in-person learning in the 2021-2022 academic year.
Private schools will continue to offer students in-person learning while also providing the option for remote learning.This model will be in place until Oct.3 this year, after which all schools will return to full in-person learning.
The Committee also decided to allow schools to conduct various activities in its premises provided it maintains stringent compliance with precautionary measures that ensure the highest levels of health and safety for students and staff. Strict adherence to safety protocols will ensure the success of the full in-person learning model in private schools, the Committee said.
The decision adopted on Monday at a Supreme Committee meeting chaired by Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum follows the rapid progress achieved by Dubai in its plan to return to normalcy and the high immunisation rates achieved by the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The Committee adopted the decision after extensive consultation with parents and school operators. Vaccination rates of 96% among teaching staff and 70% among school children aged 12-17 also supported the decision.
Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed said the Supreme Committee’s decision forms part of a comprehensive emirate-wide strategic plan to accelerate recovery from the pandemic without compromising on high precautionary standards.
The decision also reflects Dubai’s effective COVID-19 measures and successful vaccination campaign as well as efforts to ease the pandemic’s economic and social repercussions, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and the follow-up of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.
Sheikh Mansoor further said the move is a proactive step to accelerate Dubai’s return to normalcy. The Supreme Committee has directed authorities to work closely with Dubai's educational community to ensure streamlined compliance with precautionary measures and health protocols.
During the meeting, Sheikh Mansoor also reviewed KHDA’s plans and preparedness for ensuring students and staff in the private school sector enjoy a safe environment in the new academic year.
"The concerted efforts and cooperation of everyone in the educational ecosystem is critical to ensuring that private schools can offer in-person learning in a safe environment," Sheikh Mansoor stressed.
The Supreme Committee will continue to evaluate the progress of in-person learning and monitor various COVID-19 related indicators to ensure there is no compromise on the levels of protection provided in schools.
The move comes following the release of the latest Education Cost Index (ECI), which measures annual changes in the costs of running a school, including salaries, rent, and utilities.
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