The decision came following consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, principals and school operators across Abu Dhabi, conducted in May and June this year. It also follows the vaccination of more than 80 per cent of teachers and school staff, including all maintenance and security teams.
The NCOC late last month announced a new set of restrictions including a blanket ban on tourism and inter-provincial transport in an attempt to contain a further rise in already mounting coronavirus cases under the "Stay Home, Stay Safe” strategy.
Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee for COVID-19 pandemic, in coordination with the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has approved plans to reopen private schools with physical attendance for the new academic year.
Excited youngsters greeted classmates for the first time in eight weeks, while teachers reinforced messages about social distancing and hand-washing to combat the coronavirus.
Students aged 12 years and above who plan to physically attend school next term are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result prior to attending face-to-face classes.
"For me, they should be given a vaccine. I'm talking about the months of October, November and December," President Duterte said in a mix of Filipino and English over the new possible date for the opening of classes.
Government and private schools following the curriculum of the Ministry of Education, kindergartens and adult education likely received more than 1,119,000 students on Sunday.
About 75% of students had already returned to school and the remainder will return beginning from Tuesday. Reports said students had their temperatures checked on arrival but rules on social distancing and mask wearing varied depending on the region.
Al-Hammadi said the UAE was well prepared to make the shift to distance learning platforms after the pandemic hit because in 2012 the country launched the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Initiative
To provide parents, students and staff members in private schools in Dubai with an effective and convenient mechanism to address COVID-19 related queries, the Dubai Health Authority has launched a dedicated 24/7 back-to-school helpline at phone number 800588.
The launch of this service reinforces the authority’s commitment to provide effective communication channels to the community, offering timely and accurate health information.