Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: Dubai schools plan in-person graduation ceremonies for pupils

SM Ayaz Zakir/Dubai
Filed on May 27, 2021

Ceremony must not exceed 90 minutes and food is not allowed.

School heads and students in Dubai are excited about having a graduation ceremony this year with strict Covid safety protocols in place.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) had on Wednesday announced that private schools can host graduation ceremonies this year.

Graduates, guests, and academic staff who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 must present a negative result of a PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to the event.

The KHDA said ceremonies can be held for students completing Grade 12/Year 13 this year.

The ceremony must not exceed 90 minutes and food is not allowed. Students and two family members are allowed at venues, with capacity that should ensure at least 4 square metres of space per person.

Last year, school graduation ceremonies were held virtually as schools remained closed as a Covid safety measure.

Fathima Sherief, school assessment coordinator, Gulf Model School, said: “The students are really happy after this exciting news. Students who graduated last year didn’t get any opportunity (to have a ceremony). We are in the process of organising the event following all the guidelines put forth by the KHDA with different ideas and possibilities.”

Some GEMS schools are planning to host in-person ceremonies in early June at an external venue.

Tammy Murphy, Superintendent/CEO, GEMS Dubai American Academy (DAA), said: “The ceremony will adhere to the guidelines set by the KHDA, as we have been given an incredible opportunity to celebrate DAA’s graduating students in the presence of their parents.

“At GEMS DAA, we have 262 graduates who are now even happier because they can graduate with their friends, teachers, and parents.”

Prior to the announcement, GEMS First Point School had planned to hold a virtual graduation event.

“The safety of the students is always our priority and so we welcome the KHDA’s guidelines and protocols as we look to hold an ‘in-person’ ceremony to celebrate the achievements of our incredible Year 13 students,” said Matt Tompkins, Principal/CEO at GEMS First Point School.

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