Covid-19 tests for students, staff will ensure safety: UAE school heads

coronavirus, covid-19, abu dhabi, mandatory testing

Abu Dhabi - Schools in Abu Dhabi have been given the green light to reopen after the summer break provided strict precautionary measures are implemented.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 22 Jul 2020, 7:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Jul 2020, 12:16 AM

Covid-19 tests for all students and teachers before they return to campus for the new academic year will ensure safety, Abu Dhabi school principals have said. "It is very important for all students, teachers and other school staff to undergo Covid-19 tests before returning to the school campus to ensure they are free from the virus," said Neeraj Bargava, principal of the Indian School in Abu Dhabi.

This came after schools in the Capital were given the green light to reopen after the summer break provided strict precautionary measures - including mandatory Covid-19 tests for students and staff - are implemented.
Abu Dhabi's back-to-school safety guide

"The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has not yet specified how (the tests) will be conducted. But we will ensure it's implemented in cooperation with parents," said Bargava. "We will do everything possible to implement all the guidelines issued by Adek to ensure that all our students, teachers and administrative staff are safe."

One of the oldest schools in the Capital, the Indian School in Abu Dhabi has 5,000 students. Bargava said implementing all the measures might be "challenging" given the number of students "but the school will set up a suitable model".
Parents' survey paves way for schools to reopen

Preparations under way

Yogita Bhagania, vice-principal of Mayoor Private School, said the team has started preparing for reopening the campus after the summer break. "We are going to have virtual meetings with parents and teachers to understand their concerns and how well we can implement the guidelines before the new school year begins. We will also take them through the entire system when the school reopens."

Salman Khan, principal of Islamia Private School, detailed the precautionary set up on campus. "Thermal scanners, thermometers, sanitisation tunnels and other protective equipment will be in operation at all times for the safety and well-being of all present. A social distance of 1.5 metres will be maintained across the school at all times."

Khan said the school will be opting for an 'alternative days' model, where 50 per cent of students will be on campus on any given day.

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