Covid: Abu Dhabi schools ready to receive pupils from Sunday
Ministry of Education has announced that 50% of pupils of higher grades will return to school.
School authorities in the UAE’s largest emirate said they are ready to receive pupils for classroom lessons, starting next Sunday (January 17) while complying with all novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-related precautionary measures.
On Sunday, the UAE’s Ministry of Education announced that 50 per cent of pupils of some grades would return to school from January 17.
About half of the total number of pupils in Grades IX and XII is expected to return to schools.
Pupils of public schools and all other educational institutions in Abu Dhabi have been attending online classes since the new academic session started on January 3 after the winter break.
Anna Pagdiwalla, the principal Mayoor School in Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times on Monday that her institution is fully prepared to welcome pupils from next Sunday onwards.
"Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) guidelines and policies are supporting us in preparing towards welcoming our pupils. We’ve been given a compliance checklist. We’ve adhered to the checklist. It has helped us to prepare the school to welcome students.
"We regularly disinfect our premises at regular intervals. All our staff carry a Covid-19 negative test (PCR) result when they enter the school premises."
She said that pupils above the age of 12 years are also tested for Covid-19 every fortnight and social distancing measures are strictly adhered to in classrooms.
Pagdiwalla said the school’s teaching model is ‘blended learning’, where some pupils need to come to school and the rest are allowed to attend online classes.
"Both categories of pupils are taught at the same time," she said.
Adek had approved five models for private schools in Abu Dhabi last year, including physical attendance.
Salman Khan, the deputy principal of Islamia English School in Abu Dhabi, said the school is well prepared to welcome pupils from January 17 onwards.
"All requirements are in place as per Adek instructions following the hybrid mode of teaching," he said.
Requirements include wearing face masks and social distancing measures for the safety of both teachers and pupils.
Khan said: "Entry and exit point protocols are in a bio bubble. Areas are demarcated as per standard operating procedures (SOPs), and isolated areas are designated. Hand sanitisers have been kept at all access points. A social distancing of 1.5 metres will be maintained between a teacher and pupils.”
He said that the school would be disinfected with deep cleaning on a regular basis. Signage of hygiene protocols would also be installed in restrooms and other areas on the school campus, he added.
Abu Dhabi Indian School, (ADIS), which is the largest Indian School in the UAE’s capital city, is also ready for its pupils, who will attend the institution from Sunday onwards. The school’s strength is over 5,000 pupils.
“We’re all set to receive our pupils. We’ve implemented all safety measures to ensure that all our pupils, teachers and administrative staff are safe,” said Neeraj Bhargava, the principal of ADIS.
He said that the school expects to receive a small number of pupils for classroom teaching, as many parents still want their children to continue with online classes.
“We'll receive students from Grades X and XII from Sunday onwards, as they’re preparing for their Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) to be held in May,” Bhargava said.
Adek said that it has conducted 220 inspections to private schools across Abu Dhabi to ensure their compliance with the safety and precautionary measures ahead of children’s return to school campuses from Sunday onwards.
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