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Coronavirus Pandemic

Fighting coronavirus: Safety checks done, classrooms ready in Dubai

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on August 29, 2020 | Last updated on August 29, 2020 at 08.48 pm
Fighting, coronavirus, Safety checks, done, classrooms, ready, Dubai

(Alamy Image)

Since campuses closed in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak, this is the first time schools would be bringing classrooms back to life with returning students.

They have spent their summer break preparing for this - and today, schools in Dubai are all set to start their first socially distanced classes for more than 300,000 students.

"The first days and weeks of the new academic year will be a new experience for all of us," said Dr Abdulla Al Karam, chairman of the Board of Directors and director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Since campuses closed in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak, this is the first time schools would be bringing classrooms back to life with returning students.

With the guidance of KHDA officials, schools have left no stone unturned in ensuring safety on their campuses. Ahead of the reopening, senior officials from Dubai's education regulator visited private schools to review their preparations and check how ready they are to receive students.

"We're grateful to all the school leaders and teachers who have worked through their summer holidays to make sure that families are welcomed back to an environment that is safe, healthy and happy," Dr Karam said on the sidelines of the visits.

Final check lists have been conducted on risk management protocols, which have been robustly implemented to ensure safe and seamless operations.

Andreas Swoboda, principal of Uptown International School, said: "We have made good use of this time to prepare everyone for the interesting school year ahead. This included setting up classrooms according to the requirements for social distancing, running through processes and procedures for the 'new normal' school day, explaining the new 'bubbles', training our staff for precautionary and preventive actions."

Even cleaning staff have been trained on the new requirements. "They will be going into classrooms several times a day to disinfect desks, chairs and surfaces," Swoboda added.

Following the KHDA inspections, institutions have maintained 'high-precision' safety procedures so that everything can be foolproof.

Sangita Chima, principal of Amity School Dubai, said: "National strategies are being applied diligently, with extensive precaution. With regards to the curriculum, the blended ;earning model has been modified through well-crafted digital intervention. We are also incorporating some exciting new techniques for competency-based learning."

Teams are putting finishing touches on school mobility plans, signage, and sanitation, while teachers are working extra hours to create a happy, welcoming vibe in their classrooms. Everyone is looking forward to having pupils back on the campus.

"Many teachers have come into school to add little bits to their classroom environment and make the children feel as welcome and 'at home' as possible tomorrow morning," said Brendon Fulton, executive principal of Dubai British School, Jumeirah Park. 


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