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Schools in Dubai use break to roll out Covid-19 safety measures

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on July 7, 2020 | Last updated on July 7, 2020 at 06.19 am

(File)

Almost 300,000 pupils are set to return to 209 private schools in Dubai in September.

From putting up signages, installing sanitisers/ hand washing stations to installing thermal screening camera, schools are doing all it takes to welcome pupils on campus "safely" in September.

Dubai's education regulator Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Sunday released a set of health and safety guidelines for schools to follow when they reopen. The 118-point circular titled 'Protocols for the Reopening of Private Schools in Dubai' included steps such as wearing masks by all students aged six years and above, maintaining a 1.5-metre distance in classrooms and no class rotations among others.

Almost 300,000 pupils are set to return to 209 private schools in Dubai in September after schools closed in March to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Annie Mathew, principal at the Gulf Model School, Dubai, said that flexibility and accommodation are the key elements. "We plan to go in for a blended model, subject to approval from the KHDA, wherein a certain percentage of students will come to school and the others will learn from home simultaneously."

Paul Slater, vice president - operations and health, safety and environment, said Gems Education is fully prepared to welcome back students. "We have identified the best technological solutions and are in the process of installing these across our network of schools."

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal of Credence High School, said they are ready to welcome children in September. "All protocols will be followed diligently and the same will be shared with the parents through email and virtual meetings so that all their queries and apprehensions are answered."

Dr Vajahat Hussain, CEO of Amity Education - Middle East, said they are fortunate to have space in each of our school campuses to ensure that distance is kept between all students. "Our goal is to ensure regular lessons are back by September, while keeping our students and staff safe. We have learnt a lot from our school in Amsterdam, which opened over a month ago. Their protocols and successful results are playing a large role in our preparations."

A CBSE-affiliated Indian High Group of Schools, a not-for-profit community school group that runs three campuses in Dubai, said it will be working in line with the KHDA's thorough guidelines and protocols to ensure optimal health and safety of all students and staff.

Punit MK Vasu, CEO of The Indian High Group of Schools, said it is going to be a huge change. "We have started necessary adjustments in logistics, infrastructure, and safety to commence reopening in a safe, secure and risk-free environment. Every teacher, caretaker, the support staff will be thoroughly trained to facilitate safety guidelines."

saman@khaleejtimes.com


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