Coronavirus Pandemic

Student attendance at UAE schools limited to 25%; will be increased gradually

Filed on September 2, 2020 | Last updated on September 2, 2020 at 06.15 am
Student attendance, UAE schools, limited to 25%, increase, gradually

(Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times)

The health protocols stipulated by the ministry include taking temperature checks before entering educational facilities.

Student attendance at schools across the UAE has been limited to 25 per cent and a full return to campus will be implemented in phases, a minister has said.

"Overall students' attendance numbers will be initially limited to 25 per cent and after two weeks, we plan to increase this to 50 per cent, then 75 per cent, and until we reach full attendance for those opting for in-person classes," said Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, on Tuesday.

He said 1.27 million students resumed their studies for the new academic year, including 130,000 at universities.

"The UAE decided on a hybrid education system to give parents the freedom to choose between their children's attendance at school or distance education for the first semester. "With regard to higher education, distance learning and (in-person) education has been adopted on university campuses according to the nature of the educational curriculum, as some lectures will be given remotely, but others require attendance to laboratories and practical training classes," said Al Hammadi.

24-hour operations room

He said the ministry has developed monitoring and inspection methods, including an operations room "which operates 24 hours a day to ensure the implementation of the set plan and the commitment of all parties".

"Student health is a top priority ... It is a major goal that we all strive to achieve under these exceptional circumstances," said Al Hammadi during a virtual press briefing. "We have developed a package of integrated, preventive measures which are to be followed inside and outside educational institutions in order to protect students."

The health protocols stipulated by the ministry include taking temperature checks before entering educational facilities; ensuring physical distancing; and continuous sterilisation throughout the school day.

The minister also called on parents to monitor their children daily for any symptoms of the coronavirus and educate them on the need for social distancing and wearing masks. "We ask parents to ... ensure that their children's immunity is strengthened by eating healthy food, and taking necessary vaccinations," said the minister. 

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