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UAE to welcome over 1 million students back to school with best safety standards: Sheikh Mohammed

ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 26, 2020 | Last updated on August 26, 2020 at 06.22 am
uae, schools reopen, covid, dubai, sheikh mohammed

(Wam)

He said ensuring a safe and secure education environment is a "joint responsibility" between the school and students' guardians.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is looking forward to a "safe start" to the school year as over a million students resume classes from August 30.

This came as he met ministers on Tuesday to review the preparations for the new academic term. "The UAE is well aware of the importance of smart learning as it invested earlier in the digital infrastructure. Distance learning will be an integral part of the education system ... This is the future."

He said ensuring a safe and secure education environment is a "joint responsibility" between the school and students' guardians.

Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, explained the various safety protocols that have been put in place to ensure the well-being of students and teachers. These include ensuring social distance and wearing masks at all times.

"Many scenarios were drafted based on available information on the overall health situation around the country and its effect on the education system," he said. "After extensive talks and consultations with the relevant authorities, the ministry decided to implement a hybrid model of learning."

Al Hammadi said the ministry is keen to involve parents in the decision-making process and they were given the option to choose between in-person and remote learning for the first term.

The ministry performed a "simulation of children's attendance" in schools to explore the challenges and opportunities for improvement. He noted that the physical attendance of students in schools will be staggered - 25 per cent at the start of the year to 50 per cent, 75 per cent and finally a full return.

Universities and higher education institutes will impart lessons using a combination of in-person and virtual classes, the minister explained.

Jameela bint Salem Mesbeh Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, said "several operational models" have been developed and each school can choose the one that best suits them. The models include full attendance, part-time in-person learning, daily and weekly shifts, and blended learning.

She said protocols and procedures have been defined for nurseries and childcare centres. The authorities are currently studying the situation and an "appropriate decision" will be taken soon.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com 

author

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.


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