Covid: Dubai schools can host graduation ceremonies

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Dubai - The KHDA said ceremonies can be held for students completing Grade 12/Year 13 this year.

By Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 26 May 2021, 5:23 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 May 2021, 8:30 PM

Private schools in Dubai can host graduation ceremonies this year, the emirate’s education regulator has announced.

Graduates, guests, and academic staff who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 must present a negative result of a PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to the event.

Calling it “great news for graduates”, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) tweeted on Wednesday: “Graduation ceremonies for Dubai private school students finishing high school can go ahead this year.”

The KHDA said ceremonies can be held for students completing Grade 12/Year 13 this year. It said that specific health and Covid safety protocols must be followed.

“Schools will follow strict safety protocols to offer a safe and memorable graduation celebration for students either within the school campus or at an external venue,” the authority added.

The ceremony must not exceed 90 minutes and food is not allowed. Students and two family members are allowed at venues, with capacity that should ensure at least 4 square metres of space per person.

Gatherings are not allowed inside and outside the hall, while hand shaking and any form of physical contact (hugging, kissing) are prohibited.

Last year, school graduation ceremonies were held virtually as schools remained closed as a Covid safety measure.

Full list of rules

>> Graduation ceremonies are allowed for high schools only.

>> They are allowed to be held on school campuses or at external venues if they support sufficient capacity.

>> Attendees must adhere to the capacity of the hall (4 quare metre per person).

Before the ceremony

>> The school is responsible for ensuring all the protocols are followed whether on the school campus or at external venues.

>> Keep a record of the names of people attending (students and two family members).

>> Graduates, guests, and academic staff will be exempt from taking a PCR test if they have received both doses of the vaccination.

>> Attendees who have not been fully vaccinated must present a negative PCR test certificate completed less than 48 hours before the event.

>> Attendees that do not present a vaccination certificate or negative PCR test result on the day of the event will not be allowed to enter the ceremony site

>> Everything related to the occasion must be handed to the students before the day of the ceremony.

>> The school must have a clear plan for crowd management at the ceremony.

>> Crowd management plans must be in place at every entrance and exit to avoid overcrowding. >> If the graduation hall does not provide sufficient capacity, it is recommended to apply a hybrid system and provide guests with the opportunity to watch the event online through available technology.

>> Prior to the ceremony, the school must ensure that all guests sign a written declaration stating they don’t have any symptoms and confirming their adherence to the protocols.

During the ceremony

>> Make sure graduates wear their academic regalia before entering the location of the ceremony.

>> To avoid gatherings, there must be no holding area for graduates prior to the ceremony.

>> Ensure adherence to wearing masks and physical distancing.

>> Schools are encouraged to place the certificates on the chairs and only take pictures with the academic staff on the stage, while following social distancing guidelines.

>> Graduates must sit in their designated chairs and not change them.

>> Gatherings are not allowed inside and outside the hall.

>> Hand shaking and any form of physical contact (hugging, kissing) are not allowed.

>> Guests and parents are not allowed to enter the area designated for the graduates during the ceremony.

>> No food or buffets are allowed at the ceremony.

>> The ceremony should not exceed 90 minutes.

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