Covid in UAE: PCR test must for students to return to schools in Sharjah

Emirate will resume on-site learning next week but with safety measures in place



File photo
File photo
by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Wed 29 Dec 2021, 11:24 AM

Last updated: Thu 30 Dec 2021, 8:00 AM

Sharjah students over 12 years of age, as well as school staff, will have to present a negative Covid test result when they return to campuses on January 3, authorities have announced.

In-person learning will continue in the emirate, however, extracurricular activities, morning assemblies, canteen services and school trips will remain suspended until further notice, according to the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA).

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The required PCR test should have been taken not more than 96 hours prior to the resumption of classes, the SPEA added. School employees have also been urged to take the Covid vaccine booster dose.

Besides implementing these requirements, the authority has stepped up school inspections, monitoring their preparations for students’ return, an official said.

He pointed out that since the beginning of the academic year, the SPEA has been conducting field visits to ensure schools’ compliance with Covid safety measures.

The Sharjah announcement came after the UAE authorities advisory for educational institutions to go online for the first two weeks of the second semester. Every emirate, however, has its own disaster management committee that formulates crisis plans at the local level.

While Abu Dhabi has announced a shift to online learning for the first two weeks, Dubai’s education regulator said campus learning would continue but certain activities will be restricted.

Hassan Sabbah, principal of Sama Private American Schools, said their campus is ready to welcome back pupils, with thermal cameras set up and action plans in place.

The school will be conducting PCR tests for all their staff and older students. “Any suspected cases will be followed up by tracking symptoms, such as high temperature, and will be handled based on the protocol.”

The director of Al Shula private school confirmed that they have already received the SPEA circular, and their premises have been sterilised for the resumption of classes.


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