Covid in UAE: Some schools to offer remote learning options to students who test positive

Routine PCR tests would apply to unvaccinated, vaccinated students and staff in Abu Dhabi



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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 13 Jun 2022, 4:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Jun 2022, 10:23 PM

Abu Dhabi private schools offer remote learning options to students who have tested positive for Covid-19. Authorities have taken the step, so students do not miss out on studies for the remaining days of the current academic year.

In April, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) announced that all students in private and charter schools had to return to on-site learning from the new term, which began on April 11.

Students were exempted if they presented an attested ‘high risk’ medical report that confirms their inability to attend school in person. Students showing Covid-19 symptoms were also exempted, according to Adek.

Neeraj Bhargava, Principal of Abu Dhabi Indian School, said to Khaleej Times on Monday that about 40 students and 20 staff members have tested positive for Covid-19 over the recent days.

“We are offering remote learning to students who have tested positive so they can attend classes from home. We don’t want them to miss out on anything for the remaining period of the term,” he said.

“The students and school staff can only be allowed back to school campus if they present a negative Covid-19 result.”

Bhargava noted that grade 10 to 11 students would complete their CBSE exams on June 15, while the rest of the students would start their long summer holiday on July 1.

“Everything has been moving on smoothly since the time all pupils returned to the school campus for physical learning,” he said.

“Our students have been very happy attending all classes at school and interacting physically with their teachers and playing with friends in the school compound.”

The UAE reported an increase in new positive cases since the beginning of June. The Ministry of Health and Prevention on Sunday, June 12, reported 1,249 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

“Covid-19 cases have increased once again nationwide in recent days. Our school has continued to adhere to precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students and school staff,” said Bhargava.

Anna Pagdiwalla, principal, Mayoor School in Abu Dhabi, said, “Students who are Covid-19 positive are given sufficient help support for their daily work at all times through remote learning, based on their health condition.”

Salman Khan, deputy principal, Islamia English School, said the school was delighted to receive all their students for physical learning in April.

“Parents were taken into full confidence, and the directives of Adek were followed in true letter and spirit by all protocols and precautions," he said.

“As per the desire of most of the parents, we have not yet offered any online options, but due to the increase in number of cases once again, we might request Adek to allow us to apply remote learning for the rest of the term."

The school principals have urged parents not to send children to school if they show any Covid-19 symptoms.

Routine PCR tests

According to in-class guidelines issued earlier by Adek, routine Covid PCR tests would apply to unvaccinated and vaccinated students and staff:

— Unvaccinated students: Those aged 16 and above were allowed to return to school but must produce a negative PCR test result every seven days.

— Vaccinated students: Those aged 16 and above must undergo PCR tests every 30 days and show their green status on Al Hosn App to enter schools. The same testing routine and requirements apply for those with medical exemption validated on Al Hosn App.

— Students aged below 16: PCR test validity remains 30 days.

Al Hosn Green Pass requirements apply to all school visitors, while unvaccinated visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test result issued within 48 hours.

Adek earlier said physical distancing requirements had been lifted inside classrooms in time for the third school term. This came weeks after the requirement was lifted in outdoor open areas.

Students in grades 1-12 are required to wear face masks inside. Wearing one is optional in outdoor areas.

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Close contacts

Students, teachers, and staff who come in close contact with a confirmed positive case must test on days one and seven or when they start showing symptoms. Earlier in March, quarantine requirements were removed for the same categories.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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