UAE's pandemic heroes: Covid-positive teachers take e-classes, help students with remote learning

They have been overcoming personal difficulties to avoid disruption of classes



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by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 4:52 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 9:07 PM

Many teachers in the UAE despite testing positive for Covid and displaying symptoms like high fever and body ache are continuing to take online classes to support the continuation of teaching and learning.

For teachers, the pandemic has been a continuous challenge to adapt to varying situations, tiding over their personal difficulties, while continuing to make a profound difference in the lives of pupils.

With the spike in recent coronavirus cases the teachers in the UAE have once again emerged as the ‘real heroes’ who have been navigating and overcoming their personal inconveniences to avoid disruption of classes.

Ghadeer Abu-Shamat, Superintendent/CEO, Al Khaleej International School, and Vice President - Education, GEMS Education, opined,

“We have three sick teachers with mild Covid-19 symptoms, and more are sick with different diagnosis, but they have refused to take sick leave. They teach, manage their classrooms, and provide valuable emotional and logistical support to staff. All of them are taking a whole load of teaching. I am not surprised as teaching is not a job; it’s a lifestyle. In such challenging circumstances, teachers showed a high commitment and dedication.”

“Especially the working mum, they need to follow up with our students and their kids simultaneously. Even if they are sick, they choose not to leave the students without learning, while they have the right to have their sick leave. Such sacrifice, commitment and hard work are highly appreciated. I am confident it will pay off with their students”, adds Shamat.

Principals underline inspite of having to quickly adapt to completely new ways of teaching, the staff continue to honour their commitment towards the learning of their students.

Dr Heena Rachh, Principal, Global Indian International School AUH says,

“Teachers have been the true heroes for ensuring continuity of education during the pandemic. Schools just resumed, and unfortunately, some of our teaching staff did end up contracting the Covid-19 infection. We are blessed to have dedicated teachers who are taking e-classes from home despite battling with the inconveniences caused by the infection. A number of our teachers have gone above and beyond to ensure their students don't fall back even while nursing themselves to full recovery.”

Teachers have exhibited phenomenal commitment during the pandemic, from having to constantly sanitize school equipment, ensuring vigilance with enforcing social distancing, to rapidly learning to implement novel teaching approaches in class and in online instruction.

“They have hosted classes from home despite being sick or having to care for an ill child or older parents. Teachers have managed everything so well during the past couple of years. The fact that they have done all this while still trying to maintain a positive classroom environment, covering the curriculum, and keeping children calm during the crisis”, Rachh adds.

Many uninfected teaching staff have also risen to the occasion willingly and have taken on the extra work of their unwell colleagues, school leaders opine.

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Naveed Iqbal, Principal/ CEO of GEMS Metropole School – Motor City, says, “Whilst it is not our policy to encourage any teacher to continue to teach when they are really sick though many have and continue to offer. We take a middle approach, any member of staff who is a close contact or asymptomatic and offers to teach whilst in quarantine, then as a school we accommodate. It has been refreshing to witness the care and regard our teachers have had for their students, to ensure that there is minimum disruption due to this new variant. In addition, many teachers who are feeling well have selflessly, stepped up to cover classes, support new members of staff who have just arrived into the country and spent the last few days of their winter break editing and adapting lessons to ensure that everything was ready for students to access work online.

Our teachers and in fact all teachers will go above and beyond for their students, and it is the leaders responsibility to sometimes shield them from their selfless selves and ensure that they take their own wellbeing into account.”


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