Abu Dhabi: Schools set for return of pupils next Monday

Schools will maintain earlier Covid-19 protocols for students’ safety



File photo
File photo
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 6:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 9:21 PM

Private schools in Abu Dhabi are all set to receive pupils for in-class lessons on August 29 as the new school term begins after the long summer break.

Public school pupils will also return to school campuses on Monday next week for the new academic year. According to the Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE), teachers and administrative staff have already reported back to schools for preparations.

Principals of Abu Dhabi's private schools told Khaleej Times that everything is in place for the safe return of students to their campuses. According to them, schools will be maintaining Covid-19 protocols previously issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), including presenting a 96 hour negative PCR result for all pupils and staff on the first day of reporting to school and maintaining the green pass validity.

No new measures have been communicated to the schools yet by the education regulators, according to the school principals.

“The school is set to receive students for the new school term", said Neeraj Bhargava, Principal of Abu Dhabi Indian School. "Teachers and administrative staff have already joined and are currently undergoing training, planning and preparations for the new school term after the long summer break."

“As of now, we shall be maintaining earlier Covid-19 protocols because we haven’t received any new Covid-19 measures from Adek.”

Salman Khan, deputy principal of Islamia English School in Abu Dhabi, also said the school's staff have already returned to work and have begun preparations for the new academic year, due to start next week.

“Teachers are really excited and are looking forward to welcoming their students in a complete face-to-face model of learning since there is no option of online learning available,” he said.

“As of today, no new instructions or protocols have been received from Adek and the Covid-19 protocols sent earlier will be followed.”

Khan added that although the Covid-19 precautionary measures had been relaxed previously to support the return to normalcy, they will still ensure that all staff are careful regarding the complete safety and health of students and other stakeholders.

Anna Pagdiwalla, Principal of Mayoor Private School in Abu Dhabi, says they are waiting eagerly to welcome students at the school campus for the new term after the summer break.

“Teachers have planned various interesting and fun activities for the students", she said. "The entire school campus has been sanitised and disinfected. We are looking forward to an exciting new school term."

Adek is yet to issue new Covid-19 protocols for the forthcoming new academic year which starts on August 29.

Below are the Covid-19 measures for schools as per the previous school term. These are also applicable at nurseries:

- A mandatory 96 hours negative PCR test result on the first day of reopening for all staff and students.

- Unvaccinated students: Those aged 16 and above must produce a negative PCR test result every seven days.

- Vaccinated students: Those aged 16 and above must undergo PCR tests every 14 days and show their green status on Al Hosn App to enter schools. The same testing routine and requirements apply for those with medical exemptions validated on Al Hosn App.

- Students aged below 16: PCR test remains valid for 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.

- Pupils in Grade 2 and above must wear face masks while indoors, but they can be removed while outside in the school compound.

- Physical distancing is optional in outdoor spaces.

- Wearing of masks is optional in outdoor spaces.

- All field trips are allowed, but schools must follow the precautionary measures of the place they are visiting.

- All school sports, activities and competitions are allowed for students of all ages, but schools must follow the reduced risk mitigation controls.

- In-school events and activities are allowed with a capacity not exceeding 90 per cent (current entry requirements apply).

- School buses can operate at 100 per cent capacity.

As for quarantine for close contacts, Adek had previously informed schools of the removal of quarantine requirements, while the below testing requirements still apply:

- For close contact students below 18 years old: No quarantine, students must test on days 1 and 4.

- For close contact students aged 18 and above, including teachers and staff: No quarantine, must test every day for the first five days following close contact with a confirmed case.

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