Covid in Dubai: Nearly 30 schools announce remote learning

The temporary shift to online classes is being done with 'full support' of the KHDA



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Sun 2 Jan 2022, 5:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 3 Jan 2022, 12:47 PM

At least 30 schools in Dubai are temporarily switching to distance learning when classes start on Monday, January 3.

School heads said the decision was taken after a number of staff and families reported that they tested positive for Covid-19 or had been in close contact with someone who did.

Out of 28 GEMS schools in the emirate, 26 will be moving online.

Elmarie Venter, chief operations officer of GEMS Education, said these campuses would making the shift because of the “rising numbers of positive Covid-19 test results and staff who are ‘close contacts’”.

The temporary shift to e-learning is being done with “full support” of Dubai’s education regulator Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

According to Mohammed Darwish, CEO of Permits and Compliance at Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said, "We’re grateful to our education community for their resilience and support, and we remain focused on the wellbeing of families and school staff during this time. Thorough health and safety protocols remain in place for all private schools in Dubai. We are working closely with each school to ensure that these protocols are followed and that teaching and learning continues.“

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“GEMS Education schools in Dubai are looking forward to welcoming back our students for the start of a new semester tomorrow. We expect to return to full in-class learning in all our schools very shortly and will continue to strictly adhere to all national guidelines,” Venter added.

Other schools who are going online are Springdales School, Victory Heights Primary School, Kent College Dubai, and Dubai English Speaking School and College.

Kent College Dubai sent a note to parents, informing them that classes will be hosted remotely for five days.

“Over the past few days, we have received messages from a number of our staff and parents — who are returning from travel and also those who have stayed in Dubai — to let us know that they have either tested positive with Covid-19 or are close contacts with someone who tested positive. Due to the high number of cases, we are unable to cover all staff who are going to be absent. After careful review, we have reached the conclusion that for at least the first five days of this term, we will move to distance learning in all phases of the school. We will continue to review this situation.”

Schools in Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah will receive students for in-person classes for the new academic term, while those in Abu Dhabi and Umm Al Quwain will host online classes as a Covid safety measure.

The KHDA has introduced new Covid safety restrictions for the first two weeks. Group classes, extracurricular activities, assemblies and school trips will be suspended during this period. Canteens will remain closed as well.


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