Covid in UAE: Some schools go online as cases rise; PCR test rule announced

Authorities have given parents the option to choose the method of education that suits them


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Sun 23 Jan 2022, 6:23 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jan 2022, 10:57 PM

Some schools in Sharjah have decided to opt for remote learning for elementary students on Monday and Tuesday (January 24 and 25).

Students above 12 can attend in-person classes from Monday; however, a negative PCR test result has been made mandatory.

The move is part of schools' efforts to follow up the safety measures approved by the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) amid a sharp rise of Covid-19 cases in the UAE.

Al Maarifa International Private School, in a circular to parents on Sunday, noted that classes would shift to online learning for two days (Monday and Tuesday). Parents will be updated by Tuesday, January 25, about further changes. The rest of the school would continue with face-to-face learning from Monday.

School principals confirmed that the decision to implement e-learning was to maintain the safety of students and staff.

Most schools in the Emirate started the third week of the second semester of 2022 remotely for day one, while others followed the hybrid system after obtaining the required approvals from the SPEA.

The schools said they are well-prepared to receive students for both hybrid and face-to-face learning with strict precautionary measures and according to a protocol approved by the authority to private school administrations.

Ali Al Hosani, Director of the Sharjah Private Education Authority, confirmed that private schools in Sharjah can opt for in-person, hybrid and remote learning until further notice. The authority gave the parents the option to choose the method of education that suits them.

He added that inspection teams are following up on the schools' compliance with precautionary measures and the guidelines issued by SPEA.

"Schools have also been instructed to adhere to the procedures of the new study system," he said.


Safe environment

Al Hosani said that current protocols for private schools in Sharjah ensure a healthy and safe environment.

School administrations are required to fill up the daily report on the Tamam platform and send it to the Covid-19 committee, which follows up daily and coordinates with school administrations.

He pointed out that there are few Covid cases in schools, but these have not affected the course of study.

Prevention instruction

Al-Hosani said that SPEA has provided health protocols to be followed when students, teachers, staff, or parents develop common cold symptoms such as fever, headache, or a runny nose. The point person and all the other mentioned groups should isolate and inform the school administration or staff.

In case of infections

If a sick student goes to school or nursery with high temperature or symptoms similar to Covid, they will not be allowed to board the bus or enter the school building. The student will be escorted to the isolation room if symptoms appear while in school. Parents will have to collect the student within 30 minutes or as soon as possible after receiving the call. If the student's condition is unstable, an ambulance will be called for him/her. If the student is found to have been infected by Covid-19, he/she will have to submit a negative test result before returning to school.

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