UAE: Students, who were Covid-positive just before new school term, set to return to campus

Parents say at-home learning doesn't compare to the discipline children learn from being at school

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File photo

Nandini Sircar

Published: Sun 9 Jan 2022, 5:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jan 2022, 12:09 AM

Samridhi Chaudhary, a Year 1 student, is one among many children in Dubai who will return to school on Monday after almost a month-long break.

Samridhi had been looking forward to returning to school after three weeks of winter holidays when she tested positive for Covid-19. Then followed the drill of isolation and remote learning, which she did with the help of her father, who was also quarantining with her.

"My wife had gone to India and Samridhi was here with me precisely because we thought travelling would mean exposure to the virus," her father Sidharth Chaudhary said. "But then she tested positive while she was here and soon, I tested positive, too."

As a result, when schools reopened for the new academic term last week, Samridhi was unable to join. "Then, in due course of time, the school declared that it was shifting to online learning completely, as the number of infected staff and students had increased."

But Sidharth said Covid-19 is so rampant these days that keeping schools closed for a long period of time may not be an appropriate solution.

"It's happening in every second house. I think it's now like common cold and flu that people will contract, get better and move on," he said. "I feel everyone will have to experience it at some point, sooner or later. The good thing is with this strain, what I've noticed from my experience, is that the majority of people are not getting hospitalised. So, that's like a silver lining."

Another student, Aakash Nandi, will also be meeting his peers and teachers after a long break.


"The evening before his class, my 5-year-old son would ask me: 'Do I have real school tomorrow?'" his father Arijit said. "So, no matter what the child's age, they understand that the seriousness of learning and discipline comes with face-to-face learning."

No matter how hard parents try to recreate that at home, Arijit said children are bound to act differently when they are in school.

When asked if he is happy to send his child to school amid the prevailing Covid fears, Arijit said: "I don't think much will change in a week's time. It is worrying on one hand to send your child to school, but at the same time, keeping them home for long durations and doing only distance learning is not a fitting solution."

Arijit added that he is also confident that schools will try "their level best" to keep communities safe.

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