Dubai: Pupils spread cheer on school campuses as Covid safety tops agenda
Sunday marked the start of a new academic year in the UAE
Pupils were welcomed back to schools on Sunday amid much enthusiasm in the new academic session, as Dubai seeks to win over the raging Covid-19 challenge.
Most schools organised induction/ orientation programmes that kept pupils busy during the first half of the day ahead of their in-classroom lessons.
The mood on the school campuses was euphoric, as pupils, including new entrants, greeted their friends, peers and teachers with visible enthusiasm after a 58-day summer break.
The wait for the first day of in-person learning has been over a year and counting for several pupils, as many had switched to distance learning since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.
Earlier, Dubai's education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), announced that 100 per cent in-classroom lessons would start from October 3.
Schools and pupils adhered to all Covid-19 safety protocols as stipulated by the health authorities and the KHDA.
Karim Murcia, the principal of Gems Al Barsha National School, said, "Pupils are thrilled to be back on the campus. Teachers were busy on induction/orientation and training programmes last week. They're excited to meet our pupils. We're delighted by the turn of events. It's a moment to cherish as we look forward to several exciting events over the next few weeks such as the inauguration of Expo 2020 and the Golden Jubilee celebrations. We're in an incredibly strong position to ensure that the community benefits from a holistic experience in this academic year."
Most schools are laying maximum emphasis on public health to keep the contagion at bay.
Pupils, too, exuded confidence about the KHDA's strict precautionary norms that are being complied with by schools.
Ahmed Al Yousuf, an Emirati pupil of Grade VII in the school, said, "I'm excited to be back in school. It's a wonderful feeling to catch up with my friends and peers in person after a long gap."
"We also filled up a form about our likes and dislikes during the prolonged absence, which was enforced to keep the raging contagion at bay."
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