Covid Dubai: Over 50% of students at some Indian schools opt for on-site classes
Vaccination drive likely to have buoyed parents’ confidence to send their wards to schools, say authorities
Some Indian schools in Dubai have reported more than 50 per cent attendance of pupils on their campuses for face-to-face lessons during the new session after the spring break, which started on Sunday.
India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)-affiliated schools have been welcoming more pupils on their campuses in the new session, despite prevailing Covid-19 challenges.
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School authorities said that parents appeared more confident since the viral outbreak was first reported in March last year to send their wards for on-campus lessons.
Sangita Chima, principal of Amity School Dubai, echoed the sentiment.
“More pupils returned to the school when it reopened after the spring break, as many parents are in favour of face-to-face lessons instead of hybrid learning.
“An amazing 65 per cent of our pupils returned to school for classes, and many among them haven’t attended classes physically for a year,” she said.
Chima has expanded the school’s transportation facilities to welcome more pupils to classrooms.
“We’ve increased the number of buses in our fleet and Covid-19-related safety protocols are in place. A large number of enthusiastic parents have requested for a transition for this new session, and we’ve expanded capacity in our school,” she said.
Chima noted that the average ratio for in-class: distance learning on Sunday was 70:30, as compared to the reverse ratio of 30:70 in September 2020.
“We’re thrilled with the response from on-campus attendance. Safety continues to be our top priority. We’re determined to support our pupils during this positive transition back to the classroom,” she added.
Deepika Thapar Singh, chief executive officer (CEO)-principal of Credence High School, Dubai, said: “We’ve reopened for the new session with great enthusiasm. We’re very happy to see that more than 50 per cent of our pupils have joined for face-to-face classes. We’re expecting more pupils to attend in-class lessons in the coming days.
“We’ve been well prepared to welcome a large number of pupils following all the safety protocols issued by the government authorities.”
Lalitha Suresh, principal of Gems Our Own Indian School in Dubai, said 25 per cent of their pupils turned up for face-to-face lessons when the school reopened on Monday. She pointed out that more parents were registering to have their children return to the school campus.
“There has been an increase in the number of children opting for in-class lessons this term as compared to the previous terms. On Monday, 25 per cent of our pupils turned up for in-person classes, when the school reopened after the spring break,” she said.
She hoped that more pupils would return to the school campus for in-class lessons in the coming days.
“We’re happy that many parents are getting more confident to send their wards for in-class lessons. We have added more buses to the fleet to ferry a large number of students,” she said.
She added that the school was keen on implementing the health and safety measures and protocols that have been put in place to protect pupils and the community at large.
Most teachers and other staff of the institution have been administered the Covid-19 which could have bolstered parents’ confidence to send their wards for in-class lessons.
In the neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi, private schools will reopen for students for the third term after the spring break from April 11.
However, the school authorities in Abu Dhabi have decided to persist with hybrid learning, which is a happy blend of remote education and in-class lessons.
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