Dubai schools ask students returning from abroad to stick to Covid rules


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File photo

Dubai - Parents are expected to go through the websites of their child’s school and the DHA to avoid missing in-person attendance.


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sat 21 Aug 2021, 6:40 PM

Last updated: Sat 21 Aug 2021, 6:44 PM

Students returning from overseas after their summer break should follow all regulations pertaining to back-to-school, head teachers in Dubai schools have underlined.

With only a week left before schools resume classes for the new academic year/new semester (for some schools), parents are expected to go through their child’s school and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) websites to avoid missing in-person attendance.

Meanwhile, schools have been conducting regular surveys to gauge parents’ sentiments on sending their wards back for onsite learning, which they aver looks promising after Dubai’s robust vaccination drive.

During the summer holidays, institutions have also been working on developing a well-studied mechanism that will allow schools to resume onsite classes after applying the necessary Covid-19 safety protocols.

Akram Tarik, principal of GEMS Founders School – Al Mizhar, said: “All our parents and staff have been sent regular updates on the procedures and systems that need to be completed in accordance with travel arrangements. We have reminded them all to follow the latest government updates and to complete a travel declaration form before the start of the academic year.”

Tarik added: “The vigilance of the school community in helping us keep everyone safe is vital. Therefore, we have also asked all those travelling abroad to either quarantine for 10 days prior to the start of the academic year or submit a negative PCR test result that is taken within 48 hours of August 29. Alongside this, all our staff will undergo Covid tests before they resume their duties and students return to school.”

Additionally, there has been a continuous push from schools, calling upon parents to encourage eligible children to be vaccinated.

Karim Murcia, principal of GEMS Al Barsha National School, said: “We are committed to adhering to all regulatory expectations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our school community. All staff and students are required to complete both the DHA and GEMS education travel and health declarations. Based on this, the school management can identify any individuals who have travelled and returned to the UAE within 10 days of the start of the new academic year and ensure they present a negative PCR test, valid within 48 hours of the first day, before returning to school.”

All educational establishments have received a circular from the Ministry of Education (MoE) stating an amendment for social distancing from 2m to 1m now, but Dubai school principals are awaiting a directive from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the emirate’s education regulator.

Muhammad Ali Kottakkulam, principal of Gulf Indian High School Dubai, said: “We have conducted reopening surveys and are fully set to have face-to-face classes at the school for all grades, Kindergarten to Grade 12, from September. All our staff — both teaching and nonteaching — are fully vaccinated. Moreover, approximately 30 per cent of students are also reported vaccinated as per the data received from the survey. This enhances the level of protection and safety of students and teachers. We have prepared the plans as per the existing protocols as we are yet to receive updated guidelines from the KHDA on reopening in September. We are fully hopeful that we will be able to get all our students on campus soon and provide education in a blended learning format.”

Sangita Chima, principal of Amity School Dubai, said: “We continue with the existing health and safety protocols provisioned by the KHDA and the DHA. A resilient reopening with updated skills in hybrid pedagogy defines the future of education in our school.”

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