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Free schooling in UAE for Covid-hit students: 500 now enrolled

Team KT/Abu Dhabi
Filed on April 7, 2021 | Last updated on April 8, 2021 at 08.00 am
AFP file

The Virtual Charter School is open to students of all nationalities whose families have been financially impacted by Covid-19

Over 500 expat students who have had to leave private schools because of financial woes are currently studying for free in Abu Dhabi's first Virtual Charter School.

On Wednesday, education authorities in the Capital explained how the programme works.

"The Virtual Charter School is open to students of all nationalities whose families have been financially impacted by Covid-19. This not-for-profit public-private partnership model offers an alternative education delivery which redresses learning loss in a pandemic," said Sara Musallam, chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek).

Offering a hybrid learning experience, the Virtual Charter School was launched in October 2020 for pupils who had to drop out of school because their parents could no longer afford the fees. Currently, it follows the Ministry of Education curriculum with potential expansion plans for wider curriculum diversity. It caters to students in Grades 5 to 11.

Besides admissions being free, the school also supplies loaned digital devices to the students. Pupils enrolled in the charter school are permitted to transfer to alternative schools. However, their parents must pledge to pay all outstanding amounts to their children's previous school prior to re-enrolling them in the private school system, the authority explained.





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