UAE: Nearly 300,000 public school students to return to classes tomorrow
Students’ return to classrooms will be gradual, and distance learning remains an option.
A total of 282,134 public school students in the UAE will be returning to their classes as the new academic year begins tomorrow, August 29, the Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) announced.
The ESE, an independent federal entity that oversees public schools in the country, has completed all preparations for its 564 campuses, ensuring all of them are ready for in-person classes. Corridors have been redeveloped; fire safety and ventilation systems checked; and isolation rooms have been set up, along with other requirements for students’ health and well-being.
Students’ return to classrooms will be gradual, and distance learning will remain an option for parents. Pupils opting for face-to-face learning are required to present a negative PCR test result, but those who may not be able to get it by tomorrow may start attending their classes later, once they meet the requirement.
Jameela bint Salem Mesbeh Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education and chairperson of the board of the ESE, said students’ return this year is exceptional and all stakeholders must work together to ensure their safety.
Field teams would closely monitor students’ psychological health and the social impact of the the pandemic, she added.
The ESE has been working with its teams on the ground and developed guidelines for managing schools’ day-to-day activities, right from students’ boarding on buses to entering campuses and their movement on corridors.
“The manuals provide flexible scenarios based on the current situation and any development. They were developed to prepare the students for in-school learning while keeping distance learning available for parents who wish to opt for it. The manual also provided the scenario of the gradual return of students to school during the first and second week of the academic year. The different scenarios will be either applied separately or simultaneously to deal with any emergency efficiently,” explained Dr Rabaa Al Sumaiti, director-general of the ESE.
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