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Covid in UAE: Abu Dhabi schools must offer remote learning option to students

External school trips and activities to be suspended until further notice



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File photo

By Web Desk

Published: Wed 19 Jan 2022, 6:52 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Jan 2022, 11:01 PM

Following the announcement of the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee for the gradual return to in-classroom learning model, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has announced updates for the return to face-to-face learning for Private and Charter School students.

From January 24 all students in KG 1 – Grade 5/ FS1 – Year 6 and student in Grade 12/ Year 13 will be permitted to return to school.

The option for distance learning will remain in place throughout the term; however, parents are required to inform their child’s school of their preference to continue distance learning or return to physical school for the week starting January 31. The chosen model must be adhered to for the remainder of term one to enable schools to plan accordingly.

Students appearing for international exams will also be permitted to return to school.

Distance learning will continue until January 31 for other students when all those opting for in-classroom learning resume classes in schools.

All external school trips and activities will be suspended until further notice, while sports and cultural activities will be permitted in full adherence to health and safety precautionary measures in place.

Students, teachers, and school staff who have recently returned from overseas travel will be required to sign a travel declaration form, with those returning to the UAE within two weeks of their entry to school required to submit negative PCR test results taken on day one and day six from their return date.

All students, teachers and employees must present a 96-hour negative PCR test result before returning to campus.

To ensure a safe return to school in 2022, all Private and Charter School students aged three years and above - regardless of vaccination status and inclusive of Students of Determination - must produce a negative nasal PCR or saliva test result valid for 96 hours before resuming in-person classes, whether on the fourth or fifth week. The same procedure applies to teachers, administrative staff and third-party contractors.

Abu Dhabi students can take free-of-charge PCR tests at any private or public clinic, hospital, or drive through test centre without the need to present a designated school code. However, students must present a valid Emirates ID or passport to receive the test.

Students under the age of 12 can opt for a saliva test at a variety of test centers across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra. A full list of testing locations is outlined on the ADEK website.

To accommodate for various start dates of the new term, the student testing service will be available until January 31. ADEK advises all students physically returning to school on January 24 to take tests between January 20-22 to ensure valid test results for the first day of school.

Abu Dhabi teachers and administrative staff can also receive free-of-charge pre-return to school tests at designated centres. A list of centres and school codes has been shared with schools to cascade to teachers and staff.

Alternatively, Abu Dhabi teachers and school staff can choose to take PCR tests at any private clinic or hospital of their choice at their own expense should they wish to do so.

In addition to the pre-examinations for returning to schools, all students, all students below 16 years of age regardless of their vaccination status, vaccinated and exempted students aged 16 and above as well as teachers and school staff will continue to undergo routine in-school PCR testing to maintain a 14-day test validity throughout the new term.

In-classroom learning to return for:

>> KG/FS

>> Grades 1-5/Years 2-6.

>> Grade 12/Years 13.

>> Higher education institution students preparing for national and international exams.

>> Remote learning to continue for Grades 6-11/Years 7-12

>> From Monday, January 31, in-classroom learning begins for all students.

School entry rules:

>> All students must show a negative PCR test result from within 96 hours on the first day in school.

>> Teaching and administrative staff must have a green status on the Al Hosn app at all times inside educational premises, and show a negative PCR result from within 96 hours on the first day in school.

>> Students, administrative staf must sign a travel declaration form and show a negative PCR test result from days 1 to 6 after returning to the UAE.

>> Parents and visitors must show a green status on Al Hosn app and a negative PCR result from within 96 hours to enter school premises.

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