This school has 5,000 pupils, but only 11 attended classes
Abu Dhabi - Only 40 out of the 5,000 students at The Model School opted for face-to-face classes.
One school in the Capital's Mussafah area has 5,000 enrollees for the new academic term, but majority of them would be learning from home. So when the campus opened on Sunday, less than a dozen schoolchildren came.
Only 40 out of the 5,000 students at The Model School (TMS) opted for face-to-face classes. On the first day of school, only 11 arrived, as a number of parents remained reluctant to send their kids back to campus.
"Actually, 18 students from Grades 3 and 4 had opted for face-to-face classes today but the rest didn't come. We are expecting 22 students tomorrow (Monday) for kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2 classes. We don't know how many will turn up," said Abdul Kader V.V, the school's principal.
Kader assured that TMS is following all the safety guidelines set by the Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek). It has also secured a no-objection certificate after the inspections conducted by education and health authorities.
"Parents shouldn't worry about anything. We have made all safety arrangements. We can ensure the protection of the children. We had prior experience of conducting the Grade 10 and 12 Kerala board exam amid the pandemic. There were 360 students and we conducted the exams smoothly," he added.
The principal said they would continue to run the school, despite high operational costs. On Sunday, the school operated two to three school buses to pick up and drop off four to five students. Two thermal scanners are also bought as additional precautionary measure.
The school also has isolation and quarantine rooms, a clinic, two nurses, and a doctor on call. All 350 staff members, including Kader, were screened for Covid-19 and were cleared.
"We obey the rules and regulations of the UAE. When the government wants something to be done, we will support it," Kader said, adding that he is hopeful more parents would be convinced to send their kids to campuses.
The school will go ahead with two days of face-to-face classes and three days of distance learning for all 5,000 students, split in two shifts.