Covid in UAE: Sharjah private schools opt for remote learning as students face long PCR queues

Parents prefer to keep children protected at home and attend online classes



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Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 11:29 AM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 3:04 PM

Several private schools in Sharjah have decided to switch to remote learning for the first three days or the first week of the second term.

Various school managements noted that students found it challenging to get PCR tests done to attend classes during the first and second days due to overcrowded hospitals and clinics. These students can opt for distance education until the situation improves.

The decision comes as the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) said school principals could take the call on temporarily shifting to remote learning in light of rising Covid-19 cases.

Samer Sarhan, Principal of Al Maarifa International Private School, said that SPEA has given schools options to decide the learning system based on the situation. Due to the long queues at PCR testing sites, many students couldn’t get the test done before attending school.

Since health and safety is a priority for students and staff, the school management sent a circular to parents and notified them that classes would be held online.

The school will take a call today (Jan 4) about whether to continue distance learning and will subsequently send a circular to parents to notify them.

The director of another private school in Sharjah said that his school would continue e-learning until the end of the week. However, they may extend the arrangement for the whole of January in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the school.

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A top official at SPEA has said the distance learning option is available until further notice.

He pointed out that since the beginning of the current academic year, the authority has been keen to conduct inspection rounds to ensure that schools are committed to applying precautionary measures.

SPEA had circulated a guide to private schools, drawing a comprehensive roadmap on education mechanisms and adherence to health requirements to ensure the safety of students and employees alike.

Umaima Hussein, a mother of three children studying in a private school in Sharjah, said she preferred to keep her children at home and have them attend remote classes, due to the rising Covid-19 cases in the country.

Padma Shriker, another parent, said that she had received a circular from school confirming that her children would attend classes online throughout the week until further notice. She was pleased to receive the circular and hopes the school will extend the remote learning system to the rest of the month or until the situation is under control.


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