Free Covid-19 tests for students at private Sharjah schools

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Sharjah - The education authority has been visiting schools, carrying out thorough inspections to ensure compliance with precautionary measures.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Fri 25 Sep 2020, 6:00 PM

Private schools in Sharjah have arranged free Covid-19 screenings for their students, as they gear up for campus reopening on Sunday, authorities have said. Students who have opted for face-to-face learning will have to present negative test results before they can be allowed to return to schools.

Ali Al Hosani, director-general of Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA), said circulars sent to all schools listed out all the safety measures that must be followed and these included the mandatory tests for students aged 12 years and older.

When UAE schools reopened for the new academic year on August 30, Sharjah retained 100 per cent distance learning for the first month. Earlier this week, the SPEA announced that schools will see a "gradual return" of students to campuses, while some will continue learning from home. Parents and students are given the option to choose between distance learning and face-to-face.

The SPEA has been visiting schools across the emirate, carrying out thorough inspections to ensure compliance with precautionary measures, a top official said.

Ready for safe reopening

Private school principals have affirmed that they are all set to welcome back students.

Hassan Sabah, principal of Sama American School in Sharjah, said: "We are fully prepared for three scenarios: 100 per cent distance learning classes; all students returning to campus: and the hybrid learning model which will be a mix of both. Safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus were put in place."

Teachers have also been trained so they adapt to the new normal, he added. "We allocated a hotline for parents to communicate with the school administration, in case they encounter any technical or technical problems." The schools' 1,210 students and 182 members of educational and administrative staff have been tested for Covid-19.

Ibrahim Baraka, director of Al Shula Private Schools in Sharjah, said all their facilities have already been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

"The school also formed a team of seven administrators to supervise students and deal with all aspects of classroom sterilisation. Necessary checks and Covid-19 tests have also been done for all school employees," Baraka said.

The Sharjah Prevention and Safety Authority (SPSA) recently launched an awareness drive to help students prepare for a safe return to their schools.

The campaign reminds students of the steps they have to take to stay safe from the virus on campus, their school buses and beyond.

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