Dubai schools gear up to reopen on August 29

School bus uae dubai. Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

Dubai: The schools in Dubai are all set to welcome students back into the campuses after a prolonged COVID 19 induced ‘holiday’. The educational institutions have been arranging the necessary facilities as per the guidelines and protocols issued by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Students can attend onsite classes or online sessions from August.29. However, the authorities plan to discontinue online/distance learning completely by 3 October.

As the co-curricular activities would also be resumed, the schools are busy taking appropriate measures that allow engaging students in the playground and other venues by creating a safe environment.

KHDA has instructed the schools to ensure a distance of at least one meter between the students, both inside and outside the classrooms. Students who are above six years of age, school employees and visitors should strictly wear masks. Unvaccinated employees must present negative RTPCR test reports on a weekly basis. There would be unannounced visits by the authorities to check whether the instructions are followed by the schools. Abdul Nazar, Vice Principal of Dubai New Indian Model School said that around 2000 students will return to school by the end of this month and that elaborate arrangements have to be made to accommodate them. He added that both curricular and co curricular activities would resume in full swing by maintaining stipulated physical distancing. Meanwhile, Sharafudeen Thanikkat, Principal of Dubai Crescent School noted that measures would be taken to ensure safe distance between students during the class hours.

Guidelines for schools
•Thermal scanners will be placed at the school gates to check the body temperatures of the students. Temperature would be recorded before the kids enter the school buses too. The body temperature should not exceed 37.5 degree Celsius.
•Only one parent/guardian or a family member can drop off and pick up students from the schools. There will be a time limit of 10 minutes for this at the designated area. Younger children could be dropped off or picked up in their classrooms.
•The class teacher must seek the service of the school nurse in case a student has cough, body ache or display any other symptoms.
•There should be an isolation room in every school.
•Parents should not send their kids/wards to school if they are ill.
•It is mandatory to have a health and safety officer in the school campus.
•Schools must resort mostly on paper less services and transaction
•School premises including the classrooms should be sanitized at stipulated intervals. Tabs, computers and labs must be sanitized after each use.
•Crowds won’t be allowed inside classrooms or staff room. Sports events and camps could be organised only by strictly following the guidelines issued by the Dubai Sports Council. Carpets and unnecessary furniture should be removed from the classrooms to make the rooms open and airy.

School buses to operate on full capacity
KHDA’s instruction that school buses can run on 100% capacity has brought relief to both working parents and teachers alike. Anyone entering the bus should undergo temperature screening and those who show temperature above 37.5 degree Celsius would not be allowed to board the bus. Moreover, seat belts, arm rests and handles must be sanitized after each use.

Mandatory Covid test for unvaccinated visitors
Unvaccinated parents must show a negative RTPCR test report not older than 48 hours to meet the teachers in campus. Only one parent / guardian is allowed to drop off and pick up students at the designated areas. They would only have a 10 minute time limit for this.

Strict protocols
Dubai: The Education Ministry instructed that the guidelines and protocols regarding school reopening in each Emirate should be strictly followed. The guidelines and precautionary measures would differ depending upon the situation in each Emirate.

Abu Dhabi
It is mandatory for every student returning to schools to take RTPCR test. A negative RTPCR test report, not older than 14 days, should be submitted. Students who have completed 16 years of age should take at least the first dose of vaccination by the time of reopening. They should have received the Covid jab within four weeks after the birthday.

Those who suffer from illness and unvaccinated students above 16 could continue attending online/distance mode of learning. Interested students can avail this facility if the school offers it.
Fully fledged onsite learning would be resumed in schools in Dubai from 3 October onwards. In case, a student wishes to continue online learning, he/she should submit the medical certificate issued by the Dubai Health Authority. Even though vaccination is not mandatory for students and school employees, the latter should take RTPCR tests on weekly basis and present the negative test report. However, this is not mandatory for the students.
Even though vaccination is not mandatory for the students, the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) has instructed the parents to make sure that their wards are vaccinated if they are old enough to receive the jab. Students above 12 years should take RTPCR test at the beginning of the academic year and present a negative test report.

Those who are employed in the education sector should be fully vaccinated. However, relaxation would be available for those who have health issues. They should submit the necessary medical reports and are required to take RTPCR tests on weekly basis. Interested students can continue online learning. 

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