UAE Schools Likely To Reopen In September

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
UAE Schools Likely To Reopen In September

UAE’s Ministry of Education announced that UAE schools are likely to reopen in September. In a meeting chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry revealed its plan on re-opening educational institutions across the UAE.

Public and private sectors schools and universities are eyeing to reopen in September, with appropriate precautions in place.

“Education remains a top priority and national objective, and therefore our leadership has directed to apply the distance education system under the current circumstances so that our students won’t lose track and miss one single day from their academic year,” Minister of Education Al Hammadi said, in a statement on news agency WAM.

Private Schools Plan A Gradual Return

Earlier, an online meeting organised by the Education Business Group, a UAE association representing more than 100 private schools, discussed that the country could return more than 800,000 pupils to the classroom. Schools urged authorities to ease restrictions and support them as they plan a gradual return to learning.

Schools in UAE will be considering multiple shift systems in order to maintain the health, and wellbeing of all students. Besides, the Group also mentioned the importance of maintaining 50,000 jobs in the education sector in order to keep up the necessary education standards.

A Blended Approach

Schools are planning a blended approach that will involve both at-home and on-campus learning. That also means students will be asked to attend school on a shift basis. As per the shift system, a few students will work online from home, while a few others will be on-campus.

This transitional change is expected to remain in place for about six months before learning takes the normal course. Here’s what a blended learning system will look like:

  • Students will be spread across various areas in the school to ensure social distancing
  • The timings will differ according to the classes
  • 70% of the learning is expected to happen on campus and 30% at home
  • The school day will be shortened
  • Extracurricular activities may be restricted
  • Temperature checks will be conducted on campus every day
  • Face masks must be worn at all times

Also read: China Schools Use Foldable Transparent Screen To Keep Social Distance While Eating

Way Forward

A report released by global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman suggested schools in the Middle East should implement a carefully planned and strategically phased approach to opening up after the Covid-19-enforced shutdown. As per the report, staff must be trained with enhanced roles for nurses, facilities managers and counsellors as part of the reopening plan.