The Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) have agreed that private schools in Abu Dhabi will welcome all students back to classrooms from January 2021.
Schools in Abu Dhabi had reopened at the end of August, starting to receive students in phases along with the option of online learning for the first semester of the academic year. However, according to the new announcement, the second semester of the academic year will see classrooms full of students again. ‘ADEK will coordinate with private schools and support them in implementing the necessary preventive and precautionary measures to maintain the health and safety of students and staff,’ the statement added.
Principals of private schools have received fresh guidelines from ADEK, and are now looking forward to the next virtual meeting with the department in order to gain more of an understanding of the new norms to be followed as schools return.
Neeraj Bhargava, Principal at Abu Dhabi Indian School, said the school is all ready to welcome its students back. “The school is missing its students. We need to look into the mental health of the children. I think social interaction is missing. The normal life of a student is missing at home. We are more than ready to bring them back and take care of them.”
Previously, Bhargava had planned to bring the entire strength of the students back for face-to-face classes by organising strict precautionary measures. “We are all prepared and ready. Children are happy to come back. I am interacting with them,” Bhargava said.
Sunrise English Private School Principal, Thakur Mulchandani, said that the school will comply with all the new guidelines. “We have received the guidelines from ADEK. We will follow the policies and regulations. We will have a full-fledged discussion with the ADEK officials on how we have to incorporate it.”
At present, teachers and administrative staff undergo a Covid-19 test once every two weeks. “We are all tested every 12th or 14th day. This process started in August. We have finished six rounds of Covid-19 tests. The seventh-round is coming up this Sunday,” Mulchandani concluded.