Home LearningDid You Know? Updates on schools of the UAE in light of COVID-19 outbreak

Updates on schools of the UAE in light of COVID-19 outbreak

by Eddie Rayner

The Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has said:

As part of the preventive and precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students and educational community in Dubai, and in line with measures taken at the National level, aimed at reducing the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), all schools are to abide by the following until further notice:

  • Changing the starting date of the spring break to begin on Sunday, March 8 and last for two weeks.
  • Ensuring the continuity of the educational process through implementing alternative plans using distance learning approaches available at your school, for two weeks starting from March 22.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA):

As part of the preventive and precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students and educational community in Dubai, and in line with measures taken at the National level, aimed at reducing the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), all schools are to abide by the following until further notice:

  • Changing the starting date of the spring break to begin on Sunday, March 8 and last for two weeks.
  • Ensuring the continuity of the educational process through implementing alternative plans using distance learning approaches available at your school, for two weeks starting from March 22.

“Taaleem as an organisation were very well prepared for todays announcement. Our fantastic schools are already well versed in e-learning and we have ‘Outstanding’ teachers who understand the curriculum requirements for the different stages of the school year which can be transferred into independent learning. Our schools use technology and pedagogical theory such as flip learning so our students should also be comfortable with independent learning strategies. Across a premium schools group such as Taaleem, we also have the advantages of sharing best practice in learning beyond the classroom. Our preparation has been particularly focused on the examination groups across the UK, IB and American curricula and preparing these students for forthcoming assessment and final examinations in Term 3. We are empathetic and understanding towards our parent body and we have received positive communication from our parents about the preparation in the Taaleem schools for the events that have transpired today. We will closely monitor e-learning and adapt our strategies over forthcoming weeks. Ultimately while we would have wanted to keep the Taaleem schools open, we are very aware of our responsibility to respect and respond to our regulators, the UAE Government and ultimately the health and safety of our children is, and always will be, of paramount importance.” Says Alan Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of Taaleem

“The JBS community support the national efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus and although closing schools is challenging we are well prepared to support student learning through our tested on line platforms.  Teachers and students use our platforms as part of their everyday learning and therefore we anticipate continuing our high quality provision for all students through remote access during the school closure period.”   

Richard Drew, Principal, Jumeira Baccalaureate School

“The Dubai British Schools are hugely supportive of the Government’s efforts to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Actions taken in the UAE have been praised by the World Health Organisation. Whilst our preference is always to have children in school, our schools actively engage in distance learning initiatives on an ongoing basis and so we are ready to ensure that all children in the Dubai British Schools, and across Taaleem, continue to receive exceptional provision through a variety of platforms, resources and age-appropriate activities. We are very well placed to ensure that technology will be well used to support learning, but that children will also enjoy a balance between screen-time and physical activities, with enhanced opportunities to collaborate online.”

Brendon Fulton, Executive Principal, Dubai British Schools

“The Children’s Garden will be sending home learning packs alongside links to online learning with directed tasks. Teachers will provide math and literacy activities for the children to work through each week. The activities will be carefully planned so that they can be accessed by the child independently where possible. Teachers at The Children’s Garden will also be providing many open ended activities that can naturally be led by the child themselves. The opportunities we are providing will ensure continued progression across the curriculum in a fun and interactive manner for the children at home.”

Amy Salsbury, Principal, The Children’s Garden

“While this is, of course, not an ideal situation, educationally, we are looking to the positives. Online, distance learning is becoming a powerful and widespread way of learning. This is an opportunity for our students to develop their independent learning skills and to explore a new way of learning.”

Christopher Bromham, Principal, Uptown International School

“Dubai British School Emirates Hills is incredibly sensitive towards making sure that both purposeful and appropriate learning is in place for those students in examination year groups.  Teachers will, through e-learning, ensure that course content is taught, support is in place and questions are answered in real time.  Class teachers will ensure that a selection of fiction and non-fiction books are sent home to support both reading for pleasure, and that the development of necessary reading skills, are planned for. The use of online reading programs such as ‘Accelerated Reader’ and the ‘Browzly’ reading app support this innovative approach to e-learning.”

Simon Jodrell, Principal, Dubai British School Emirates Hills