UAE Covid-19: Principals hopeful on resumption of on-site learning

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhbai Filed on February 14, 2021
Maha Saeed Al Bayouk’s dedication to teach online classes, while waiting for vaccination, received applause from UAE Education Minister Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi. — Twitter

Heads of educational institutes are eagerly waiting to see students back in classroom again as remote teaching continues.

With stringent precautionary measures in place, private schools are well-prepared to welcome students, especially Grade 10 and 12, for face-to-face learning from Sunday.


Abu Dhabi private schools can now have 30 students in a classroom

Heads of educational institutes are eagerly waiting to see students back in classroom again as remote teaching continues. Since January 3, there has been two deferments on commencement of classroom learning for the new term.

Dr Abdul Kader VV, principal of The Model School – Abu Dhabi, is hoping there will be no more delays in resuming face-to-face classes.

Unlike other Indian institutes, the school has students appearing for the Kerala’s Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exams starting March 17 apart from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) papers, which will be held only by May.

“I have to ensure the children of Kerala state syllabus are ready to write the three-hour exams next month. They haven’t had any practice for such a written test. We usually would conduct model test exams in January and February. Now, most parents of children in Grade 10 and 12 will send them to the school from Sunday,” said Kader.

“Children, above 12 years, who are interested in returning to the classrooms, have taken Covid-19 PCR test on Thursday. I am hoping for a good number of kids to come on Sunday. I hope there are no further delays in resumption of in-class teaching. All measures as per the guidelines issued by Adek (Department of Education and Knowledge) and health authorities are taken,” Kader said and added the option of remote learning will continue to be made available.

“I have another challenge of conducting CBSE practical exams from March 1. Children need some practice for that too. I am also looking at the possibility of conducting online examinations for other grades,” Kader added.

Shibanti Bhowmik, principal, Abu Dhabi Indian School Al Wathba, noted readiness for blended learning and said the priority for in-person learning is for students who will be appearing for the Grade 10 and 12 CBSE exams. “We are calling students from Grade 10 and 12 first. For other grades, parents are not too eager.”

Shibanti said a range of precautionary measures are in place. “There will be temperature checks before boarding the bus, (restricted) seating arrangements inside the bus and maintaining social distancing, and again another round of temperature checks upon reaching the school.”

She pointed out the chairs and desks have been rearranged according to the number of permitted students inside a classroom, and the facility is sanitised daily. “For safe operations, the duty hours of our office staff have been changed to have less people around when students are inside the school.”

On February 1, the Adek had noted that as part of the national vaccination programme, up to 15,000 teachers and school staff — 60 per cent of the total strength — had taken the jab.

Apart from such measures, community associations like the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) Abu Dhabi also held free Covid-19 PCR test drive for school staff, including non-teaching ones.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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