As in the rest of the UAE, the school term began after the winter break on January 3 in Abu Dhabi. However, the emirate’s education regulator, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), mandated remote learning for all students initially for the first two weeks, and then extended it until February 11.
Distance learning option
According to school leaders, a greater number of families have shown interest in face-to-face learning for children this term, with some saying that more than half of all students will return to classrooms physically. “The GEMS Education schools in Abu Dhabi are preparing to open their physical classrooms to learners again. All of the GEMS Education schools strictly adhere to the ADEK Private School Reopening Policy and Guidelines,” said Kelvin Hornsby, GEMS cluster lead and principal at the GEMS Cambridge International School — Abu Dhabi.
“We are delighted to be welcoming back our students next week, especially those students in Year 7 to Year 9 [Grades 6 to 8] who will be returning to school for the first time since March . We are extremely grateful to the authorities for their support and guidance in making our school safe for everyone to return,” said Patrick Horne, principal at the British International School Abu Dhabi.
From January 17 onwards, the authority also organised a 10-day campaign that saw more than 15,000 educators, school staff and their family members at 222 private and charter schools in the emirate receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Rishikesh Padegaonkar, principal and cluster leader at Bright Riders School, said young learners were especially excited to come to school again. “About 20 per cent of our students had opted for face-to-face learning last term, but there is definitely more interest this time around. We have been inspected by the Adek to ensure we are following all standards, and this should reassure parents,” he said.
Choose to vaccinate
In addition to organising its own vaccination campaign, the Adek had also encouraged the school community, including parents, to get vaccinated through multiple messages on its social media platforms. “I have been studying remotely since last April, but I really miss my friends and my teachers. My parents are taking vaccine to fight the coronavirus, and I wish others would also take it so I could go back to school again,” said Parva Srivatava, an Indian Grade 2 student at the Global Indian International School.
Original news source Credit: gulfnews.com