Some universities in Dubai have opened their doors for in-person learning, while other campuses are still operating virtually.
After the initial hiccup in resuming classes due to Covid-19 concerns, most institutes in the Emirate are now gradually returning to face-to-face classes bearing in mind all safety protocols.
Many universities adopted a wait-and-watch approach at the beginning of the new semester and started their distance learning programme when Covid cases surged significantly in the first few weeks of January.
Dr K Kumar, Associate Dean, Academic - Undergraduate Studies of BITS Pilani Dubai campus, says, "At BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus, we have just commenced our second semester from January 25 2022, after a three-week break. We are offering online classes for some time, which will then be followed by face-to-face classes (later). So, for the first two weeks, all the courses will be offered fully online for all the programmes, from the third week onwards on-site or face-to-face classes for all the programmes in all the courses will be offered."
Kumar added, "We already have all the modern classroom/laboratory facilities to cater to the needs of all the courses offered for all modes of teaching (online, hybrid, face-face); all the precautionary measures are in place as per the KHDA protocol and Dubai Govt Protocol.
"Before the start of the classes, the entire campus was completely sanitized, and we are ready to welcome all the students for face-to-face classes from February 14, 2022."
The varsities who've already resumed classes are treading with caution, with students and staff health and hygiene being the top priority.
Universities have initiated several easy-to-follow regulations that students must follow for a safe, healthy, and interactive environment.
The administrations are prepared for various scenarios as they regularly consult with the concerned regulatory authorities and act according to the required situation.
In a statement, the registrar's office at Canadian University Dubai said, "In-person learning is open for us. Classes are being delivered on campus though exams have not yet started. We care about safety first for all faculty students and staff."
Experts highlight that education in the UAE has matured, and the current need demands educators and educational facilities to provide modern teaching styles that can enable students to adopt to a more hybrid approach to learning that goes beyond simply delivering the content.
Dr Fazal Malik, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Amity University Dubai, recently said, "We are working on alternate academic schedules and class structures for every programme, to consider any increase in Covid-19 cases. Flipped classes and digital learning will also continue to accommodate students with any health concerns. We are determined to ensure that every students' University experience includes social interactions, events and practical course work in a safe and secure environment."
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