Students in Abu Dhabi will return to schools next academic year as the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has given a green signal to continue in-classroom learning.
Adek has issued comprehensive reopening policies and guidelines to ensure the safest possible return for the Emirate's students and teachers from the beginning of the new academic year.
Four pillars for safe schooling
Adek has worked extensively over the last few months with schools, parent representatives, teachers and the relevant authorities to make these policies as comprehensive as possible. The policies are framed around four main dimensions: Safe operations, teaching and learning, staff and student wellbeing, and community support.
The safe operations pillar lays out procedures aimed at ensuring safety in every aspect of a school's operations, while the teaching and learning pillar instructs schools on how to adopt social distancing processes and other safety measures without jeopardising the overarching academic mission.
Three basic preventive measures are outlined, including social distancing, where schools are requested to organise time and space to minimise interactions between people; protective equipment, where schools are requested to instal appropriate equipment, screens, partitions and other protective measures; and maintaining the highest hygiene standards, with schools requested to regularly disinfect and clean all areas.
The staff and student wellbeing pillar outlines procedures aimed at ensuring schools are fully prepared to assist with student and teacher health and wellbeing, while the community support pillar encourages schools to provide assistance to students in need, such as fee discounts, payment deferrals and splitting term fees into monthly instalments, among others.
"We are committed to ensuring the safest possible return to in-classroom education for students and teachers and the guidelines, aligned with global best practice, take into account every aspect of school operations," said Amer Al Hammadi, Adek Undersecretary. "The guidelines also put in place mechanisms to support the wellbeing of everyone in the Abu Dhabi education community."
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