Students aged six and above will need to wear a mask when they return to Dubai schools in the new academic year, it was announced on Sunday. Students and staff with medical conditions are exempted from wearing it provided they submit a medical certificate. Masks can be taken off while eating or during high intensity physical activities.
This came as Dubai's education regulator Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) released a set of guidelines for schools to follow when they reopen in September.
Students in classrooms should be seated at least 1.5 metres apart and all of them should wear masks. Showers and changing rooms will remain closed for now.
"Student ratios will vary depending on the size of the classroom. The school will have the liberty to decide on the number of students per class as long as a safe distance of at least 1.5 metres per child or person is maintained," the guidelines stated.
Kindergarten students will require "stable" groups of 10 or fewer children. 'Stable' means the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day. This group of 10 children must be cared for in a space that cannot be accessed by children outside the stable group, the KHDA circular stated.
The KHDA stressed that all schools will have to comply with the protocols, "but they have the freedom to implement them according to their own contexts". "For example, some schools may hold more outdoor classes to maintain physical distancing, while others may continue to offer online learning to some students," the authority said.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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