As part of the UAE’s updated precautionary measures to counter the spread of COVID-19, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) has updated school reopening procedures, as well. Here’s what you need to know about the announcement made by NCEMA and the educational authorities in each emirate.
NCEMA and Ministry of Education
NCEMA announced on December 28 that the UAE will switch to a remote learning system in the first two weeks of the second term, starting from January 3, 2022.
Schools, universities, and training centers across the country are included in the resolution.
Training centers, laboratories, and clinical research centers in universities and training centers have been asked to adopt hybrid learning systems.
After returning to school, students are required to submit negative PCR test results taken within 96 hours.
At the time of entry into educational facilities, parents will be required to show their Green Pass.
In a tweet on December 28, the UAE’s Ministry of Education reiterated that these protocols would be in place, adding: “We make it clear that these standards are subject to being updated and changed based on the latest requirements of health authorities and in coordination with committees and local emergency, crisis and disaster teams in each emirate. School administrations will communicate directly with parents and inform them of all developments about the school system and health status.”
The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis, and Disasters Committee also announced on December 28 that the Emirate has approved remote learning for the first two weeks of the new school year. This is to ensure a safe return to schooling as a precautionary measure.
Over the next two weeks, ongoing testing campaigns for education sector personnel will increase and the situation will continue to be monitored for updates to protocols for the return to in-school learning.
As part of precautionary measures taken to limit the spread of the virus and maintain low infection rates, the decision applies to all public and private schools in the emirate, including training institutes, colleges, and universities.
Parents, guardians, academic and administrative staff were urged to receive a booster dose and to observe all precautionary measures, such as wearing masks, practicing physical distance, and washing and sanitizing hands regularly.
Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority announced that regular face-to-face instruction will continue in private schools in the second semester, while the collective classroom and extracurricular activities will be discontinued. The canteens will be closed for the first two weeks of the semester, and school trips and gatherings will be suspended.
The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA), in coordination with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in the Emirate of Sharjah, announced on December 29, that students in Sharjah private schools, nurseries, educational centers, and private institutes will resume face-to-face learning beginning on January 3, 2022.
“Furthermore, all classroom and extracurricular activities, including morning assembly and school trips are suspended until further notice,” the authority added.
Staff and students from 12 years of age and older are required to present a negative PCR test result within 96 hours of returning to school after winter break, encouraging all staff to take the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
Ras Al Khaimah
The Ras Al Khaimah Local Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority announced on December 29 that all private schools and nurseries will continue to educate students inside classrooms starting on January 3, 2022.
In an Instagram post by Ras Al Khaimah Police, it was announced that “learning will be in person for all students in private educational institutions and nurseries in the emirate, starting from the second semester”.