UAE. Officials are planning a safe structure under which students can return to schools. Educational authorities were informed that school teaching and administrative staff will begin work on 23 August onward. The academic year will start on 30 August, reported WAM, the official news agency of UAE.
Recommended guidelines for school reopening. The following guidelines need to be implemented by school authorities as they reopen:
• Mandatory temperature checks for all students and staff every morning
• The social distancing of two meters to be maintained, thus requiring a reduced capacity in classrooms and school buses
• Periodic sterilisation on school premises
• The sharing of food among students is not allowed. Strict compliance in managing meals according to the ministry guidelines
• Reduced gathering. No group activates school trips, celebrations, sports, and student camps
• Maintenance and service crew not allowed in educational premises during regular class hours
Parents have concerns about reopening schools. Despite these measures, parents are expressing their worries about the health safety of their children as schools open while Covid-19 prevails. “Once they meet their friends, I don’t think they are going to follow [the guidelines]. How much can a teacher supervise? One teacher trying to manage all these kids and making sure they wear gloves and mask at all times, maintain social distancing, monitoring their movements … if they do all this I don’t think they will get time to teach,” a mother of an 11-year-old expressed. Another mother who is also an educator said, “Well I know ADEK sent parents a survey about our opinion.” She added that she would feel confident about sending her children back to school if the guidelines can be maintained.
There are increasing requests from parents for a lower fee structure, mainly due to the current economic situation with job losses and salary reductions. Considering the number of queries and doubts in the minds of parents, the education authorities in the country are conducting multiple surveys to gain feedback both from parents and educational institutions.