Picture for illustrative purposes - e-learning Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) on Saturday in an assuring message said the emirate’s education system was more than ready to start implementing distance learning among more than 200 schools starting from Sunday.

According to ADEK, schools and teachers have been undertaking extensive preparations and training over the last two weeks, including educators from more than 132 schools who took part in training sessions on best practices for virtual classrooms.

“When NCEMA (National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority) took a decision to suspend schools temporarily to protect our students from the spread of the novel coronavirus, we had to set in place all the necessary measures needed to activate distance learning,” said Sara Musallam, chairperson at ADEK. “Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures and what happened in the following days was an impressive showcase of social cohesion, unity and purpose,” she added.

“I’m extremely proud of how our entire community, from educators to private sector partners came together to rise up to the challenge. Our mission at ADEK is to empower education, and we were determined not to allow anything to stand in the way of our children getting a quality education,” she said, emphasising how students would continue to get the best education through distance learning.

According to Musallam, one of ADEK’s top priorities during the last two weeks was ensuring schools had access to the technology needed for distance learning, as well as alleviating concerns voiced by parents.

“We have been working with educators and technology partners around the clock to ensure that schools are able to deliver learning efficiently and without disruption.

“With state-of-the-art technology and support from our valued partners, we are taking distance learning to the next level,” she added.

“We have worked hard to address parents’ concerns around the potential interruption to their children’s education, and in just two weeks, we developed turnkey solutions that will enable students to continue learning in a safe environment from home,” Musallam said.

According to ADEK, through their partnership with Amazon, Microsoft, Alef Education and Class Dogo among others, all schools have been equipped with the technology required and all free of charge. ADEK said that schools and students will be provided with over 15,150 tablets, 7,000 SIM cards and 3,000 MiFi devices.