hashtag StayHome
Families in the UAE are encouraged to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Image Credit: Twitter/ Courtesy: @etisalat

Dubai: UAE telecom providers temporarily changed their names on Sunday to remind residents to stay at home.

The slogan “Stay Home” showed up on residents’ mobile phones on the first day of online learning – an initiative where teachers and students stayed at home, interacting through distance learning platforms.

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The hashtag #StayHome was also promoted by the Dubai Media Office earlier on Saturday, while urging families to practise social distancing and carry out precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Schools across the UAE started the remote learning program on Sunday, with schools left almost abandoned as teachers and students interacted from their homes.

Thousands of teachers have already received training in the last two weeks to facilitate digital learning. The spring break, which ended on March 19, has now led to public and private schools to launch their remote learning system.

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director general of KHDA, said parents, students and teachers in Dubai will benefit from a new online platform during the period of distance learning.

The portal has been launched to connect technology and wellbeing-based organisations with teachers, parents and students who are teaching and learning from home. It will feature apps, websites and support that will be offered free of charge during the distance learning period.

The period of remote learning was first announced on March 3, as part of a UAE-wide decision to close down schools and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Gulf News previously reported that the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) 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.