Abu Dhabi: Following the announcement that in-class learning is set to resume at schools in Abu Dhabi from August 30, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge [Adek] released the rules and regulations in place for safe reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The updates to the school return guidelines were today announced by the Abu Dhabi Media office, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee, and Adek.
According to the guidelines, full online learning will also continue to be available for the entirety of the first term, subject to prior coordination with the school. While schools have been allowed to offer models of schooling with full or partial distance learning to students, the new rules and precautions will strictly apply at schools that opt for in-class learning models.
As Gulf News reported last month, schools will be able to choose between five reopening models to balance between in-class learning and online learning: full day face-to-face, half-day face-to-face, alternating day, alternating week, and a blended hybrid model.
The staggered return to in-class learning, starting first with KG1/FS2 and Grade5/Year 2, is designed to enable schools to monitor and evaluate how students adapt and respond to the measures in place, and plan accordingly for the return of other students.
COVID-19 testing for all
There will be mandatory COVID-19 testing for all staff including teachers, and students above the age of 12. Daily temperature checks will be done for all staff and students.
Strict social distancing rules should be in place, 1.5 metres for all while on the school campus, while the number of students in each class would be limited to 15. Alternate break times should also be planned to encourage physical distancing and avoid crowding.
All teachers should wear masks at all times and all students above the age of six must wear masks while at school.
Adek field visits
All 205 private schools will have to maintain strict compliance policies, including preventative and sterilisation measures. The Adek will accordingly conduct field visits prior to the start of the term, and during the term as well.
Hotline for parents
A dedicated hotline has also been set up at 800ADEK for parents and school staff who want to report any compliance concerns.