Distance learning
Abu Dhabi to start distance learning if a school if COVID-19 case is suspected. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee for the COVID-19 Pandemic, has announced that distance learning will be implemented in any school if a case of COVID-19 is suspected.

“To protect students’ health and safety and safeguard public health, the [Committee] will implement precautionary measures to shift any school to distance learning if a COVID-19 case is suspected, until test results are confirmed by the Department of Health (DoH),” the Abu Dhabi Media Office posted on behalf of the Committee.

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“The Committee confirms that, should this take place, schools will update parents directly on schooling systems and if contact with a positive case occurred,” it added.

The authority also called on residents to avoid spreading rumours, and to respect the privacy of schools and individuals.

School stafff testing

The announcement followed a decision by the UAE Ministry of Education and the National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority to shift all learning online after staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The staff had been tested as part of mass testing for all school staff and teachers.

“The [Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters] Committee reminds teachers, staff, parents and students of the critical importance of cooperating and declaring any suspected cases, close contact with positive cases, or any COVID-19 symptoms, as part of their shared responsibility towards protecting public health. The Committee also reminds teachers, staff, parents and students that if they, or any member of their household, experience symptoms, they must not come to school,” the Committee said.

Community responsibility

It added that following privacy law and guidelines specific to the pandemic is the personal responsibility of every member of the community.

Authorities have earlier cautioned residents against obtaining information from unofficial sources.

The emirate’s education regulator, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, have previously briefed schools, in its reopening guidelines, about partial and full reclosure if COVID-19 cases are suspected.