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For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Sharjah: Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) has released a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on distance learning and other issues that have arisen because of school closures.

All UAE schools are currently closed as a precaution against coronavirus.

The FAQs have been answered in a video posted on Saturday on SPEA’s Instagram account, @shjspea. It follows a release of the list on SPEA’s website,, as well as its distribution by school admins to parents on WhatsApp recently.

The list answers common questions asked by parents, schools and teachers related to various topics, such as fees for Term 3, support for distance learning, student workload, and much more.

Distance learning has been extended to cover all of Term 3 till the end of school year. The same period covers Term 1 for Indian and Pakistani schools that begin their new cycle in April.

The FAQs released by SPEA seek to address the concerns of all stakeholders in education and provide information sought by them, through answering a total of 56 questions under seven categories, from exams to students of determination.

It is understood the list will be updated when required, as has been the practice of other education authorities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Sample questions

The FAQs note that transferring children to another school within Term 3 is not possible this late into the academic year. Another answer says the school day should not begin earlier than 8am, adding that the school day should not exceed five hours a day nor be less than four hours a day.

What about fees?

SPEA says that as per the ministerial decree No. 229 for 2020, Article 5 states “Distance Learning is treated as equivalent to the Normal Learning”, meaning parents should pay Term 3 tuition fees in full.

However, for families facing financial uncertainty, the authority recommends that “schools and parents come together compassionately to find a solution that is agreeable to both”.

Will school exams be held?

Though many international board exams have been cancelled, the SPEA has clarified that for end of year exams of schools, “each school will utilize an electronic assessment platform that is appropriate to the curriculum requirements and approved by SPEA”.