Dubai: Universities in the UAE have taken a number of measures to ensure that students, staff and faculty members are aware on how to avoid the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
High-level educational institutions have already been carrying out awareness campaigns on campuses and social networking sites on the do’s and don’ts, in addition to installing soap dispensers throughout their buildings.
Recently, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) created a webpage to keep its community members updated with on-campus developments regarding the coronavirus.
A spokesperson for AUS told Gulf News on Tuesday: “AUS is taking the global spread of COVID-19 very seriously and prioritizing the health and well-being of our community. The university has been regularly communicating with the campus community and has established a dedicated webpage to provide up-to-date information.”
Other institutions, such as Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have installed soap dispensers throughout its classroom corridors and following the Ministry of Education’s guidelines, cancelled all upcoming field trips and gatherings.
The Ministry of Education had earlier instructed universities and schools to cancel competitions, festivals and activities inside their premises, especially those that require student gatherings. The circular also pointed out that all approvals for pre-planned trips are now invalid.
Universities said they have also adopted distance-learning techniques to address crises and natural disasters.
AUS explained that it is currently taking steps to minimize any potential disruption that could impact the educational mission of the university.
“We are therefore examining options and preparing for remote teaching and learning should this be deemed necessary by the authorities. The university already uses a range of digital solutions that support interaction between faculty and students, and this capacity can be expanded,” said the statement.
“We will continue to be guided by the advice of relevant authorities and are working to protect the health of the campus community, while also ensuring that we continue to advance the university’s educational mission.”
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), which have campuses in all emirates, announced that it is also taking similar measures of distance learning.
On its social media accounts, HCT said its digital campuses allow student access to education anywhere and anytime, to meet all needs under any circumstances.