According to Adek, 93 per cent of students aged 16 years or more who are attending schools have already been vaccinated against COVID-19. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Following COVID-19 vaccination among 37 per cent of students attending private and chartered schools in Abu Dhabi, the Blue Schools Initiative will now be implemented two months ahead of schedule.

The announcement was made today by Abu Dhabi emirate’s education sector regulator, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), which developed the initiative as a safe means to relax COVID-19 precautionary measures at schools. As the initiative ranks institutions in four tiers, guided by overall vaccination rates among physically attending students, schools can begin organising bigger events, field trips and extracurricular activities.

Vaccination rates

According to Adek, 93 per cent of students aged 16 years or more who are attending schools have already been vaccinated against COVID-19. The rate is currently 68 per cent vaccination among 12 to 15-year-old students, 21 per cent among students aged younger than 12 years.

“Our education community has demonstrated remarkable commitment to national vaccination aspirations, so it is only prudent to reward schools by expediting a return to normality and encouraging further vaccination uptake through the early activation of the Blue Schools Initiative,” said Amer Al Hammadi, Adek undersecretary.


The Blue Initiative ranks schools based on overall COVID-19 vaccination rate. The Blue tier includes schools in which 85 per cent or more of the students physically attending school are vaccinated, whereas the Green tier includes schools with 65 to 84 per cent vaccination rate. The Yellow tier includes schools with 50 – 64 per cent vaccination, whereas the Orange tier includes institutions with less than 50 per cent vaccination rate. A child is considered vaccinated in the context of this initiative if he/she has received at least one dose of a UAE-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

New privileges

Already, 34 private and charter schools in Abu Dhabi have advanced through the Initiative’s four tiers to open up wide-ranging privileges, including the relaxation of physical distancing and mask-wearing protocols, the reintroduction of field trips, on-campus events, extra-curricular activities such as team and contact sports, and inter and intra-school sports competitions.

Parental access

In line with the Blue Schools Initiative’s objectives to provide parents with full visibility of the vaccination status of their children’s schools, a dedicated section for the initiative has been developed on Adek’s official website. The tailored web pages enable parents to obtain general information about the initiative, the vaccination calculation method, as well as detailed information about the customised benefits of each tier. The website is also equipped with a filter that allows parents to search for a specific school, view its tier status, or track schools’ advances through tiers as vaccination adoption increases within its community.

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Voluntary vaccination

The Adek has reiterated that vaccination of students under 16 remains voluntary, according to government protocols. In recognising vaccination adoption as the key path to post-pandemic recovery, the Blue Schools Initiative encourages immunisation of all students to increase protection against COVID-19, and minimise the impact of possible infections.