Abu Dhabi schools can choose between five schedules when they reopen for students on August 30 Image Credit: GN Archive

Abu Dhabi: Private schools in Abu Dhabi can choose between five reopening models in the upcoming term, ranging from a full school day to a model that alternates between two weeks of in-class learning and two weeks of distance learning.

However, education regulator, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), has mandated that parents will have to pay the full tuition fee, regardless of the model chosen by the school.

The directive was specified in a private school reopening guidebook for parents released by the Adek.

“Full tuition fee will apply to students, regardless of the mode of attendance and reopening model followed by the school,” the Adek has stated in the guidebook, which will apply across 201 private educational institutions in the emirate.

Following a semester of distance learning, which was undertaken across UAE schools as a precautionary measure against the the coronavirus outbreak, private schools in Abu Dhabi emirate have received the go-ahead from the Adek to resume in-class learning at the start of the upcoming term. The UAE Ministry of Education itself had earlier announced on June 23 that all schools will reopen in the fall. The upcoming term is set to begin on August 30.

Meanwhile, the Adek has advised parents facing financial constraints to reach out to their respective school principals next term. Last term, the regulator had encouraged Abu Dhabi private schools to offer fee discounts and easier payment plans as a means of support for families facing financial challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reopening models specified by the Adek include full school days, half school days, alternating school days, alternating school weeks or fortnights, and hybrids of the other systems. The model may differ from grade to grade in the same school, but the final system should be announced by the school on its website by July 30.

The Abu Dhabi education regulator has additionally cautioned families who choose to homeschool their children that they may run the risk of children having to repeat the academic year once they decide to go back into the system.

Prior to school reopening, students and staff at private schools also have to undergo screening for COVID-19.

Five reopening models:

Full school days

Half school days

Alternating school days

Alternating school weeks or fortnights

Hybrid models