School bus
The education minister said buses carrying kindergarten and primary school pupils are fitted with ID card readers, loop counters and body sensors to keep track of the children. Image Credit: Emirates Transport/Gulf News Archives

Sharjah: Parents have been asked to provide feedback on their preferences and concerns regarding sending their children back to school in September at private schools in Sharjah.

Their views were sought through an anonymous ‘Return to School’ survey by Sharjah Private Education Authority (Spea) last week, distributed online by schools.

It followed Spea’s announcement that schools would re-open in September while following precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 and operating three different “delivery models” for classes.

Risk factors

“The survey will help us understand your preferences for school scheduling options, household risk factors and the education plans for your child. We also want to learn about the confidence you have that the school can implement health and safety measures,” Spea said.

Parents were asked if their children or anyone else in the household had any health conditions that could place them at a greater health risk from coronavirus.

Delivery models

The survey also wanted to know their “comfort level and willingness to send your child to the school” under three delivery models. The ‘Full Day Delivery Model’ means “all students will physically return to school in September with implementation of all required health and safety precautions”.

Meanwhile, the ‘Shift Delivery Model’ will see “students attend school in the morning shift and other students attend in the afternoon shift".

Lastly, the ‘Blended Delivery Model’ is where “students return to school in September using a combination of physical attendance on campus and distance learning from home”.

Confidence levels

Parents also had to rate their confidence level “based on your experiences with the school and your insights and judgements … to what extent there is confidence that the school can effectively implement a range of health and safety procedures to protect students and staff.”

The list included “providing masks for all students; providing face shields for any student who has difficulty breathing with a mask” and “ensuring daily deep cleaning and sanitising of the school buildings”, among others.