Stock e-learning students home school
Illustrative image Image Credit: iStock

Sharjah: Private schools in Sharjah will adopt distance learning for the first two weeks of the new academic year, which begins on August 30, officials announced on Tuesday.

“To ensure health & safety of the students, teachers & educational staff; the Local Emergency Crisis & Disaster Management Authority of Sharjah & the Sharjah Private Education Authority [SPEA] have decided on the #distance learning mode for the first 2 weeks of 2020/2021 #academic year,” SPEA said on its Twitter account.

“The situation is being continuously monitored and we will keep sharing the updates,” it added.

Tuesday’s late afternoon surprise announcement is not expected to cause any significant disruption as many students have already opted for 100 per cent distance learning for the first term. Also, most schools had already announced they will be adopting a “blended” or “hybrid” model seeing a mix of normal school days and days for distance learning only.

Moreover, several schools had said they would have a staggered start to the school year by welcoming back students in phases and batches according to grade levels.

All students and teachers in Sharjah private schools have to test negative for COVID-19 before they can physically join school and the latest announcement will give them more time to do the test.

Meanwhile, schools in all other emirates will open August 30 onwards, notwithstanding any instructions otherwise from authorities.

In Dubai, a COVID-19 PCR (swab) test is not required for students, but all school teachers and staff have to undergo the test.

In Abu Dhabi, all students more than 12 years old and all teachers have to get tested before joining class physically.

Regarding public school students, there has not yet been any official announcement