The UAE extends it’s e-learning programme until the end of the academic year in June. As the Government of Dubai’s KHDA states, “Please don’t panic”, we outline the preventative measures taken by educational authorities in the UAE to help protect students against the spread of coronavirus, what school closure means for parents and kids, and how distance learning is keeping students up-to-date with their studies
Precautionary measures against coronavirus: the story so far
In light of the evolving situation around coronavirus, on 8 March MoE announced that all training institutes and educational service centres in UAE must close their premises to students and deliver all training through distance learning. It has since been confirmed, on March 30th that this will last until the end of the academic year in June.
On 4 March 2020 parents in the United Arab Emirates woke up to news from The Ministry of Education (MoE) that all nurseries, schools and universities will be closed for four weeks starting 8 March while facilities are deep cleaned. On 30 March MoE announced that the distance learning programme will be extended until the end of the academic year.
The original decision “was made in the best interests of the health & safety of students and the wider education community at schools & universities,” said MoE in an official Tweet.
The first two weeks of the school closure comprised of an early spring break holiday for all school kids while, while term resumed on 22 March, where schools began delivering classes through distance learning.
The first announcement was on 29 February which stated that nurseries across the UAE would be temporarily closed from 1 March. The move was “part of the precautionary measures to reduce the possibility of transmission of the COVID-19 virus infections,” said Abu Dhabi’s Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)
In addition, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) had cancelled all internal and external gatherings at private schools and universities in Dubai, including camps, sports, and trips, from the same date.
How will distance learning work?
Each school’s distance learning plan is different, but all school children are provided with some form of e-learning each day.
“Your school will send details of any applications you may need,” says KHDA. “We are working with telecommunications providers to help support schools with their distance learning requirements.”
My kids have exams coming up – how will it affect their studies?
KHDA has advised that “all international exam boards have a contingency plan, and they are working on customised solutions for each country affected by school closures. They will be communicating these plans with schools in the UAE as soon as they are ready.”
If you have a child in higher education, they’ll need to speak directly to their university to find what plans are in place for exams.
When will UAE school classes resume?
4 easy ways to help protect yourself and your family from coronavirus
The World Health Organization (WHO) offers the following advice:
Wash your hands
Do so regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub to kill viruses that may be on your hands.
Keep a safe distance
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing to reduce your risk of breathing in any droplets that may contain the virus.
Avoid touching your nose and mouth
This will help stop any viruses you may have picked up on your hands from entering your body and making you sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Shield your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and be sure to dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Keep an eye out here for the latest details on how the nurseries, schools, and universities in Dubai and the UAE are being impacted.