Coronavirus: UAE extends distance learning till end of school year

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The United Arab Emirates will extend distance learning for all government and private schools and universities until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Schools were initially supposed to be closed for four weeks starting from March 8, according to the education ministry. Students were given a “spring break” from March 8 to March 21. The distance learning initiative was set to run from March 22 through April 4.

What is the UAE’s distance learning initiative?

The distance learning initiative is the UAE Ministry of Education’s name for the process of students learning from home while their schools are shut due to coronavirus.

Read more: UAE students, teachers try to adapt to distance learning from home

According to the ministry announcement which launched the initiative, parents should provide their children with “internet services, other distance education resources like computers, tablets, and smart phones.”

The ministry said that it had directed school administrations on how to launch an awareness campaign on distance education, which should assign tasks and implement interactive lessons for students working from home.

Students should be prohibited from using their devices for “distracting activities like photography and web-browsing” while studying, according to the ministry.

“Implementation of this system is prioritized by the ministry to provide an interactive e-platform for distance education for all and to overcome time and geographical barriers, and harness educational potential and advanced technologies to ease student stress,” added the statement.

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