Coronavirus: 45 pct of Abu Dhabi private school parents support classes restarting

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The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) announced the results of a survey showing that 45 percent of private school parents supported the idea of their children returning to the classroom in the next academic year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ADEK said it received responses from 63 percent of Abu Dhabi private school parents on the survey that was launched covering a range of topics from opinions and considerations on schools reopening, to preferences on duration and format of school days and transportation for the upcoming term.

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A third of respondents (34 percent) indicated that they prefer the continuation of the distance learning model, considering that it enables their children to manage their time in the best possible way.

Out of the total participants in the questionnaire, the results showed that 39 percent of Emiratis preferred the continuation of the distance learning model compared to 33 percent of UAE residents, noting that 74 percent of Emirati citizens in this category indicated the presence of domestic home help in caring for their children, compared to 26 percent of residents.

Out of the 45 percent of respondents who said they prefer a return to schools, the survey results showed that 34 percent of respondents preferred schools reopening full time, while 16 percent prefer a partial return to school through a half-day model, as it ensures a balance between education and safety.

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The UAE’s academic year will restart on August 30, according to a statement by the country’s Minister of Education Hussain ibn Ibrahim al-Hammadi reported by the official Emirates News Agency (WAM). The decision does not specify whether students will return to school premises or if education will be conducted through distancing learning, or a combination of the two.

ADEK on Tuesday issued holistic guidelines to reopen private schools with safety measures in place for the new academic year.

"We are committed to ensuring the safest possible return to in-classroom education for students and teachers and the guidelines, aligned with global best practice, take into account every aspect of school operations," said Amer al-Hammadi, ADEK Undersecretary.

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