Parents and students will now be able to opt for online learning for the whole first term of the upcoming academic year, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) announced Sunday, state news agency WAM reported.
The announcement also included five different models for physical attendance at schools. These are full in class learning (full attendance), partial in-class learning (half day attendance), alternating days (two days a week attendance), alternating weeks (two weeks in class, followed by two weeks of online learning), and hybrid (two days in-class, followed by three days online for the first week, then three days in-class followed by two days online for the second week).
Once schools have reopened, ADEK will also organize coronavirus testing for all teaching staff and students above the age of 12, WAM said.
The return to in-class teaching will be staggered, with students starting in KG1/FS2 to Grade 5/Year 6 returning in-person from the first day, with all other grades and years returning in-person four weeks after schools start.
Schools in the UAE are set to restart August 30, and children will be allowed to attend physically if parents choose to allow it. The KHDA, Dubai’s private school sector regulator, has mandated that schools need to offer distance learning in addition to normal physical schooling.
A survey, also released Sunday, found that only half of parents are comfortable sending their kids back to school every day if 100 percent attendance is mandatory.
A majority of parents, 62 percent, added that the biggest challenge during distance learning has been keeping children motivated and engaged, while 51 percent noted the difficulties of multitasking and balancing work from home with their children’s distance learning.