Over 60 percent of parents in the UAE are confident about sending their kids back to physical classrooms, a survey published Sunday by shopping group Centrepoint and conducted by YouGov found.
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.
Schools have individually come up with their own solutions that have been inspected by the authorities. The survey found that while a majority of parents are confident about sending their children back to the classroom, only half are comfortable sending their kids back to school every day if 100 percent attendance is mandatory.
“The nationwide school closures in spring and the distinctive rise of online learning due to COVID-19 has dramatically transformed the education systems and enforced educators to rethink their learning models. Going back to school won’t look the same this year,” Simon Smith, chief operating officer at Centrepoint said in a statement.
Hygiene and safety was ranked as the top concern by parents regarding sending their kids to school with 64 percent of those surveyed noting it as an important concern. The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine came second, with 52 percent, and assessing school reopening guidelines and plans ranked third, with 46 percent.
Schools were closed in the UAE in March as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread. In response, distance learning initiatives were set up by schooling authorities to continue at-home learning.
A majority of parents, 62 percent, said 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.