Abu Dhabi pupils must take Covid-19 test before they return to the classroom

Abu Dhabi pupils must take Covid-19 test before they return to the classroom

All pupils and staff will have to undergo a swab test to prove they are Covid-19 free before they return to classrooms in Abu Dhabi, authorities have confirmed.

Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) confirmed pupils will have to take a test before they allow them to enter the classroom.

Screening for the virus will thereafter be carried out “routinely” among pupils and staff to ensure their safety, it said.

“We have recently issued our private school reopening policies and guidelines

which detail procedures for schools prior to the resumption of in-class teaching,” said Adek in a statement.

“In line with measures implemented by the UAE government, Adek’s policies also stipulate that

all private school staff and students in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi must declare their

recent travel history and undergo Covid-19 testing prior to returning to the school premises.

“Further tests will be carried out routinely to ensure the safety of all students and staff.”

Under Adek guidelines, pupils over the age of six must wear masks throughout the school day when they return after the summer.

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Pupils’ temperatures will also be checked daily with a non-contact thermometer before they enter school.

“Your child will have to wear a mask if they are older than six years,” the Adek statement reads.

Pupils aged six and above equates to grade 1 or year 2 in the British system

“If your child is unable to wear a mask, they may be allowed to wear a

face shield supported by a medical certificate,” the guidelines state.

“Children of determination with hearing impairments may use transparent masks.”

Pupils must bring at least two masks to school to wear during the day,

and carry a 70 to 80 percent alcohol-based sanitizer with them, if they can.

Pupils must remain 1.5m apart “at all times”.

We may group younger children who may find it difficult to maintain social distancing in KG

and the early primary grades into bubbles of up to 10 pupils.

The first thermal gate has been installed at the school that can measure the temperature of hundreds of children passing through it quickly. Courtesy: Jumeira Baccalaureate School

“A bubble is a group of pupils and staff members

who spend the entire day together and do not interact with others,” said the document.

It is likely that we will split classes into two or more groups to accommodate social distancing.

Children will remain in their group until the end of the pandemic.

“Some schools may convert non-teaching areas such as gymnasiums

and libraries into classrooms,” according to the document.

Pupils will receive regular breaks, “but they will probably differ greatly from what they experienced in pre-COVID times”.

They must maintain a distance of 1.5m from their fellow pupils at all times.

Swings, slides, and other playground equipment may not be available

for an initial period after reopening “to reduce the chances of cross-contamination”.

“We will allow children to take off their masks to have lunch under supervision,” said the document.

We will suspend PE lessons until further notice and schools may offer fewer subjects like music, art, and performing arts, said Adek.

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Sessions will, however, be offered to children on topics such as cyber safety, dealing with loss and/or bereavement

and anxiety “to support them in navigating these challenging times,” added the document.

Schools must decide and have their plans approved by Adek before

they let parents know which model they will follow by Thursday, July 30.

Full distance-learning will not be an option and they must enroll

all children in school, as opposed to homeschooled by their parents.

Children who are homeschooled in the new academic year risk having to repeat it once they rejoin the mainstream, the department said.

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