Distance learning in place at Sharjah private schools as Dubai's offers hybrid system

The option is to accommodate families with 'ongoing logistical challenges' due to the storm

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Dubai's private schools, universities and nurseries can offer remote learning on Monday to pupils who cannot make it on-site.

Despite many roads and businesses reopening, flooding remains a problem for residents who could struggle to reach their child's school or who may be left without transport.

On Sunday, Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority informed educational bodies “to remain flexible and accommodating to the needs of students, teachers and staff, and continue offering distance learning for those facing ongoing logistical challenges after the severe weather”.

Private educational establishments in Sharjah have been instructed to continue distance learning for Monday, said the Sharjah Private Education Authority.

From Tuesday onwards a hybrid model combining in-person and online learning can be offered.

The announcement follows previous instructions to offer distance learning during the storm and the subsequent days.

Most schools have said they are preparing to open on Monday however it will be up to parents to decide whether it is feasible for their child to attend.

In a letter sent to parents of pupils at Jumeirah English Speaking School, which has sites in both Jumeirah and Arabian Ranches, it was clarified that barring any closing of roads both schools would be open on Monday.

“As you know, Jumeirah was hit quite hard. The clean-up effort has been remarkable though. Jumeirah teachers are in today (Sunday) getting classrooms sparkling, ready for tomorrow, with the help of parent volunteers,” the letter said.

Gems Education group chief executive, Dino Varkey, also reassured parents saying they have “successfully completed” their clean-up and repair efforts at many of their schools.

“Work continues around the clock to prepare our remaining schools for reopening and each has informed its parent community of its situation, to give them as much time as possible to prepare for either continued remote learning or return to the classroom, as the case may be,” he said.

Emirates International School Meadows said they were looking forward to reopening but advised parents that activities would be available online for pupils unable to attend.

“Our teams have done a fantastic job getting everything ready for our students. We are however aware that some families are still unable to travel outside of their particular areas due to roads still not being open, therefore we will post learning activities online,” a letter to parents said.

Despite the bad weather ending on Tuesday night, the subsequent days of sunny skies have done little to alleviate the damage to roads and people's homes, leaving much of the work to be done by water pumps.

A record amount of rainfall fell on the UAE during the storm at the start of this week, leaving many without power or access to food and medicine.

Residents took to social media to show flooded houses, parking garages, and cars submerged in water.

On Sunday, Dubai's Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, issued a directive to provide free assistance to residents left without a habitable home, as well as offering food, cleaning, damage assessment and pest control services.

Updated: April 23, 2024, 9:12 AM