UAE public school exams delayed for a month as safety measure

The Ministry of Education says the Emirates Standardised Test originally set for Saturday, January 15 will now be held on Saturday, February 12

DUBAI, UAE. July 16, 2014 - Stock photograph of female Emirati students attending a phase 1 sales class as part of the YES program at the Institute of Applied Technology in Dubai, July 16, 2014. (Photos by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: Hareth Al Bustani, Focus)

Public school exams expected to get under way later this week have been delayed until February in line with Covid-19 safety measures, the Ministry of Education has confirmed.

The Emirates Standardised Test (Emsat) scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 15 will instead be conducted on Saturday, February 12.

The ministry said the decision had been made due to the “recent health situation” and that the safety of learners was paramount.

Covid-19 case numbers have risen sharply in recent weeks, from below 50 in December to a 10-month high of 2,759 on Sunday.

Infection rates have remained above 2,500 every day this year.

Public and private schools in Abu Dhabi switched to remote teaching for the first two weeks of the year, while more than two dozen private schools in Dubai have continued distance learning this term because of the spike in Covid-19 cases.

The capital's Department of Education and Knowledge issued a questionnaire on Monday to gauge opinion over preferred modes of teaching in the “coming few weeks".

The Emsat is a computer-based test designed to measure skills independently of the curriculum.

The test is mandatory for Emiratis in grade 12 in public and private schools, as well as non-Emiratis studying in private schools affiliated with the Ministry of Education curriculum.

The examinations cover English, Arabic, mathematics and physics, and are required for admission to public universities.

Updated: January 12th 2022, 12:12 PM