Parents step in to help amid teaching shortages at Dubai school

Dubai College says community pulled together to ensure classes could start after several teachers tested positive for Covid-19

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Several parents who are trained teachers have been pitching in at a local school after members of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Dubai College had faced the prospect of scaling back classes but was able to open as planned on Monday when parents volunteered to help.

Most of the 950 pupils at the Al Sufouh school, one of the city's oldest, were in classrooms for lessons.

We are immensely lucky to be supported by fully trained parent volunteers who help to cover lessons for teachers who are absent
Michael Lambert, Dubai College

“Staff and pupils were smiling as they returned to school this morning and seem pleased to have returned for the new year,” principal Michael Lambert told The National.

“We have more than 92 per cent of pupils in school today and we continue to follow our health and safety protocols as before.

“We are immensely lucky to be supported by fully trained parent volunteers who help to cover lessons for teachers who are absent, and we are optimistic that it will be business as usual this term.”

About 30 private schools in Dubai had to close their doors and switch to distance learning for the first week of term due to Covid-19 cases in the community.

Among them were 26 of the 28 schools in the Gems Education group, along with Kent College Dubai and Victory Heights Primary School.

At the American Academy for Girls in Dubai, 75 per cent of the 498 pupils returned to in-person lessons on Monday.

Principal Lisa Johnson said the key for the next few weeks was going to be flexibility.

“In spite of the weather challenges and increasing Covid numbers, we have approximately 75 per cent of our students attending in person,” she said.

“I had many parents comment that they were grateful that we were open to support their work schedules and that they appreciated the increased safety protocols that we had in place.”

Dubai British School Emirates Hills also welcomed pupils through its gates on Monday morning.

Of the 1,180 pupils enrolled at the school, 80 per cent were able to make it to in-person lessons for term two.

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Updated: January 03, 2022, 12:28 PM