Abu Dhabi parents polled over extending private school remote learning until end of month

Children are due to resume in-person lessons on January 17 but authorities are seeking views on alternative options for the coming weeks

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Thousands of parents of Abu Dhabi private school pupils are being asked to have their say over the prospect of continuing remote learning until the end of the month.

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

Abu Dhabi's public and private schools switched to distance learning for the first two weeks of the new term from January 3 as a “precautionary measure to limit the spread of Covid-19 and maintain low infection rates in the emirate".

Pupils are scheduled to return to classrooms on Monday, January 17, with no extension of distance learning yet announced.

Covid-19 infection rates in the UAE have risen sharply in recent weeks, hitting a 10-month high of 2,759 on Sunday.

Some private schools in Dubai — which were due to return to face-to-face education on January 3 — have reverted to remote learning until January 17 amid rising cases among staff and children.

“Knowing that you will have the option to change your mind and send your children physically to school after January 31, which learning option do you prefer for the coming few weeks?”, parents were asked in the Adek survey.

Options included distance learning, an alternating week mode — one week at school, one week distance learning — a staggered return of age groups one week apart, and a full physical return to classrooms.

If a full physical return to classrooms was not available, parents were asked for their next preferred option, including distance learning, a physical alternating week mode, and a staggered return of age groups a week apart.

They were also questioned on whether their child had been studying online or in-person during the previous term and if their own workplaces had a work-from-home option in place, and if the family was able to manage the pupil's education needs during remote learning.

The survey asked whether children had support at home or if they were old enough not to need supervision.

Updated: January 12, 2022, 3:09 PM