Abu Dhabi and government schools to return in phases from next week

Pupils prepare for return to in-person learning

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Pupils in government-run schools nationwide will return to in-person learning in phases from next week.

Children will attend classrooms for the first time this term from Monday, January 24 and Monday, January 31, depending on their year group.

All private schools in Abu Dhabi will also begin a return to in-person lessons from January 24.

The two phases are as follows:

Monday, January 24:

First to return on January 24 will be kindergarten/foundation stage, grades 1-5/years 2-6 and grade 12/year 13, university students and anyone preparing for international exams.

Monday, January 31:

Remote learning for grades 6-11/years 7-12 to continue until January 31, when all years return.

At a televised briefing on Wednesday evening, officials said all pupils would require a PCR test, taken in the past 96 hours, to enter school buildings. They will further require a test every two weeks.

Any parent wishing to enter school premises would require the same.

Hazza Al Mansouri, federal government education spokesman, said: “We advise all parents and pupils to plan ahead to avoid overcrowding at PCR test centres.”

Universities will begin a return to classes and lecture halls and will use Al Hosn’s green pass system to show vaccination status and recent swab tests.

Private schools in the Northern Emirates are regulated separately but normally follow suit.

Dubai and Sharjah’s private schools, which are regulated separately, brought pupils back early this month. Some schools there have returned to distance learning, owing to people testing positive, but most remain open.

Be tested for Covid-19 if you have flu symptoms

At the same briefing, Dr Farida Al Hosani, federal government health spokeswoman, urged people to get a booster shot if they are eligible, and particularly if they are elderly or have chronic illness.

She urged people to be screened if they have seasonal flu symptoms.

“Respiratory symptoms are very similar to seasonal flu. We emphasise that PCR tests are necessary,” she said.

Addressing the recent rise in cases, Dr Al Hosani said: “Hospitals are at the highest level of readiness to provide provide high levels of healthcare to citizens, residents and visitors.”

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Updated: January 20, 2022, 6:59 AM