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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

Abu Dhabi private school pupils aged 12 and over to undergo fortnightly Covid-19 tests

Pupils who choose face-to-face learning, and their teachers, instructed to take regular PCR tests

All Abu Dhabi private school pupils aged 12 and over who have chosen face-to-face learning must undergo Covid-19 swab tests every 14 days, under new regulations issued by the Department of Education and Knowledge.

Abu Dhabi’s private education regulator also instructed teachers and staff to undergo swab tests every two weeks, in order to be permitted on school premises.

Swab tests will be provided free of charge on specific dates for each school, at designated screening centres.

Pupils with special needs are exempt.

Teachers and pupils should present a valid Emirates ID and a dedicated school code at the testing centre.

Students aged 12 years and above have already had to present a negative 96-hour Covid-19 PCR test result to enter school on their first day back.

Last week, Adek announced that teachers, staff and pupils at private schools in Abu Dhabi would need to undergo mandatory periodic PCR tests, in order to return to classrooms.

This latest announcement confirms the frequency of the tests.

Students in Years 7 to 9 started back at Abu Dhabi schools last week – after nearly a year of home learning.

Pupils aged between 11 and 14 described their joy at being reunited with their school friends.

On Saturday, Adek said regular inspections would be carried out at private schools and nurseries in Abu Dhabi to ensure they comply with Covid-19 safety measures.

Schools and nurseries found flouting the rules face fines of between Dh10,000 ($2,722) and Dh250,000.

Abu Dhabi pupils returned to classrooms on February 14 after an extended winter break due to a rise in coronavirus cases.

The number of children resuming in-person lessons was lower than usual because some parents opted for distance learning.

Many private schools in the Emirates had planned half-term breaks and their pupils returned to classrooms late last week or on Sunday.

Pupils, teachers and staff with chronic health conditions have been allowed to return to classrooms for the first time since March, provided they submit a medical fitness certificate signed by a doctor.

As of February 21, Adek had conducted inspections at 221 schools reopening for in-classroom education and 119 nurseries.

“We have to put the safety of our community first and ongoing inspections are vital to ensure parents have confidence in the safety protocols of our schools and nurseries,” said Amer Al Hammadi, undersecretary of Adek.

Adek said repeated non-compliance could lead to schools being forced to return to distance learning. Parents will be entitled to remove their children from the school and should be refunded their fees.

Abu Dhabi teachers receive the Covid-19 vaccine

Updated: February 21, 2021 02:03 PM

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