Abu Dhabi private school pupils to return to classrooms on Sunday

All pupils in the emirate have been studying remotely since January 3

Private and public school pupils in Abu Dhabi will return to classrooms on Sunday.

The Department of Education and Knowledge, Abu Dhabi's private education regulator, confirmed to The National on Wednesday that in-person lessons would resume after schools adopted distance learning for the first two weeks of the new term.

All pupils, including those with chronic health conditions, were previously told they could return to schools from January 3.

This was also meant to include Years 7 to 9, who have been studying remotely since March under safety measures imposed to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.

On December 30, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, in co-ordination with the Department of Education and Knowledge, said remote learning would be implemented for the first two weeks "to protect the health and safety of students, teachers and school staff".

This week, the Ministry of Education announced a plan for the safe return of public school pupils to classrooms across the UAE.

They said some pupils would resume in-person classes from January 17 – the beginning of the third week of second term – after two weeks of distance learning.

Pupils in grades 9 to 12, known as cycle three, will return to classrooms next week but schools will have their capacity limits capped at 50 per cent, to prevent crowding and ensure physical distancing.

In Dubai, some schools have had to close temporarily because of an increase in Covid-19 cases among pupils.

The UAE has recorded a steep rise in Covid-19 infections since the turn of the year.

Authorities reported 3,362 new cases on Wednesday, exceeding the highest daily infection record set the previous day.