Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi carries out more than 56,000 tests in back-to-school safety drive

Pupils and staff have been tested as schools and universities prepare to reopen

Staff and pupils will undergo daily temperature checks in Abu Dhabi schools. AP    
Staff and pupils will undergo daily temperature checks in Abu Dhabi schools. AP    

More than 56,000 Covid-19 tests on pupils and education staff have been conducted in Abu Dhabi as part of a major safety drive ahead of a return to classrooms and lecture halls.

Authorities said an extensive screening programme was under way as schools and universities prepare to open their doors.

The campaign is targeting 449 government and private schools and 25 colleges and universities.

Children in the capital's private schools will have a staggered return to in-person lessons.

Most pupils aged between four and 11 will be back in class for the start of the school year on Sunday.

Classes will resume for those in kindergarten to Grade 5 under the US system, and for FS2 (Reception) to Year 6 under the British one.

Youngsters in all other years will start face-to-face lessons four weeks later.

"In line with plans to reopen schools and colleges, Covid-19 testing is underway for all students, teachers, lectures and staff at public and private schools, colleges and universities in Abu Dhabi," read a statement by Abu Dhabi Media Office.

Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has stated only children aged 12 and over require a Covid-19 test before going back to classes.

Universities across the UAE will partially reopen while still offering classes online for any students who do not need to be on campus, it was revealed earlier this month.

Hussain Al Hammadi, the Minister of Education, said priority would be given to students who needed to use facilities, such as laboratories, on campus.

Mr Al Hammadi said the blended learning programme would be the safest option for students and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zayed University, one of the UAE's three public universities, said it would adopt a hybrid model with lecture rooms tentatively opening on September 6.

Updated: August 29, 2020 04:22 PM

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