KHDA asks parents not to panic after it cancels school events and trips

Regulator says schools in Dubai will not be suspended

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai's private schools regulator, has asked parents not to panic, stressing school events have been cancelled as a precautionary measure against Covid-19.

The KHDA released an explainer to answer the questions posed by parents.

Parents and pupils have been contacting the authority through social media to understand which trips and events would be cancelled, and if exams could be postponed.

Last week, the KHDA issued a circular calling on schools, early learning centres and universities to halt internal and external trips until further notice.

Nurseries and kindergartens in the country have also been closed temporarily from today.

Earlier today, KHDA shared a printable comic book on prevention against coronavirus to ease the concerns of pupils.

"Cancelling all gatherings is a precautionary measure to prevent any chance of the coronavirus being spread in Dubai," the authority said.

"We want everyone to stay as safe as possible and to continue to enjoy their time at school. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

"Please don’t panic. This decision is a preventive measure to make sure everyone in Dubai stays safe."

The regulator clarified that schools would not be suspended.

"While we’re doing everything we can to prevent the risk of spreading infection and keep our children safe, we also want to make sure that their education is disrupted as little as possible."

The regulator said events such as sports days, international days and assemblies were cancelled.

All excursions, school camps and trips, inside or outside the UAE, have been cancelled, with the decision extending to schools, early learning centres and universities in Dubai.

All events for teachers, parents and adults working at schools in the emirate have also been cancelled.

Well-being workshops for teachers and parent sessions have also been put on hold.

The authorities did not say when the ban would be lifted.

"We’re in constant contact with the Dubai Health Authority who are monitoring the situation," the regulator said.

"Classes will continue to run as usual. School canteens can remain open and staff meetings can go ahead as normal.

"All previous approvals given for school trips by KHDA are no longer valid, and schools will have to reapply for approval for each trip."

The ban does not extend to continuing excursions and schools will decide on the next course of action if pupils and teachers are already on a trip.

External extracurricular activities have also been cancelled and parents have been advised to check with the providers about refunds.

For more information on the virus, parents have been asked to contact Estijaba Service on 8001717, Dubai Health Authority on 800342, or the Ministry of Health and Prevention on 80011111.