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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 January 2021

CORONAVIRUS

Several private schools in Dubai cancel in-person lessons as nationwide Covid-19 cases remain high

Jumeirah College told parents campus would close for a week, while Dubai English Speaking School reopens tomorrow after a week of home learning

Some schools closed as a precaution as UAE cases rose to almost 3,000 per day following the Christmas and New Year holidays. Pawan Singh / The National
Some schools closed as a precaution as UAE cases rose to almost 3,000 per day following the Christmas and New Year holidays. Pawan Singh / The National

Several private schools in Dubai have closed temporarily due to a rise in Covid-19 cases among pupils.

On Monday, Jumeirah College sent out a letter to parents informing them the campus would close for one week from Tuesday.

Marc Morris, principal at the Gems Education school said the decision was made in response to a “spike in cases experienced during the first week of term”.

In the letter, he said the decision was in line with Dubai Health Authority guidelines and was approved by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai’s education regulator.

We currently have a high number of cases across the college who have either tested positive or are in self-isolation having been identified as a close contact

Marc Morris, Jumeirah College

“We currently have a high number of cases across the college who have either tested positive or are in self-isolation having been identified as a close contact through track and trace,” the letter said.

“We had sincerely hoped to be able to remain open with cases below double figures but this has sadly proven impossible.

"A move to distance learning is the best and only way to protect learning and have lessons available for all students."

In a statement to The National, the school confirmed all lessons would be moved online from Tuesday.

Though a provisional back to school date had been set for January 19, this date could change depending on case numbers.

"Our current plan and expectation is that this will continue for seven days with a return to school on Tuesday, January 19 and we will keep our families fully informed of future developments," the school said.

"We will also continue our regular deep cleaning and sterilisation operations at the school."

The secondary and sixth form college currently has more than 1,000 pupils enrolled for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Dubai English Speaking School said it would open for in-person classes on Tuesday after a week of online only learning due to the high Covid-19 infection rates in the country.

A spokesman for the Taaleem group of schools said all nine of its facilities were operating as normal.

Daily cases in the UAE have remained above 2,000 for almost a week, with a record high of 2,998 reported on January 9.

As pupils flocked back to school after the winter break, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and chairman of the Education and Human Resources Council, urged teachers and other school staff to take the Covid-19 vaccine in a bid to help schools return to normal.

Updated: January 11, 2021 07:21 PM

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