Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid looks forward to 'safe start' to school year for a million pupils

Most classes will resume next week with measures to protect staff and children

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid was briefed on the government’s plans to bring pupils back to classrooms from next week. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid / Twitter
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said he looked forward to a safe start to the school year for a million pupils across the country.

The Prime Minister, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai made the comments when he met several ministers on Tuesday.

He was briefed by Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and joined by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs.

“I heard from the Minister of Education about the latest preparations for the start of the next academic year,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.

“We look forward to a safe start and in accordance with the best safety standards for more than a million students within the education system in the Emirates.”

Most schools will reopen next week, though there are variations across the country.

In Sharjah, pupils of all ages must test negative for the coronavirus before returning to lessons, as must teachers.

In Abu Dhabi, all pupils over the age of 12 must be tested, though high school-age pupils will not be back in classes until late September or early October, under a staggered plan. All teachers will be tested.

In Dubai, education authorities said pupils would not have to be tested. All teachers are due to be screened this week.

“As we look forward to many students returning to school next week, we would like to confirm that Covid-19 PCR testing is not mandatory for students,” the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai’s private schools regulator, said on Tuesday.

A rule that pupils must wear masks throughout the school day is in force across the country. The move echoes the nationwide mandatory measure that masks must be worn in all public areas, except when eating or drinking.

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