UAE public schools to return to in-person classes for next academic year as majority of staff vaccinated

Parents will also be given the option to continue with distance learning

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Pupils in government schools will return to in-person classes for the next academic year.

Bringing children back to classes is in line with the country's efforts to return to normality, said Emirates Schools Establishment, the operator for government schools and kindergartens across the UAE.

The new school year starts on August 29.

Precautionary measures will be put in place to keep pupils, teachers, and staff safe, said officials.

So far, 72 per cent of the staff at public schools have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Public schools have remained online-only for the 2020-2021 academic year, continuing with distance learning after the final exams ended on June 17.

ESE, the Ministry of Education and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority will work on a safety plan ahead of pupils' return to classrooms.

Authorities will work with school head teachers on a case-by-case basis.

Distance learning will still be an option for parents who do not want to send children for in-person classes.

Authorities are working to ensure schools are ready to welcome pupils for the academic year 2021-2022, said officials.

Last week, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee approved the return of private school pupils to in-person classes for the next academic year.

The decision for all private schools in the emirate followed consultations with parents, teachers, principals and school operators in May and June this year.

More than 80 per cent of private school teachers and staff – including maintenance and security teams – have been vaccinated.