The five models are:
• Full school days
• Half school days
• Alternating school days
• Alternating school weeks (or fortnights)
• A “hybrid” model – combining more than one of the above
Whatever the model chosen by an individual schools, parents should prepare to pay full fees. A statement in the handbook reads,
“Full tuition fees will apply to students, regardless of the mode of attendance and reopening model followed by the school”.
The Abu Dhabi regulator has acknowledged that some parents may struggle to pay fees due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, and will encourage those who find themselves in need to reach out to their school for support. Equally, schools are encouraged to work with parents to find a payment solution that works for both parties.
The guidelines are divided into four categories and detail how schools should function in the areas of “safe operations, teaching and learning, staff and student well-being and community support”.
Schools have until 30th July to announce their chosen operational model, allowing time for parents to take an informed decision as to where their child will attend school for the next academic year.
Speaking on behalf of ADEK, Amer Al Hammadi, ADEK Undersecretary commented,
"We are committed to ensuring the safest possible return to in-classroom education for students and teachers and the guidelines, aligned with global best practice, take into account every aspect of school operations. The guidelines also put in place mechanisms to support the wellbeing of everyone in the Abu Dhabi education community.”
The reopening guidelines have been developed following a detailed survey conducted by ADEK, which gave parents the chance to offer their opinions as to how schools should reopen. Mr Al Hammadi thanked parents for their input and reassured concerned parents that distance learning provisions will still be available in all schools, for those families who prefer to continue with this option.
He went on to say that:
"We would like to thank parents for responding to the survey. They are invaluable partners in the success of our students and the education journey as a whole. Everybody has worked so hard during our recent enforced period of distance learning and parents deserve tremendous credit”.
"Following an in-depth analysis of responses, we are now better positioned to help schools ensure their planning process for reopening is well-informed and supported by data and insights from their own parent community. We fully understand that parents still harbour some concerns about a safe return to school and we want to reiterate that distance learning provisions remain in place for all schools, irrespective of the reopening model they choose.
"As we continue to assess different scenarios and models for the new academic year, we remain in constant dialogue with federal and local authorities to ensure the health and wellbeing of all students, faculty, and staff."
Schools in Dubai will also reopen in September, following a set of 118 guidelines issued by the KHDA.