Optional In-School Return for Dubai's Schools

With the start of the new academic term imminent, some Dubai schools have opted for Distance Learning for the first week of term. The news comes as Abu Dhabi schools are directed to close for the first two weeks of January 2021.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

Some Dubai schools will switch to distance learning for the first week of January.  Private schools in Dubai have been given permission to opt for either distance learning or in person learning, whilst all public (government) schools will be closed.  In Abu Dhabi, a blanket two weeks of distance learning applies to both public and private schools.

So far, the list of schools opting for distance learning applies to three leading Dubai Schools, Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) and sister school Dubai English Speaking College (DESC), Safa Community School and Jebel Ali School

Social media reports also indicate that the American School of Dubai will also opt for distance learning for the coming two weeks.

In a letter to parents, Andrew Gibbs, Principal/CEO of both DESS and DESC said that the decision had been made after considerable deliberation,

"After a lot of deliberation, reflection and consultation it has been agreed that both DESS and DESC, very regrettably, will not be opening for in-person learning on Sunday January 3 for the first week of term, with the exemption for Year 11 at DESC who are sitting their mock/rehearsal GCSE examinations..."

The decision whether to return to in-person learning, after this one week period, would be made based upon "the data around infection rates among our children/students, families and staff" Mr Gibbs went on to say.  He was also keen to point out that this was not a decision mandated by the KHDA, but one made solely for DESS and DESSC.

The letter to DESS and DESC parents

Safa Community School will switch to distance learning, while sister school Safa British School will remain open for in-person learning.  We understand that Jebel Ali School has also made the decision to switch to distance learning.

For schools that will reopen for in-person learning, students and staff must follow a detailed series of instructions from the Dubai Health Authority.  These include presenting a negative PCR test with "48 hours validity" prior to returning to school, should they have travelled overseas at any time during the winter holiday.  We understand that this instruction has created considerable demand for tests today, and would advise anyone seeking a test to call ahead to their chosen centre to check availability and wait times.

Will your school be closing?  Share the information here by contacting [email protected].  

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