Covid-19 Numbers Trigger Exam Concerns

As daily Covid-19 cases cross the 1,000-mark again, hitting the highest number for four months, school leaders and parents are preparing themselves for the possibility of pupils testing positive when they are due to sit important exams.
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

As daily Covid-19 cases cross the 1,000-mark again, hitting the highest number for four months, school leaders and parents are preparing for the possibility of pupils testing positive as they are due to sit their exams. Concerned parents are asking the question of what happens in the instance that their child tests positive at this critical time. 

While Covid-19 prevention regulations currently vary in severity from one emirate to the other, and schools implement slightly varying strategies to meet these regulations, the rule of a 10-day quarantine period for positive cases remains the same across all schools, nation-wide. Pupils in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are not required to quarantine if they have close contact with a Covid-19 positive person and do not display any symptoms, although Abu Dhabi pupils must fulfil PCR testing requirements of day one and day seven. 

School leaders across the emirates have iterated the importance of all pupils and staff continuing to adhere to safety guidelines as numbers rise, and this message may be considered by families whose children are sitting exams, in particular, as this could cause disruption in their exams. The current planned protocol communicated from school leaders is that pupils testing positive for Covid-19 must stay home, and alternative arrangements, such as makeup exams, will be made for them. 

Robert Rinaldo, Head of School at GEMS American Academy – Abu Dhabi, told us:

“At GEMS American Academy – Abu Dhabi, we follow the procedure put forth by ADEK. Students who test positive are expected to quarantine at home and, as such, no positive student would be allowed on campus. They must show Green Pass status on the Alhosn App to be able to return to school.

Mr Rinaldo added:

We facilitate makeup exams for the students to make sure their health and safety are our top priority and that when taking the exam, students are not worried or tired from being ill with Covid.”

Where exams are concerned, schools are aware that expectations are high for them to ensure pupils have the best chance to succeed, following a problematic few years in the pandemic. Mr Simon Crane, Head Master at Brighton College Dubai, provided his assurance that his school will do everything required to support its pupils in their exams:

“The College will support a Covid-19 positive pupil completely, following relevant protocol and applying for special consideration, if required.  It is important we stay calm and put the pupils’ welfare first.”

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