Now Reading
BACK TO SCHOOL! Stay at home Omicron restrictions to be scrapped as Abu Dhabi students begin return to classroom from Monday 24 January. ADEK Confirms.

BACK TO SCHOOL! Stay at home Omicron restrictions to be scrapped as Abu Dhabi students begin return to classroom from Monday 24 January. ADEK Confirms.

by Tabitha BardaJanuary 19, 2022

ADEK: Omicron restrictions to be scrapped as Abu Dhabi students begin return to classroom…

ADEK and the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has approved the gradual return to in-classroom learning for students at public schools and private schools, universities, colleges and training institutes in the emirate, as of Monday, 24 January, 2022.

The committee also approved protocols for returning to classrooms, and stated that existing precautionary measures continue to apply, to protect the health and safety of the education community.

Pupils will return in phases based on school year, with the first cohort of primary school children and final-year students, as well as those studying for exams, returning in-person learning from Monday January 24, and the remaining second wave of students returning from. Monday January 31.

In a twist, however, ADEK has insisted that:

“Distance learning is to remain optional for those who choose it.”

The scrapping of stay at home Omicron restrictions will see the following:

From Monday 24 January 2021

In-class learning to resume for:



Grades 1-5/Years 2-6

Grade 12/Year 13

Higher Education Institution students

Students preparing for national and international exams

Remote Learning to continue for Grades 6-11/Years 7-12

From Monday 31 January

In-classroom learning for all students in Abu Dhabi and UAE public schools

School entry requirements

All students must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of return to school

Teaching and admin staff must have green status on the Al Hosn app at all times and show a negative PCR result taken from within 96 hours of the return to school

Students and all staff must sign a travel declaration form and show a negative PCR result from days 1 and 6 after returning to the UAE if they have travelled

Parents and visitors to schools must show a green status on the Al Hosn app and a negative PCR test result taken from within 96 hours to enter the school premises

Omicron restrictions lifted as stay at home edict reversed by ADEK and children can return to school


The SchoolsCompared View

The approaches to Covid-19 adopted by the different emirates is diverging. Shared, is the absolute conviction across all emirates that children need to be able to return to school. However, here we see Abu Dhabi responding to the calls by some parents for Distance Learning to continue in Abu Dhabi, this particularly, but not exclusively, important to many Arab and Indian families in particular.

It will be interesting to see whether, as the pandemic becomes endemic, whether we shall see a growth in home schooling options for parents like those provided by Minerva’s Virtual Academy enabling children to study for a British curriculum education through GCSE to A Level at home – and iCademy providing equivalent home schooling options in the US Curriculum.

As it stands, the KHDA, Dubai’s schools regulator, remains firmly set on seeing children being physically taught in schools as the default option, with home learning seen as very much the exception through its Rahhal programme.


Further information

ADEK has opened a number of social media channels to help parents as follows:

  • Instagram: @adek_insta
  • Twitter: ADEK_tweet
  • Facebook: Department of Education and Knowledge
  • YouTube: ADEK Abu Dhabi

© 2022. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and's The School's Report - the global weekly round up of what matters in education for parents which is published every Friday, reviewing schools across the UAE - and features on issues that really matter. You can often find Tabitha on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

Leave a Reply