Stop! Back-to-school postponed: Abu Dhabi schools and universities on distance learning until 21 January
Abu Dhabi schools and universities will remain on distance learning for one more week, from Monday 17 January until Friday 21 January 2022. Although distance learning was originally slated to be only two weeks from the beginning of the Spring term, the face-to-face version of back-to-school after the Winter Break has now been postponed for one more week until 21 January.
The announcement was made by the UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) on its social media channels on 12 January 2022. The decision was made following a review of the current health situation, the authority stated:
“The pandemic is being closely monitored, to facilitate the safe return of students, teachers and administrative staff at educational facilities and protect their health and safety.”
This postponement of in-class learning means that all tests and exams that require school or university attendance will also be postponed until 28 January 2022, subject to an assessment of the pandemic situation at that time.
The decision applies on a national level and will affect all public schools in Abu Dhabi, but NCEMA said the local authorities and teams at public schools in each emirate have the flexibility of implementation.
ADEK supports decision to extend distance learning in Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi private-schools regulator, ADEK, has confirmed its support for the extension of distance learning on its social media channels also.
The Abu Dhabi regulator had sent out a survey to parents of children attending school in the capital, asking for their opinion on whether or not they would prefer online or in-class learning, which ended at midday on Tuesday 11 January.
“Knowing that you will have the option to change your mind and send your children physically to school after January31, which learning option do you prefer for the coming few weeks?” asked the survey.
Options ranged from full Distance Learning, to alternating online and physical schooling at weekly intervals, to a staggered return of age groups one week apart, to full physical return.
Although the results of the ADEK parent survey have not yet been released, the decision by NCEMA means that there will be at least one more full week of total distance learning for students in Abu Dhabi.
What’s happening in other emirates?
All UAE public schools across all of the emirates switched to distance learning as a precaution for the first two weeks of Term 2, following a Ministry of Education directive. This has now been extended for a third week until 21 January.
Abu Dhabi’s private schools have switched to distance learning during the first two weeks of the second term from January 3, in line with the announcement from the emirate’s Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee NCEMA. This has now been extended to 21 January 2022.
Sharjah schools have returned to face-to-face learning but have allowed students to opt for distance learning if preferred. The Sharjah Private Education Authority announced on Monday January 3 that it is up to each school’s principal to decide to switch to remote learning for up to two days. It also stated: “The distance learning option is available for parents until further notice.”
Private schools’ regulators in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah have allowed a return to face-to-face schooling, while making distance learning an option for students with COVID symptoms.
Find out when Dubai school students are entitled to distance learning: All change! New COVID-19 rules: When are children entitled to distance learning in Dubai schools? – Dubai schools, Abu Dhabi schools, Sharjah schools with fees, ratings and more – SchoolsCompared.com