Hamdan bin Mohammed reviews KHDA's preparations for the new school year

Photo: WAM

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said that innovative measures are required to ensure the seamless delivery of education amidst the current global situation.

Effective approaches that guarantee both optimal standards of safety in schools and the highest quality of education are required to help students resume their educational journey.

His Highness affirmed that the safety and wellbeing of students and teachers in schools across the emirate constitute one of the highest priorities of the Dubai Government.

Sheikh Hamdan’s remarks came while visiting the offices of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, where he was accompanied by Abdulla Al Basti, the Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA, briefed H.H. about the Authority’s plans and preparations for the new school year.

Sheikh Hamdan issued directives to ensure students and staff across schools in Dubai enjoy the highest benchmarks of safety and protection. He also directed the development of new effective solutions to maximise the benefits of the approach adopted by the UAE in the second half of the last school year to ensure the smooth delivery of education in line with the needs of the future.

Sheikh Hamdan also expressed his confidence in the preparations of the Ministry of Education, KHDA and school managements to provide a safe and positive educational environment.

H.H. also highlighted the importance of finding alternative methods to provide high quality education in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

''The government is committed to providing the education needed to develop a new generation capable of building a future that meets the country’s aspirations,'' he said.

During the visit, Sheikh Hamdan was briefed about precautionary measures and guidelines that will be implemented in schools reopening for the 2020-2021 academic year. The measures have been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, government authorities and private schools in Dubai.

The plans for the new school year developed by private schools over the last few weeks in consultation with parents have incorporated diverse ideas and creative solutions that enhance the school’s ability to meet student requirements.

Private schools in Dubai have the option to choose an approach suitable to them, depending on the size, location and number of students. Schools can accommodate students in one shift or morning and afternoon shifts and have the option of providing either partial or full distance learning alternatives depending on their agreement with parents. They are encouraged to implement innovative solutions to ensure high safety standards in the current environment. Consultations with parents, teachers and students will be key to ensure the best approach.

Abdulla Al Karam said that safeguarding everyone’s safety remains KHDA’s top priority. He said the Authority is collaborating with private schools to ensure an enriching and secure environment for students.

Precautionary measures that should be followed in schools include screening all students and staff for temperature at entry points to the school, maintaining physical distance as recommended by relevant health authorities, reducing the head-count capacity in classrooms, limiting gatherings and suspending group activities such as school celebrations and sports events, organising and managing the students’ working day including mealtimes to avoid high concentrations of students in one place, sterilising the school building, classrooms, laboratories and other facilities regularly.

Other measures include: preventing the support and maintenance service staff from entering the school when students and staff are present, as well as appointing a trained health and safety official to ensure that people and processes in the school comply with health and safety protocols.

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