Official announcement from the government is yet to come
Dubai: Spokesmen from various private schools in UAE reported that they are ready to start the academics in September. Although an official directive from the ministry has not come yet, schools are planning various operational systems to ensure the safety and well being of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A group of private school spokesmen reported through a virtual round table conference on Thursday to confirm this. They said that they are hopeful that the regulators would support their plan to ensure totality of education and overcome the financial challenges faced by the educational sector. The meeting was organised by key members of the Education Business Group, which represents over 100 private school operators in Dubai. Speaking at the meet to address the challenges faced by private schools during the pandemic, the operators also urged the government to offer them financial support to sustain the high standards of education.
The schools plan to introduce different shift systems and blended learning plans for a smooth conduction of academic amidst the pandemic. But the final decision in sending the students to school are to be taken by both the authorities and the parents. They assured that they would take strict measures to protect the health and safety and mental and physical well being of the school community, especially students.
“All of us operators, we are on the same page irrespective of the curriculum we offer, irrespective of the demographics at our schools and the locations across the emirates, I think unequivocally, every one of us is committed to health and safety, irrespective of the fees that we charge and the demographics,” said Amit Kothari, executive director, Interstar Advisory Services.
The operators added that they had an additional responsibility of ensuring that the 50,000 of jobs in the private sector are unaffected. The schools would closely observe the re-opening of those in Hong Kong, Singapore and some Scandinavian countries so as to maintain safest atmosphere in their schools. “The more we learn from the international situation, the better,” said Alan Williamson, CEO, Taaleem. He says it is time to introduce blended learning. The blended learning approach allows different groups of students to take turns to go to the campuses and then attend digital learning classes at home on certain number of days. Some schools are likely to opt for splitting the students to different shifts as well.
The schools are also planning to seek government aid for the creation of an education sector liquidity fund to provide non-collateral interest-free loans. They also aim expect government support for grants to cover the expected loss of fee revenue collection and rental breaks from March to August 2020. Anyhow the government has not given any official confirmation on the news.