By Sam Bridge
Ministry of Education outlines plans for classes during three phases of learning as schools remain closed due to the coronavirus
The UAE's Ministry of Education on Saturday said it has rolled out a distance learning system for two weeks, targeting all students in the UAE’s schools and higher education institutions.
The move follows the earlier decision by the ministry to move forward the spring break and shut schools for four weeks, the last two weeks of which are devoted to resuming study through the new system.
According to the timeline of the distance learning classes in government schools, 20 classes per week are held in the first cycle at three hours per day and two optional hours in the morning between 9-11am are devoted to activities.
Evening classes are between 4-7.25pm, according to a statement carried by state news agency WAM.
The second cycle will also see 20 classes held per week at four hours per day. Classes start at 9am and continue till 12.45pm and an evening hour (between 5-5.50pm) will be allocated for reading enrichment and a variety of exercises.
Some 30 hours per week at six hours per day are allotted to the third cycle, which includes two morning and evening sessions. Morning classes start at 9am and continue until 1.25pm, while the evening session begins at 5pm and continues until 7.05pm.
As for private schools that follow the ministry’s curriculum and other curricula, the MoE has sent advisory plans and it is left for them to implement the distance learning plan according to their approved timelines.
The ministry said it has completed all the procedures necessary to bring about "positive cognitive outcomes" through the distance learning system.
It has also implemented remote specialist training for more than 25,000 government school teachers and administrators in addition to more than 9,200 private school teachers and principals.
The MoE, in co-operation with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, has also successfully qualified more than 67,000 affiliates who recently underwent e-training in distance learning.
The MoE said it has also equipped two operation centres in Abu Dhabi and Ajman to monitor the learning process.
"All the measures taken by the MoE serve the interests of students and educational staff and come as a proactive step that keeps up with the updates related to facing crises and natural disasters and providing the highest standards of public safety in the school community," the statement said.
The ministry said that continuous sterilization and cleaning operations have been carried out during school closures.