By Neil Halligan
UAE private school operators appealed to the UAE Government for support to ensure the reopening of private schools in September
The UAE academic year will start as per the calendar already approved by the Ministerial Development Council, with public and private schools re-opening on August 30, according to Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education
The education authority said administrative and teaching staff will begin working on August 23.
The current e-learning programme - in place since schools closed in March - looks set to continue, according to the minister.
"Education remains a top priority and national objective, and therefore our leadership has directed to apply the distance education system under the current circumstances so that our students won't lose track and miss one single day from their academic year," Al Hammadi said, in a statement on news agency WAM.
Last week, UAE private school operators appealed to the UAE Government for support to ensure the reopening of private schools in September.
At a virtual press briefing hosted by the Education Business Group, members stressed how important it was from an economic point of view for schools to return but, more importantly, for the all-round well-being and development of students.
Schools across the country have been closed, with distance learning employed, since before the spring break as part of lockdown measures implemented by authorities to contain the spread of coronavirus.
In a report release this week, global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman suggested schools in the Middle East should implement a carefully planned and strategically phased approach to opening up after the Covid-19-enforced shutdown.
In its report, ‘Re-opening Schools Post Covid-19’, Oliver Wyman said schools will need to train staff with enhanced roles for nurses, facilities managers and counsellors. Other preparatory activities include physical space and scenario planning in case of infection or a potential outbreak, and procedures to ‘track, trace and test’ pupils.