By Gavin Gibbon
Resumption of classroom studies will be according to precautionary measures and in line with health authorities' advice
Officials in the UAE have raised the possibility of reopening schools in September, subject to strict precautionary measures and in line with advice from health authorities.
The matter was discussed at a meeting of the Education and Human Resources Council, according to state news agency WAM.
Schools have been closed and distance learning employed across the country since March under directives from the government to contain the spread of coronavirus.
However, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said that the possibility of resuming study in general educational institutions, including the reopening of public and private universities and schools, will be next September and “according to precautionary measures” and depending on “assessments of evolving changes related to coronavirus, as per health requirements issued by competent authorities”.
He stressed that any decision would be firmly based with the health and safety of students and staff at the very top of the agenda.
While he added that all help would be provided by the Ministry of Education in order to ensure education institutions are thoroughly disinfected as well as school buses, before any resumption of lessons.
Earlier this month, Al Hammadi confirmed that 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.
The education authority said administrative and teaching staff will begin working on August 23.
UAE private school operators have previously appealed to the UAE Government for support to ensure the reopening of private schools in September, from an economic point of view but, more importantly, for the all-round well-being and development of students.