By Sam Bridge
Ministry of Education, NCEMA say precautionary measures will be applied to ensure the health and safety of children and staff
The UAE's Ministry of Education and the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) have announced that nurseries and childcare centres can reopen with precautionary and preventive measures in place.
Approval for the opening of nurseries and childcare centres will depend on their readiness to meet all health and safety requirements and procedures, according to a statement carried by state news agency WAM which did not give a date for reopening.
It added that a set of precautionary measures will be applied to ensure the health and safety of children and staff, including measuring temperatures, regulating the movement of staff and parents' entry to nurseries and childcare centres.
In addition, it will be mandatory for all staff to be periodicity tested for Covid-19 every two weeks. The health status of all children in nurseries and childcare centres will also be monitored regularly.
Sterilisation and hygiene procedures must also be carried out regularly as well as physical spacing of 1.5 metres followed. Groups of children will be separated by each age group with the maximum size for each group to be determined to ensure the safety of all.
All toys and games must be sterilised and must not to be shared between groups, while youngsters’ meals must be provided by their parents.
Authorities will inspect nurseries regularly to ensure all precautionary and preventive measures are in place and sanctions will be imposed on institutions that violate health and safety rules.
Separately, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, issued directives for the implementation of a work from home policy in Dubai government entities for female employees with children undertaking distance learning.
The policy is effective from next week coinciding with the new school year and all Dubai Government entities will allow such female employees to work from home under certain conditions.Mothers of children in Grade 9 and below including kindergarten will be allowed to work from home provided their job can be done remotely and does not impact the operations of the government entity they are employed in.
The Crown Prince of Dubai also issued directives to take into consideration fathers working in the Government of Dubai who do not have caregivers to oversee their children’s distance learning. They will also be allowed to work from home, enabling them to supervise their children during the school day.
Abdullah Ali bin Zayed Al Falasi, Director General of the Dubai Government Human Resources Department, DGHR, said that the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan reflect the Government of Dubai’s approach of taking into consideration the social circumstances of employees. It also reflects His Highness’s keenness to ensure family stability and a happy and balanced life for Dubai Government employees.