By Gavin Gibbon
Officials conducted around 35,000 tests for teachers and administrative staff prior to the start of the new academic year
A group of schools across the UAE have been forced to revert back to distance learning after staff members were suspected to have tested positive for coronavirus.
The move has been taken by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) just three days after schools in the country reopened their doors following more than six months of closure.
The names of the schools involved were not revealed by authorities.
As a precaution, Education, Emergency and Crisis authorities announce the transfer of a group of schools to the distance learning system. During the implementation of the examinations phase for teachers and administrative staff in schools and before the enrollment of students pic.twitter.com/X1cePkcKZS— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 1, 2020
“As a precaution, education, emergency and crisis authorities announce the transfer of a group of schools to the distance learning system,” reported the NCEMA in a posting on Twitter.
It added that the precautionary measures will remain in place until the results of laboratory tests are known.
“MOE and NCEMA call on all school employees students and their families to cooperate and disclose any suspected cases of the virus or the presence of any symptoms in order to limit the spread in addition to not practicing work or sending students to school if any symptoms appear,” it said.
The Ministry and NCEMA confirmed that school administrations will communicate directly with parents and provide all updates on the study system and health status.#CommitToWin— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 1, 2020
And it warned that legal action will be taken against anyone who violates the preventive measures.
Dubai Health Authority (DHA), in cooperation with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the Covid-19 Command and Control Centre (CCC), conducted approximately 35,000 tests for teachers and administrative staff working in Dubai private schools, prior to the start of the new academic year.
Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said in the weekly press briefing: “Student health is a top priority that all state institutions work and cooperate in order to preserve, and it is a major goal that we all strive to achieve under these exceptional circumstances.”
It comes as confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UAE continues to rise, with 574 new infections reported on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in the country since the onset of the global pandemic, to 70,805.