Age 16 and over

Requiring school staff and students to receive two doses of the vaccine before returning to classroom education in Abu Dhabi

The Department of Education and Knowledge - Abu Dhabi revealed the updated policies of the precautionary measures applied in private schools and educational partnership schools in Abu Dhabi for the academic year 2021/22, which include reopening play areas for students, resuming school dining services in full, in addition to physical education programs and extracurricular activities with Adhere to precautionary measures.

The updated policies are in line with the decisions issued by the Committee for the Management of Emergencies, Crises and Disasters resulting from the Corona pandemic in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as it includes extensive preventive measures to ensure the safety of students and all members of the teaching sector, including teachers, administrators and visitors in all private schools and schools of educational partnerships and their facilities.

Under the updated policies, schools in Abu Dhabi continue to operate according to the large group model in the new academic year, in a way that reduces the risks of the spread of the Covid-19 virus between groups, as well as reducing cases of shifts to the distance education model. The capacity of classroom groups in the kindergarten and first semester stages (second grade / third year or less) who are unable to adhere to physical distancing measures will also be increased, from 10 to 16 students per group. Schools will be able to reopen common areas necessary to enhance levels of social interaction among students, including play areas. The updated procedures allow the resumption of cooking services in school dining halls, provided that food is served to students by the restaurant staff in the school, while adhering to the regulations of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, such as providing food in the form of meals customized for each student.

Upon returning to school in the next academic year, students will be able to attend physical education classes and practice various activities, including swimming, with the application of a set of precautionary measures based on risk assessment, as schools will be required to sterilize halls and areas of sports activities and equipment used in the interval between each use of the various groups.

In addition, schools will resume organizing extra-curricular activities exclusively for school students, with a commitment to applying risk assessment mechanisms and safe operating procedures, including physical distancing and wearing masks.

On the other hand, the suspension of renting school sports facilities to third parties continues until further notice.

Commenting on this issue, Her Excellency Sarah Musallam, Head of the Department of Education and Knowledge said: “Based on our experience in the past year, and thanks to the continuous coordination with the concerned health authorities, teachers and parents, we are confident that the new school year will mark a wonderful and safe start by implementing the updated policies. Our priorities. It is the provision of high-quality classroom education opportunities to the largest possible number of students, which is a pivotal factor for their intellectual, physical, social and psychological development. We will also continue to review these measures to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to maintain the safety of students, teachers and the entire school community.”

The updated policies issued by the Committee for the Management of Emergencies, Crises and Disasters Resulting from the Corona Pandemic in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi stipulate that, as of August 20, 2021, all students aged 16 years and over must receive two doses of the vaccine fully to be able to enter the school building.

In turn, His Excellency Amer Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of the Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi, said: “In accordance with the updated policies, all students aged 16 years and over, and the teaching and administrative staff, and visitors, must obtain a full vaccination against the Covid-19 virus, from one of the vaccines approved in the UAE, To be able to enter the school campus, whether during school hours or outside of school hours, and obtaining the vaccine must be documented on the application of the fortress before returning to school in the next school year."

On the other hand, students and teaching and administrative staff who are officially exempted from receiving the vaccine can enter the school campus after confirming the exemption documentation on the Al-Hosn application or through an official letter issued by one of the vaccine providers approved by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, such as the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company - Seha and the Mubadala Healthcare Network.

As for the students who will reach the age of sixteen after the opening of schools and wish to continue their education in the classroom model, they must receive the first dose of one of the vaccines approved in the state within four weeks of their reaching the age of sixteen, with the condition that they obtain the vaccination on the Al-Hosn application, And the obligation of parents to ensure that their children complete the second dose in a timely manner. On the other hand, students of the same age group, and teachers who moved to the emirate recently, will have a grace period to enable them to obtain vaccine doses, as these students and teachers can contact their schools to obtain more information in this regard.

To ensure the safe return of all students to school and support the efforts of the national vaccination campaign, the Department of Education and Knowledge is cooperating with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health, Mubadala Healthcare and Yas Mall to launch a temporary vaccination center, during the period from 3-7 August and 24 - 28 of the same month.

The student center at Yas Mall welcomes all Abu Dhabi students aged 12 and over, including undergraduate students, to receive the Pfizer Biontech vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.

Students can also choose to get the vaccine at any of the approved vaccination centers in Abu Dhabi.

The Department of Education and Knowledge also confirms that it has taken a set of measures for students aged 16 years and over who did not receive the vaccine, to enable them to attend the main exams in their schools.

The policies include reducing the requirements for physical distance inside the school campus to one meter inside the classrooms and throughout the school, which thus allows to increase the capacity of the classrooms and enable a greater number of students to continue classroom education and interact with their colleagues and teachers, especially given the important role of this interaction in improving Students' quality of life and development.

While the updated policies for returning to schools aim to provide safe classroom education opportunities for the largest possible number of students, the distance education option will remain available for students with chronic diseases, students aged 16 years and above who do not have the vaccine, and students who wish to continue distance education. , if their schools provide this form.

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