Some pupils in Sharjah to continue distance learning as schools resume in-person classes

A negative PCR test result is a must to return to schools on Sunday

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Some parents in Sharjah are opting for distance learning for their children when private schools in the emirate resume in-person classes on Sunday.

Parents can choose either a blended learning model or online learning.

Pupils at public schools will resume face-to-face classes on April 18.

Schools across most of the Northern Emirates switched to online lessons in mid-February after an increase in Covid-19 cases in the UAE.

At the end of February, Sharjah education authorities announced that all schools and nurseries in the emirate would continue distance learning for the rest of the spring term.

Parents are taking their time but I am hopeful that as the situation improves, they will show more confidence

Vandana Marwaha, principal, Delhi Private School Sharjah

Raji Sabeer, an Indian living in Sharjah, opted for online lessons for her children since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

But she has now decided to send her daughter,16, back to face-to-face classes next week.

Ms Sabeer said the child was in Year12 at Delhi Private School and wanted to experience school life in her final year.

Her younger son, 9, will continue to study online.

Ms Sabeer said many parents want their children to continue with online learning.

“The fear of Covid-19 is one concern,” she said. “My son is very prone to allergies, so that is another concern.”

In blended learning, pupils attend classes in person on certain days and then complete coursework through online lessons.

Nora Saleem, 45, another parent in Sharjah, also opted for online studies.

“My son is in Grade 11 and will be studying online. I sent him to school last term and he was the only one in class,” she said.

Ms Saleem said her son felt lonely and his teacher had to juggle between him and his peers who studied remotely.

Munawar Daoud, 47, a Jordanian, will also keep her two children home because one of them suffers from diabetes.

“All my friends who sent their children to school last semester are considering keeping them home in the third semester,” Ms Daoud said.

Some private schools will test pupils free of cost while others advised parents to take their children to screening centres.

Pupils over the age of 12 will be tested free of cost at The Rosary Private School in Muwaileh.

Vandana Marwaha, principal at Delhi Private School Sharjah, said she was excited to welcome pupils back to classrooms.

Nearly 1,500 out of 5,500 pupils enrolled at the school will return for in-person classes next week.

“The school has made all the arrangements for pupils to be tested at its premises. We have started the process and will finish by Saturday,” Ms Marwaha said.

“Almost one third of the community is confident to return.”

She said the school consulted the parents and organised orientations to brief pupils and parents on the safety protocols in the school.

“Parents are taking their time but I am hopeful that as the situation improves, they will show more confidence,” Ms Marwaha said.

Source: The National