The UAE’s new academic year will start on August 30, the Minister of Education has announced.
Hussain Al Hammadi said administrative and teaching staff would begin work a week earlier on August 23.
It has not yet been established how lessons will be organised, although some private schools say they are planning to potentially deliver a mixture of remote learning and classroom teaching. No official announcement has been made in regards to public and private schools yet.
Mr Al Hammadi put the success of the nation’s remote learning programme, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, down to the “forward-thinking policy” of UAE leaders and the “commitment of students and their parents”.
“Education remains a top priority and national objective, and therefore our leadership has directed to apply the distance education system under the current circumstances so that our students won’t lose track and miss one single day from their academic year,” he said.
Last week, an online meeting organised by the Education Business Group, a UAE association representing more than 100 private schools, discussed how the country could return more than 800,000 pupils to the classroom.
Headteachers and school operators urged the authorities to look at easing regulations and support schools as they sought to return to normal operations.
Speaking at the meeting, Ajay Mankani, director of Fortes Holdings, which runs schools and nurseries across the country, claimed the sector needed financial help and fewer regulations.
“We are asking for support from the government. We are asking for flexibility in choosing our operating models,” he said.
Mr Mankani also said schools needed “flexibility in terms of our human resource practices”.
“Our human resource expenses are 60 to 70 per cent, so we need flexibility to perhaps furlough staff and decide how we manage our staff, while keeping with the regulations of the UAE”.
Source: The National Newspaper