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Abu Dhabi Engages Parents to Plan Safe School Return for Children

Wednesday, June 24, 2020/ Editor -  

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  •   Comprehensive survey from Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) will anonymously gauge back-to-school opinions following the UAE Ministry of Education’s announcement on the potential reopening of schools for the new academic year 
  •   Survey will help ADEK ensure reopening policies support parents and children
  •   Insights will assist individual schools in planning classroom capacities in adherence to safety guidelines 
 
Abu Dhabi, UAE - June 24, 2020:  Parents and students will play a major role alongside the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) in shaping a safe return to in-class education following the UAE Ministry of Education (MoE) announcement that a plan is in place to assess the potential reopening of schools for the new academic year.
 
With regulators in each emirate responsible for working with education institutions to chart back-to-school policies for faculty, students and parents in adherence to safety guidelines issued by the government, ADEK will ensure Abu Dhabi parents have their say on specific variables via a comprehensive and anonymous survey run in collaboration with schools.
 
“ADEK is fully aligned with the Ministry of Education on the potential reopening of schools in September and we look forward to welcoming back our community of students, teachers, staff and parents. At the same time, we are conscious of the ongoing impact the last few months have had on families, so we want to hear parental feedback and concerns about sending their children back to school as their opinion matters very much. We are launching this survey to aggregate insights, which will shape the different schools’ return to classroom operations as we continue navigating the new normal together,” explained HE Sara Musallam, ADEK Chairperson. 
 
“I know how hard schools and parents have been working to enable students to learn at home, and they all deserve tremendous appreciation for their efforts. However, nothing can replace a classroom setting and, as we prepare for the new academic year, we have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. If after schools reopen, some parents still feel unsafe about sending their children back to school, they will always have the option of distance learning. I would urge parents to get involved in that process by completing the survey to ensure every student in Abu Dhabi has the safest and best possible return to class”, she added.
 
The survey covers a range of topics, from the number of children per household and how they usually travel to and from school, to preferences on school reopening, duration and format of school day, and whether parents intend to send their children to school. The research will also consider how families were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and what level of financial support their school has offered in recent times.
 
Reopening models may look different for each school based on their situation, while the provision of continued distance learning will cater for parents who prefer this model due to personal situations. Each school will receive reopening guidelines for safe operations, teaching and learning and staff and student wellbeing. The guidelines have been developed according to leading global practices for safe reopening of schools and with input from extensive consultations with stakeholders. To date, ADEK has conducted extensive stakeholder meetings on the subject with school principals, parents and teachers.

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