Dubai authorities have announced that schools and universities will be allowed to reopen in the new academic year…

Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced on Twitter last night that schools and universities will be allowed to reopen in September.

According to the KHDA website, schools and universities can open and operate from the start of the 2020/21 academic year, so long as they adhere to specific health and safety protocols.

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Health and safety conditions for Dubai schools

  • Temperature checks of all students and staff on arrival
  • Maintaining physical distance guidelines, including reducing the head-count capacity in classrooms
  • Limiting gatherings and suspending group activities, such as school assemblies, performances and sports events
  • Modifying the working day, including staggered mealtimes, to avoid high concentrations of students in one place
  • Sterilising the school building, classrooms, laboratories and other facilities regularly
  • Ensuring that support and maintenance service staff don’t enter the school when students and staff are present
  • Appointing a trained health and safety official
  • Operating school buses at 30 per cent capacity, with temperatures taken prior to boarding

When it comes to reopening schools – and the systems that may be in place – one size will not fit all. The KHDA website suggests that each school may choose its preferred way of managing class sizes and social distancing. Options for schools include:

  • Opening to all students all the time, with a full return to classroom learning
  • Continuing distance learning on a part-time basis
  • Scheduling face-to-face lessons in staggered ‘shifts’

At this stage, no decision has been made regarding the reopening of nurseries and early learning centres, which have been closed since March 1.