Federal rule for re-opening schools
In June 2021, Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) announced that all public schools in the UAE will accommodate physical (in-person) learning for the academic year 2021-2022, and will keep distance learning as an option for those who prefer it.
The government implemented a new national operational protocol for educational establishments for the academic year 2021-2022. The protocol applies to nurseries and day-care centres, private and public schools, and higher education and training centres and institutes.
As per the new protocol, the following rules apply:
PCR and vaccination requirements for students
All students of all ages must present a negative result of an RT-PCR for COVID-19, taken no more than 96 hours before the school begins, in order to be able to enter school premises.
- In the first month of school, students aged from 12 to 18 must present a negative result of an RT-PCR test every two weeks. The rule applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Students aged from 4 to 11 must present a negative result of an RT-PCR or saliva test every month, irrespective of the status of their vaccination.
- After the first month of school
Students aged from 12 to 18 who are vaccinated, and 14 days have passed since their 2nd dose, must present a negative result of an RT-PCR test, once every month. Those who are not vaccinated and those who are exempt from taking the vaccine as approved by the health authorities, must present a negative result of an RT-PCR test, every week.
PCR and vaccination requirements for students of higher education institutes
PCR and vaccination requirements for academic and administrative staff and service providers
Academic and administrative staff and service providers who have received both doses of the vaccine and 14 days have passed since the second dose will be allowed to enter the premises. The Green pass protocol will be applied to enter the campus.
Entry requirements for parents and children’s guardians
Parents and guardians can enter schools and other educational institutions as per the Green pass protocol.
Get more information from the following resources
As per National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), some of these protocols might differ from those being implemented by the governments at the local level. Additionally, the protocols are subject to updates following the evaluation of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE.
Rule for private schools in Abu Dhabi
As per Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), private schools can opt for one of the following models to re-open, based on the number of students they can accommodate while following the health and safety requirements.
- Full return - all students will attend face-to-face learning on every school day
- Partial return - depending on the schedule selected by the school, students will have at least 50 per cent of learning face-to-face
- Distance learning - schools can choose to offer full distance learning for students who choose this mode.
PCR and vaccinations requirements
- Students aged from 3 to 15 do not have to be vaccinated to attend school physically.
- Students aged 16 and above must be vaccinated, and must have completed 28 days since the second dose, if they wish to attend school physically. The vaccination status must be verified on the Al Hosn app.
- Students aged 16 and above, who are exempted from vaccination, can access the school premises. Exemption should be verified on the Al Hosn app or through an official letter from Abu Dhabi Healthcare Company (SEHA) or other providers approved by Department of Health.
- Unvaccinated students aged 16 and above can attend school through distance learning only. They will be allowed to enter the school on the day of any high-stake exam, with a proof of a valid negative RT-PCR test. The validity of the test is 96 hours unless otherwise communicated by the school.
Get more information from these resources
Follow updates on private schools in Abu Dhabi through ADEK’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Rule for private schools in Dubai
On its website, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) mentions that all students must be back at school for face-to-face learning by 3 October 2021, except in certain circumstances.
From the start of the academic year until 30 September, parents will have the choice of mode of learning for their children. From 3 October 2021, all teaching and learning at Dubai private schools will be face-to-face only.
After 3 October, students who wish to continue with distance learning must provide a medical certificate issued by Dubai Health Authority (DHA). If positive cases of COVID-19 are detected in a class, or a group in a class, or in a certain grade, the school can switch them to distance learning.
PCR and COVID-19 requirements
As per KHDA, vaccination is not compulsory. Eligible school staff who do not wish to have the vaccine must submit a negative result of an RT-PCR test, each week. Students are not obliged to submit results of RT-PCR tests.
Learn more from this resource
Follow updates on Dubai’s private schools through KHDA’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Rule for private schools in Sharjah
As per Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA), the following protocol applies:
- All employees in the private educational facilities of Sharjah and students aged 12 and above must present a negative result of an RT-PCR test before they join physically at the beginning of the first term. This test must be taken within 72 hours of the first day of school.
- All employees in the educational facilities must be fully vaccinated. They must have finished at least two doses in order to enter school premises. Those excluded from vaccination must present a medical report from relevant authority and a negative result of an RT-PCR test, taken with 72 hours before entering the educational facility, every week.
- Students in Sharjah’s private schools are not required to be vaccinated to enter the educational facilities; it is sufficient to show a negative result of an RT-PCR test at the beginning of the school year.
- Newly-recruited teachers and staff who are coming from outside the UAE and are not fully vaccinated, will be exempt from the vaccination requirement temporarily. They will be allowed to enter educational facilities for two months, within which they should obtain the vaccination. Until then, they have to present a negative result of an RT-PCR test, every week.
Read about Sharjah’s protocol for return to educational facilities on SPEA’s Twitter account.
Follow updates on Sharjah’s private schools through SPEA’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Updated on 07 Sep 2021