UAE’s Ministry of Education has announced that all schools across Dubai and Abu Dhabi are to close for four weeks from Sunday March 8.
The directive has been taken as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The decision applies to all private and public schools as well as to universities.
During the four-week closure the Ministry has assured parents that all educational facilities will undergo a sterilisation programme in a bid to avoid the spread of the viral infection that is affecting a majority of countries around the world.
In a Tweet posted in Arabic and English late at night on Tuesday March 3, The Ministry of Education said: “All schools and universities in the UAE will be closed for 4 weeks starting Sunday March 8. Facilities will deep cleaned during this time.”
All schools & universities in the UAE will be closed for 4 weeks starting Sunday March 8. Facilities will be deep cleaned during this time. pic.twitter.com/Y6kkD74sZe— وزارة التربية (@MOEducationUAE) March 3, 2020
The Tweet was followed up by a statement explaining that: “The decision was made in the best interests of the health and safety of students and the wider education community and universities.”
Both the KHDA and ADEK re-posted the Ministry of Education’s Tweet.
As part of the precautionary measures to reduce the possibility of transmission of #COVID19, ADEK announces the break for schools and higher education institutions starting next Sunday and over a period of 4 weeks.— التعليم والمعرفة (@ADEK_tweet) March 3, 2020
Stay tuned for more details!#NovelCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/6KutSAGzS3
This decision was made in the best interests of the health & safety of students and the wider education community at schools & universities. pic.twitter.com/DAnjId6Nb8— وزارة التربية (@MOEducationUAE) March 3, 2020
This latest announcement is just one of a number of preventative measures taken by the Ministry of Education to prevent the spread of the virus.
On Saturday February 29 the Ministry of Education closed all nurseries for a period of two weeks, until Sunday March 15 and also put a stop to all educational extra-curricular activities, school trips and internal gatherings.
This initiative extends the four-week scheduled spring break, which was due to start on Sunday March 29, by two weeks. Meaning that schools will be closed from Sunday March 8 until Sunday April 5.
The government schools have been trialing a distance learning programme called Learn from Afar in order for students to carry on with their lessons.
Private schools will be implementing their individual methods to minimise disruption to their pupil’s education. This includes utilising online video and social networks to help keep students on track in the run-up to exam season.