Some parents in Sharjah have opted for distance learning for their children even as private schools in the emirate resume in-person classes on Sunday.
Parents have the option to choose either a blended-learning model or continue with online learning.
Pupils at public schools will resume face-to-face classes on April 18.
Schools across most of the Northern Emirates switched to online lessons in mid-February following a rise in Covid-19 cases in the UAE.
At the end of February, Sharjah education authorities announced all schools and nurseries in the emirate would continue distance learning for the rest of the spring term.
Parents are taking their time but I am hopeful that as the situation improves, they will show more confidence
Vandana Marwaha, principal, Delhi Private School Sharjah
Raji Sabeer, an Indian mother in Sharjah, opted for online lessons for her children since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
But she has now decided to send her 16-year-old daughter back for face-to-face classes next week.
Ms Sabeer said her daughter is in grade 12 at Delhi Private School and wants to experience school life in her final year.
Her younger son, aged nine, would continue studying online.
Ms Sabeer said many parents want their children to continue with online learning.
“The fear of Covid-19 is one concern. My son is very prone to allergies, so that is another concern,” she said.
In blended learning, pupils attend classes in a real-world classroom on certain days and then complete coursework through online lessons.
Nora Saleem, a 45-year-old parent in Sharjah, has also opted for online studies.
“My son is in grade 11 and will be studying online. I sent him to school last semester and he was the only one in class,” she said.
Ms Saleem said her son felt lonely and his teacher had to juggle between him and his peers who studied remotely.
Munawar Daoud, a 47-year-old Jordanian parent in Sharjah, will also keep her two children home as one of them suffers from diabetes.
“All my friends who sent their children to school last semester are considering keeping them home in the third semester,” Ms Daoud said.
Some private schools will test pupils free of cost while others have been advised parents that their children should take a PCR test at a screening centre.
Vandana Marwaha, principal at Delhi Private School Sharjah, said she was excited to welcome pupils back to classrooms.
Nearly 1,500 out of 5,500 pupils enrolled at the school will return for in-person classes next week.
“The school has made all the arrangements for pupils to be tested at the school. We have started the process and will finish by Saturday,” Ms Marwaha said.
“Almost one-third of the community is confident to return.”
She said the school consulted the parents and organised orientations to brief pupils and parents on the safety protocols in the school.
Pupils over the age of 12 will be tested free of cost at The Rosary Private School in Muwaileh.
“Parents are taking their time but I am hopeful that as the situation improves, they will show more confidence,” Ms Marwaha said.
Updated: April 9, 2021 08:22 AM