Red, orange, green: 3 colours to rate schools’ safety standards

The mechanism aims to ensure optimum health standards are followed once schools reopen for the new academic year.

Public schools in the UAE have been classified for their health safety standards such as the number of Covid-19 cases detected among pupils and other members of the institutions along with their level of compliance with the guidelines ahead of the new academic year, which starts on Sunday, August 29.

The Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) said its school operations sector has classified the institutions into three distinct categories such as green, orange and red.

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The reopening guidelines, which were issued recently, stated that the classification of institutions is a new mechanism to uphold health safety for the school community at large.

The classification norms involve the readiness of the schools’ infrastructure and facilities such as the availability of human resources, buses, pupils’ needs, their strength and the percentage of those in priority groups like people of determination and dyslexics.

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The guidelines, which were prepared by the ESE in cooperation with the Ministry of Education (MoE), said the green category, as the name suggests, refers to a public school where no Covid-19 infection has been reported.

Rules stipulate that in the green category, the classrooms must have adequate space to accommodate pupils who can sit a metre apart and 90 per cent of a public school’s teachers must be available for in-classroom teaching.

The orange category refers to those schools where no Covid-19 infection has been reported and its classrooms may not accommodate pupils who can sit a metre apart and less than 70 per cent of its teachers are at hand for in-classroom teaching.

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The red category refers to a school where Covid-19 infection has been reported and an institution can immediately opt for virtual learning.

The classification is determined by the principal of each school.

The authorities said pupils’ daily school attendance should be monitored amid a return to in-classroom teaching from the new academic year, unless new Covid-19 infections derail the plan.

Pupils are obliged to adhere to the health and safety guidelines adopted by their school, the authorities said.

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Data shows that 564 public schools across the UAE will welcome pupils for physical learning in the new academic year.

The ESE said an integrated plan has been put in place to manage the pupils’ return to in-classroom lessons and the new academic year would comprise 186 working days.

The MoE rule stipulates that public schools and those following its curriculum should comprise at least 182 days in an academic year.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country’s parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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