Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), in collaboration with the Department of Health- Abu Dhabi (DoH), has announced a strategic new initiative to provide COVID-19 PCR tests for students, educators, and school staff administered by trained health professionals at the emirate’s schools. The initiative follows the recent announcement by the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) for routine PCR tests.
Routine PCR testing administered across the emirate’s schools is intended to increase convenience for parents, students, educators, and staff, who will no longer be required to visit external testing centers. The PCR test program will also make school operations more efficient by minimizing the impact on students and educators for potentially missing routine test dates and ensuring continuity of teaching and learning.
HE Dr. Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, Undersecretary of DoH commented: “Abu Dhabi’s distinguished efforts to combat the pandemic were pivotal in safeguarding the health and safety of our community, in addition to facilitating the safe return to schools for students. In collaboration with our partners at the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, we have been able to provide a healthy and safe environment, not only for our students but for their educators and families alike. By facilitating ease of access to routine testing for everyone within the education ecosystem in the emirate, students are able to achieve continuity of education without any interruption to their academic journey.”
HE Amer Al Hammadi, ADEK Undersecretary said: “The number of students returning to physical school across the emirate is high. As the education sector moves steadily towards full recovery and a return to normalcy, protecting the health and safety of our school community of students, educators and staff remain our highest priority. We continue to work in collaboration with all private and public stakeholders to implement stringent health and safety standards, whilst minimizing the impact on school operations and safeguarding the continuity of students’ in-school learning.”
“Through close consultation with schools and stakeholders, we identified the need for a robust PCR testing model to alleviate pressure on parents and students. Therefore, our collaboration with DoH will provide a COVID-19 PCR test solution across the entire school community. This test model will improve operational efficiencies and enable students and educators to access tests to schedule,” HE Al Hammadi added.
As per the recent NCEMA announcement, all school students must undertake routine COVID-19 PCR tests during the new academic year, with the testing frequency defined by criteria detailing both age and vaccination status. Schools will be responsible for informing parents of the individual school’s testing schedule.