DUBAI: The UAE’s education ministry has announced the closure of all schools and universities in the country – public and private – for four weeks in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – the strain coronavirus that has claimed more than 3,000 lives globally state news agency WAM reported.
Spring break was initially scheduled to run from March 29, 2020, to April 12, 2020 – but the ministry has instructed all schools and higher education establishments to close for four weeks from Sunday, March 8, 2020.
There have been 27 people identified as having the coronavirus in the UAE so far – six of whom were announced late Monday, March 3, 2020.
The latest cases include two Russians, two Italians, one German and one Colombian, all of whom have been connected to the two previously announced cases associated with the the UAE Tour cycling race.
During the closures the ministry will sterilize school and university facilities, in accordance with the international standards for health, safety and hygiene.
Students will be educated through a pilot program for distance education during the last weeks of the vacation “to ensure education continuity and to avoid any impact on school days,” the statement explained.
The ministry has called on parents to “create an appropriate learning environment at home by providing computers and internet services.”
Parents are also advised to encourage students to adhere to the class schedule approved by teachers, and to adhere to the rules, such as the ban on the use of non-learning related web browsing and photography.