Combating Covid-19: Coronavirus can't impede education as Adek kicks off remote learning  04/06/2020 15:00:00  2  Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
Combating, Covid-19, UAE, Coronavirus, education, Adek, remote learning

Education regulators have put in place the necessary requirements to ensure education continuity even as students remain at home, as part of Covid-10 precautionary measures implemented in the emirate.

Remote learning has kicked off at all schools across the country on March 22. This has been through the facilitation of connectivity, device delivery and provision and resource allocation to help students and parents reach appropriate teams within their schools.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) said on Saturday that it has been working closely with private schools and technology partners for the past two weeks in an effort to prepare Abu Dhabi schools for distance learning. In order to ensure that distance learning is a success for 204 private schools and 13 charter schools across Abu Dhabi, the Adek spearheaded multiple initiatives to address the challenges facing the continuity of learning.

From in-depth research and thorough testing of different e-learning platforms to securing the necessary accessibility for minimal disruption and delivering comprehensive training for educators, all efforts were backed by a network of technology and education partners.

Sara Musallam, chairperson at Adek, said: "When the ministry took a decision to suspend schools temporarily, we had to set in place all the necessary measures needed to activate distance learning. Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures and what happened in the following days was an impressive showcase of social cohesion, unity and purpose.

Readiness assessed

March 2 - A contingency planning session attended by representatives and principals of more than 160 schools in the emirate

>200 continuity of learning action plans for schools were submitted and then evaluated by the Adek to identify gaps and determine where support was needed the most.

>Facilitated a school-pairing initiative, where lead schools that have robust distance learning systems in place, were paired with partner schools that needed additional support.

>March 9 - A total of 33 school pairings to allow for knowledge transfer and resource-sharing

>March 11, 12 and 16 - Adek, in partnership with Microsoft, hosted training sessions for educators from over 132 schools on best practices for virtual classrooms.

>Set up an online knowledge-sharing platform featuring 1,014 education files, allowing teachers and educators to access learning resources and materials needed to provide a seamless online learning experience for students.

>Equipped all schools with the necessary platforms as needed, free of charge. Through their strategic partnership with Amazon and Alef Education, Adek will provide schools and students with the needed tablets and devices to enable full access to remote learning.

>In collaboration with telecommunication provider du, it also ensured connectivity in the areas where students live.

>Adek is set to provide over 15,150 tablets, 7,000 SIM cards and 3,000 MiFi devices to facilitate distance learning across institutions.

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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