Last Updated: 8th February 2022
Operating our institutes during the COVID-19 pandemic presents many challenges and risks to both staff and students. Rest assured, we have undertaken all safety measures as set forth by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Knowledge Human Development Authority (KHDA), and in some cases, we have exceeded these requirements to further ensure everyone’s safety. However, we still need cooperation, common sense and understanding from our students as these are challenging times. If everyone follows these rules and procedures correctly, we will all be safe.
If everyone has followed our safety precautions, and maintained at least 1-metre of distance from others, there should be nothing to worry about. Over the last 2 years, we have had very few students test positive for COVID-19. However, we have had no cases of student-to-student transmission within either of our institutes. This implies that the safety precautions we are all taking have been working. However, we have seen cases of transmission between students who socialise together outside of the institute. We strongly advise caution at all times, not just in class.
“A person who is exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, in a close proximity of 1 metre or less, for a period of not less than 15 minutes” OR “A person who is in direct physical contact with a positive case (e.g. handshake) two days before the positive case showed symptoms or two days before the positive case got the PCR test done or during the 10 days of the illness.” - Taken from DHA COVID-19 Close Contacts: Quarantine and Precautionary Guidelines September 2021.
This does not mean all classmates and students are considered ‘Close Contacts’, however we require that, in the event of a positive COVID-19 case with in the institute, all non-close-contact classmates and teachers encouraged do either of the following before returning to class:
a) complete 3 days of self isolation followed by a negative PCR test, or
b) self isolate for the full 10 days from their last class with the positive case
Note: The DHA does not consider someone to be a close contact if they were in contact with the positive case more than 2 days before their symptoms appeared. Example: If your classmate develops symptoms 3 or more days after finishing their course a Speak and then tests positive, you are not considered a close contact by the DHA. However, we will provide students will all the information they need so they can make their own informed decisions.
“Maintain 1m inside the class and ensure no physical touches between students/staff.” - Taken from: Guidelines for the Management of COVID-19 in educational institutions - Version 5.1
We have arranged our classroom seating to ensure students sit 1.5 m apart from one another. For group courses, this means that there is a limit of 8 students per group. As the guidelines state, the requirement is 1m in a classroom, so on occasion, students may spend short amounts of time (less than 15 mins) with a separation distance of 1m - 1.5m (entering and leaving the classroom etc). However, please report to Speak reception any occurrences where students or teachers are spending a considerable amount of time with less than 1m of separation from one another. Under no circumstances should anyone intentionally be seated within 1m of others, regardless of whether they do so outside of Speak English Institute. This includes friends and family.
If you have any concerns about this policy or your safety while at Speak English Institute, please send an email to COVID@speak.ae, or speak to your reception staff.