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Dubai Announces Shortened School Hours For Ramadan

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School timings in Dubai during Ramadan should not exceed five hours of instruction time, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced on Wednesday.

Shamma Al Mansouri, Director of Permits, KHDA, said, “As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, KHDA has set a number of guidelines for Dubai private schools to consider when determining working hours, foremost of which is that the duration of the school day should not exceed five hours, and schools must finish by 12pm on Fridays.”

“We wish the education community a blessed holy month as we come together to observe the virtues of compassion, patience, and perseverance,” she added.

The commencement of the holy month in the country is expected to be on 12 March, although the precise dates may vary slightly due to local moon sightings.

Meanwhile, most schools will consult with the parents to determine the actual timings and submit it to the KDHA.

Some schools have set a 7.45am to 12.45pm schedule from Monday to Thursday; and the usual school timing on Fridays.

Schools to determine start and end time soon

Dubai’s education regulator has also directed the administrations of private schools in Dubai to determine the start and end.

To accommodate both the school and parents, adjustments will be made to the school hours, especially as the institutions gear up to observe the holy month.

This initiative aims to create optimal educational settings for private school students throughout the auspicious month, prioritizing the well-being of the students.

Shamma Al Mansouri, Director of Permits, KHDA, said: “As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, KHDA has set a number of guidelines for Dubai private schools to consider when determining working hours, foremost of which is that the duration of the school day should not exceed five hours, and schools must finish by 12pm on Fridays.

“We wish the education community a blessed holy month as we come together to observe the virtues of compassion, patience, and perseverance,” she added.

Instilling spiritual values

The objective is to emphasize the significance of the Holy Month to all enrolled students, with a specific focus on instilling spiritual values associated with Ramadan.

It’s worth noting that most schools in the UAE would probably have finished their internal exams before the start of Ramadan.

Headteachers reiterated they strive to minimize assessments and keep them low-stakes during this period so that pupils can dedicate ample time to family and prayer rather than intensive studying.

Helen Hurford, Vice Principal, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis earlier said, “We always aim to keep assessments to a minimum during Ramadan, as we want to support students to have as much time as possible for family and prayer during the Ramadan period, rather than revising.”

She added, “However, in those cases where removing an in-class assessment would be detrimental to student learning and progress, we allow the assessment to go ahead, but only low-stakes with a reduced duration and focus on specific topics. All in-class assessments are referred to as ‘Checks for Understanding’, to ensure they do not cause anxiety for students.”

School holidays to overlap

For most international curricula institutions almost 10 days of spring break will coincide with Ramadan.

In Indian curriculum schools, the commencement of Ramadan occurs three weeks before the onset of the new academic year. This results in the majority of students experiencing a brief vacation following their annual exams, which overlaps with the Holy month and precedes the commencement of the new academic year.

Amity School Dubai Principal, Sangita Chima, said, “This year, the academic calendar coincides well with Ramadan, allowing students to better manage their spiritual and cultural commitments. The end-of-session break offers them additional time for reflection and relaxation. As a result, our students return to their studies with renewed energy and mindfulness as they move up to the next grade.”

She added, “In our school, we foster religious and cultural understanding by providing diverse spiritual learning opportunities within our inspiring learning environments during the sacred month of Ramadan.

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