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Private schools not affected by academic year unification

Olivia Olarte / 18 May 2011

ABU DHABI — The Asian schools that follow their curricula’s academic calendar will not be affected by the unification of the academic year announced by the Ministry of Education (MoE) this week.

The Asian International Private School in the Western Region follows the Indian CBSE curriculum, and like other Indian schools, its academic year is from April to March.

According to Salma Fahim, vice-principal of the school, next year’s calendar will remain the same but with a minor adjustment on the holidays.

Last month, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) sent out the schedule of federal holidays and required all educational institutions to adjust their school breaks accordingly. “The ADEC only wants us to follow the federal holidays and we meet the number of instructional days which is 175,” Fahim told Khaleej Times.

Accordingly, the school has adjusted its holidays. The summer holidays will be from July 3 to September 4 and the winter break will be from December 18 to January 5, 2012.

V. K. Mathu, principal of the Abu Dhabi Indian School, also confirmed that the MoE rule is not going to affect the school calendar as it is in line with the ADEC’s schedule. The Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School follows the January-December calendar, and likewise was not affected by the new rule.

“The federal calendar requires that we have two months summer vacation and 15 days of winter holiday, so we follow that. Last year, the ADEC introduced a one-week spring break, so we gave this to our students as well. Our calendar is matching the ADEC’s calendar,” confirmed Mir Anisul Hasan, vice-principal of the Bangladesh school.

The Philippine National School (PNS), which usually starts its academic calendar in August and ends in June or early July, has aligned its calendar with the college and university admission period in the Philippines.

“We follow the Philippine curriculum, so we have to catch up with the opening of classes in the Philippines. So, we have lesser holidays, no spring break and we only have two weeks holiday for Christmas instead of three weeks,” said PNS principal Dr Ofelia Padilla. According to the MoE decree issued on Sunday, the 2011-2012 academic year for all management, teaching and technical staff in government schools and universities will start on September 4. However, the classes will begin only on September 11.

The ministerial decision to unify the academic year of government schools, universities and private schools that follow the MoE curriculum is aimed at guaranteeing the social and psychological stability of families and students by allowing them to take their holidays together.

Institutes of applied technologies and adult education centres are also required to follow the schedule. However, private schools and foreign universities will be given flexibility provided they adhere to the school break schedules.




2011-12 academic calendar

 -       first semester: September 11- December 15

Break: December 18, 2011–January 5, 2012

- second semester: January 8, 2012 – March 22, 1012

Break: March 25, 2012 – April 5, 2012

- third semester: April 8, 2012 – July 12, 2012 Vacation: July 15, 2012          olivia@khaleejtimes.com

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