Exam Timings Changed due to Expected Foggy Conditions

DUBAI - Grade XII students following the UAE national curriculum, will for the first time, start their semester exams an hour and a half later than usual, due to the foggy weather conditions expected next week.

By Preeti Kannan & Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Sat 27 Dec 2008, 1:50 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Apr 2015, 1:26 PM

In an unprecedented move on Thursday, the Ministry of Education decided to push back the exam timings from 8.30am to 10am for Grade XII public and private school students, home school pupils and adult centre learners taking the mid-year national tests beginning on December 29.

Educational zones, however, have expressed concern over the sudden announcement, which, they say had come at short notice.

“We have moved the timings because of the weather conditions. We expect it to be very foggy in the mornings and it could be dangerous for students to travel at that time. We took the decision because the ministry is concerned about the welfare of the students,” Ayesha Al Merri, Director of Assessment Department at the ministry, told Khaleej Times.

“We do not want students to travel when the visibility is low on the roads. Last year, there were several road accidents and we wanted to take precautions. The decision is for this semester and we will review it again next December to see if it should continue,” she added.

Al Merri noted that educational zones had the discretion to apply the changed timings to other grade students who are sitting for exams.

In March this year, over 350 cars were involved in a horrific accident on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway near Ghantoot due to the thick fog that blanketed the arterial road.

Hundreds of people were injured and a number of cars caught fire in the accident.

Taha Al Hamri, Head of the Administrative Services Unit, at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority that supervises schools in Dubai said, they would abide by the ministry’s decision.

The circular has, however, raised concerns among educational zones and schools due to the timing of the circular, which has come just days before the exams.

Authorities said it was impossible to alert over 60,000 students at the last minute.

Obeid Al Matrooshi, Director of Ajman Education Zone, said it was difficult to alert parents and students of the sudden change as Sunday is a public holiday and the exams begin on Monday.

Fawzia Hassan, director of the Sharjah Education Zone, has decided to alert students through mobile text messages and other modes of communication.

“This is a good decision and will help the students. It would have, however, been better if it had been applied to students of all grades,” said Mustafa Ahmed Al Mossa, Director of Al Ma’arifa International School, Sharjah.


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