Private schools welcome new academic calendar

DUBAI — Private schools in the emirates have welcomed the new school calendar drawn up by the Ministry of Education (MoE) for this year.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Fri 23 Feb 2007, 9:31 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:35 AM

The new calendar has unified the Spring and Summer holidays for the government and private schools. This implies that both the government and private schools will have similar holiday calendar for the two vacations.

While teaching and non-teaching staff at the private schools have mostly welcomed the decision, some staff at the government schools have expressed their reservations about the decision. The new calendar, however, does not apply to the Indian schools because in these schools the academic year begins in April, said Khawla Al Muala, Assistant Under Secretary at the MoE for Educational Administration.

Informed sources at the Technical Office of the Minister of Education said the decision to unify the calendar was taken following an overwhelming demand from the private schools, especially the spring leave, which includes Eid Al Adha and Christmas Day.

Osman Abdul Bari, Principal of the Al Andalusia Private School said the unification of the calendar was the need of the hour. His school follows the American teaching curriculum.

He said some of the students of his school had other siblings studying in government schools. A similar calendar will imply that they can all spend the vacations together.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Issa, the Principal of Al Hasn Private School, which follows the Arab and American curricula, backed the MoE decision, saying it will create stability in the families. He, however, expressed his reservation about the decision to open the new academic year on August 19. This, he said, will deprive staff of the private schools from spending enough quality time with their families. He said most of the staff in the private schools were expatriates, and they had left their families behind in their countries owing to the spiralling rents in the UAE.

Meanwhile, Monica Harter, the spokeswoman of the Gems Group, which runs some of best schools in the emirates, welcomed the uniform calendar, saying the education fraternity and the larger community will benefit from it. However, Sheikha Juma, the Director of the Al Muala Secondary School, said she was surprised by the decision.

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