Back to school in UAE: Families prepare kids during last weekend before new term

Last-minute shopping, finishing holiday homework, supporting children's mental health on parents' agendas



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 26 Aug 2022, 5:10 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 Aug 2022, 5:25 PM

Students and their families are preparing in different ways in the final weekend before students get back to school on Monday.

With preparation for the new academic term underway, after a two-month break, many families are focused on getting their kids to follow schooltime sleeping and eating routines.

Others are busy making last-minute purchases, getting Covid PCR tests wherever mandated, and even supporting their child's mental health as they return to school after a long break.

Egyptian expat in Dubai Mariam Kiwan says, "We've been busy buying new uniforms and stationery for my daughter. But more importantly, lately, our conversation has largely revolved around preparing my child psychologically. That's because the school has recently intimated us about the new section that has been assigned to our child. She will start going to Year 3 now."

"But unfortunately, all her four friends are in one section, and she is the only one who would be going to a different section. Obviously, she is not happy about it. So, we are trying to prepare her for the new academic year, telling her she'll find new friends and a good teacher in the new section. So, her mental wellbeing has been a key area during our school-related discussions."

Similarly, Indian expat Arijit Nandi says, "On the first day of school we have something called the 'Hopes and Dreams', which is basically an orientation programme of students and parents with the new teacher. So, for that, we must fill up a form in advance explaining a few things about our child to the new teacher so that she understands her new students. That is something that all parents in my child's school will be doing just like us."

He adds, "Apart from that, we are trying to figure out the logistics. School pick and drops were done by a friend of mine and me, but that's going to change in the new school year. So I'll definitely have to figure out the transport for my child as both my wife and I am working. These are things that we are looking at sorting out this weekend."

Parents are engaged in a range of activities to ensure their kids' wellbeing and academic quality in the new school year.

Filipino expat Ben Lebig says, "My daughter had some assigned readings from her school which was optional. But as she loves reading, she is trying to finish all that before the school reopens. It's a target she has set for herself and wants to accomplish. This will also help her to get more disciplined and would aid her to get back on track before a new academic year begins. Apart from that, late screen time is stopped to be able to get back into the habit of waking up early again."

Meanwhile, schools across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have already sent out back-to-school circulars to parents based on their communication with The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) respectively.

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