Dubai: 4-day weekend announced at many schools to celebrate Diwali

For some institutions it comes as an extension of the mid-term break that has already started



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File photo
by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Wed 19 Oct 2022, 1:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 7:23 AM

Many schools in Dubai are giving two days off so that students and parents can celebrate the Indian festival of Diwali with their loved ones at home. The days off are on Monday and Tuesday (October 24-25). When combined with the Saturday-Sunday off, that means a four-day weekend for students of these schools.

For some schools it comes as an extension of the mid-term break that has already started in schools.

A few schools are also organising a Diwali fair and some non-Indian curriculum institutions who are working on October 24 , Monday will be organising Diwali related activities, with children being allowed to come dressed in ethnic wear on that day.

Michael Guzder, Vice President - Education, GEMS Education: "GEMS Indian schools have scheduled a day off for Diwali, which this year falls on Monday, October 24 . Popularly known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali sees families and friends meet and celebrate together. As most Indian schools have just finished their Term 1 examination, students and parents will spend the extended weekend relaxing, enjoying, visiting friends and celebrating the festival together."

Lalitha Suresh, Principal, GEMS Our Own Indian School, opines, “Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated in all Indian households with lights, sweets, new clothes and rangolis. In our school we celebrate Diwali a day before, when students come in colourful clothes and take part in special assemblies. The senior girls along with staff participate in an inter-house rangoli competition where they draw our beautiful designs on the floor and fill them with coloured powder. Sweet boxes are distributed to all staff and the school generally enjoys a two-day break to celebrate Diwali with their families. The festive feel is palpable throughout the school as staff exchange home-made sweets and Diwali delicacies in the staff room.”

Most Indian schools like the Delhi Private School Dubai (DPS) will remain closed on Monday, October 24, 2022 and Tuesday, October 25, 2022 on account of Diwali and pupils will return to their classrooms on Wednesday, October 26.

Zubair Ahmad, COO, Springdales School Dubai, avers, “We had decided a long time ago that we will give a few days off (on Monday and Tuesday) to our students and staff for Diwali, as we are an Indian curriculum school. So, we had mentioned this to Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in the yearly planner that is submitted to the emirate's education regulator. We take culture very seriously in our institution. It is an integral part of our moral education lessons in school and is not limited to textbook learning alone. Since we are an Indian curriculum overseas school, we feel that we have an obligation to preserve our culture through such important festivals, of course, bearing in mind the sensitivities of the country that we live in."

“The school is organizing a 'Grand Diwali Mela' on October 21 where parents are also invited to come and celebrate with the school and its students. Through this effort we wish to integrate learning like entrepreneurial skills, talent, creativity, imagination and art with the lovely celebrations that we are looking forward to.”

Most schools in Sharjah like the Sharjah Indian School and Ambassador School among others will also remain closed coming Monday, to mark the festival of lights, Diwali.

Sangita Chima, Amity School Dubai Principal says, “The festival of lights is an important time of the year for Indian families, who come together to celebrate with loved ones, friends and relatives. On the occasion, our will remain closed for two days, 24 and 25 October. Our school community will be able to enjoy the festivities during this extended weekend.”

"Diwali is an extremely important celebratory event of the year when all our colleagues and staff very much look forward to spending quality time with their friends and family", says Punit MK Vasu, CEO of The Indian High Group of Schools. "This time, the two day holiday on Monday and Tuesday coincidentally relates with our group of schools having successfully completed the recent KHDA inspections.

We know many of our colleagues are looking forward to traveling and celebrating this festival back home as a lot of restrictions have been lifted. We encourage all to celebrate responsibly and maintain good safety protocols."

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