New UAE weekend: 'Strange' to wake up for Friday classes, say students

Though still adjusting, students welcomed the day with excitement as they planned out their first 2.5-day weekend



By Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Fri 7 Jan 2022, 4:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 7 Jan 2022, 11:17 PM

Students say waking up for classes on a Friday morning was strange, but they breathed a sigh of relief when classes ended early at noon.

Schools across the UAE, except in Sharjah, witnessed the first-ever Friday classes as part of the new 4.5-day workweek that started on Monday.

Though still adjusting, students welcomed the half school day on Friday with excitement as they planned to fill their first 2.5-day weekend with new hobbies, activities and quality time with family.

Some students in Dubai had to start their half-day Friday online, as several schools shifted to distance learning earlier this week amid the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

Nada Nafisa, Grade 11 student, GEMS Al Khaleej International School

I woke up relieved knowing I would have more time for myself after school. Having time off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday allows me adequate rest and a catch up on my missing school work.

I’m certainly utilising Friday to its fullest extent to finish school work early and relax before recharging on Saturday and Sunday. I’d love to get back into exercising early on Friday, and my family and I can even still do the Friday brunches we used to because of the shorter day.

Abhay Sharma, Grade 11 student, GEMS Modern Academy

Waking up at 6am on a Friday and not feeling the excitement of the weekend I usually felt on a Thursday was odd.

But meeting my friends and teachers, through online school, made the adjustment process easy and just as fun as a regular school day. Despite Fridays being half days, we are learning as much in classes as before while having extra time with our families.

The new workweek gives me more flexibility to build my schedule around my personal needs and spend time more efficiently on studies while feeling less exerted. With the extra time, maybe I can finally learn the guitar.

Fatima Zahra, Year 12, Pristine Private School

Having to wake up early on a Friday was strange for me as an AS student, but I got into the flow of the day soon enough.

Having a 2.5-day weekend will give me more time to study and complete assignments. I would probably take up the rest of the Friday to go to the gym, read and watch shows. It’s important to have one day to yourself and this new Friday half-day will give me more time to recharge for the week if school doesn't increase the workload.

Mahad Khurram, Year 9, Pristine Private School

The first half of the day felt normal aside from the shorter lessons and the temporary distance learning.

It felt refreshing, however, after a week of 7-hour schooldays. I usually finish most of my homework by Thursday, and the rest on Friday. Now, I will be able to complete all my work on Friday and have two whole days to relax or do some extra studying.

Personally, most of the time will go into studying and completing my work, since I prefer to do all my work early, so I have more time to enjoy the weekend. Our school isn't increasing the time of our regular school days, with which we end up getting more time to study on Friday and the weekend in general.

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Enzo Miguel, Year 9, Pristine Private School

The first half of Friday is like how a Thursday would be before but shortened. The school days are still the same, but it is nice that the overall week has been slightly reduced. This new schedule also suits me better, as now I can go to church with my family on Sunday mornings.

sherouk@khaleejtimes.com


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