Back to school in UAE: Traffic jams, excitement as students return to usual routines

Most schools across the UAE started a new term on Monday with over one million students returning to their classrooms


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Tue 16 Apr 2024, 3:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Apr 2024, 3:30 PM

As heavy rainfall, thunderstorm and lightning hit most parts of the UAE, public and private school students have been studying remotely after an announcement by the educational authorities in the country.

Most schools across the UAE, however, started a new term on Monday with over one million students returning to their classrooms.

This meant the iconic yellow school buses once again took over Dubai’s roads today with traffic peaking around school zones during the morning and late afternoon hours.

The new session follows a three-week long break that included the Spring and Eid holidays, and saw many families travelling abroad.

Some students struggle to readjust

Teachers highlighted due to the extended break, some families found it challenging to readjust to school routines, resulting in a few “sleepy students” this morning.

“They have implemented strategies such as more frequent breaks and additional movement activities to ensure that students can smoothly transition back to school hours. Overall, while there were some hurdles in easing children back into the routine, the excitement of being back with friends and the efforts of our teachers have helped make the return to school a positive experience for everyone,” said Lisa Johnson, Principal, American Academy for Girls.

She added, “Given the extended break and shortened school days during Ramadan, it’s imperative that we optimise our instructional time. Consequently, there will be fewer opportunities for trips and events until the exams.”

Impressive attendance

Headteachers highlighted they observed impressive attendance, signalling the enthusiasm of their pupils.

Principal and Director, DPS Dubai, Rashmi Nandkeolyar said, “We see very good attendance today so that’s a positive indication of the interest and energy of our students. Teachers planned many interesting and fun activities to acclimatize students in the classrooms and to their new routine.” Schools even organized ice breaker activities to ease students back to the school schedule. “’What Makes your Heart Happy’ helped students to get to know each other and feel comfortable in the classroom.”

External examinations for senior students

For senior students, it’s time for external exams as they prepare to commence their International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations.

Simon Herbert, Head of School/CEO, GEMS International School – Al Khail said, “IB examinations for our Grade 12 students start next week and we wish them the very best. They have their Final Assembly and ‘Senior Walk’, which is a final walk through the school, during which they are filmed and fêted by students, staff, and parents.”

Educators reiterated they are back on campuses with the new trimester set to be one filled with activities and events.

Therefore, in this term, a few other schools are taking learning beyond the classroom walls through camping trips.

Jenny Evans, Senior Deputy Principal, GEMS Royal Dubai School, said, “Over the next fortnight, all our Key Stage 2-year groups will head off on their camps, developing High-Performance Learning skills such as collaboration, independence, communication, and risk-taking. Overnight trips also create additional opportunity to develop resilience and support wellbeing, enabling student to shine bright outside their comfort zone.”


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