UAE: Don’t let kids miss last 2 weeks of classes to start summer vacation early, parents told

This period often involves critical assessments, final projects, and preparations for the next academic year


Nandini Sircar

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Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Published: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 4:48 PM

Educators in the UAE are urging students not to disrupt the school year routine by missing the final weeks of learning, as many families may prepare to travel during Eid Al Adha and the long summer holidays.

They stressed some parents may have a misconception that the last weeks of school are less important. School heads reiterate instead that this period often involves critical assessments, final projects, and preparations for the next academic year.

Therefore, families are encouraged to plan vacations during designated school holidays to ensure students do not miss important academic time.

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According to the Ministry of Education (MOE) regulations, summer vacation cannot exceed 8.2 weeks, regardless of the curriculum. While this limit is obligatory for institutions, principals emphasised that parents must also be aware of this rule.

Time to revise and solidify learning

Amy Cooper, Pastoral Director at GEMS Wellington Academy — Silicon Oasis said: “The last few weeks are important to embed skills and iron out misconceptions in learning before the summer starts. Furthermore, we will use the time to revise and solidify the content that is necessary for future progress. If parents take their children out earlier than stated by the school calendar, it becomes a very long time that the students are away from routine and education.”

They highlighted extended absences can lead to significant learning loss, particularly in subjects requiring continuous practice.

She added, “The summer activities may be getting started and schools may feel emptier, but that’s not an invitation to disrupt the school year routine. Parents should still make a point of upholding consistency; it helps foster organisation and self-management for future-ready learners.”

Lessons focus on academic needs for new school year

Ahead of the summer vacations, institutions in the UAE have already started identifying the needs of each year group and lessons are focusing on forthcoming academic needs and trends.

Cooper said, “For example, our Year 8 students will focus on the key reading fundamentals in comprehension and deciphering so that students are fully ready to enter Year 9 with the skills ready to be successful. Year 10 will spend the last few weeks going over exam technique, ready to start Year 11 with a comprehensive understanding of how to successfully navigate the structure and technique of the different examination papers.”

Schools are enhancing, reorganising, and enhancing students’ skills in the final weeks. Therefore, parents are encouraged to inquire about their child’s institution's plans before deciding to depart early.

Besides, school leaders point out that when students miss long stretches of the school year, educators have to spend extra time catching up with students absent too many days.

Sangita Chima, Amity School Dubai Principal said: “Teachers set a different pace for students to understand the transition from learning experiences in school to a completely different home rhythm. Reflection on learning using the popular flipped classroom approach (class time devoted to interactive activities, like discussions, group work, problem-solving, or hands-on projects) enables our scholars to wrap up an exciting learning journey. Besides, students always benefit from saying goodbyes.”

How to enhance learning over summer?

Meanwhile, Vicky Martin, Head of Primary at GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi, shared some practical and fun tips for parents to help children retain and even enhance their learning over the summer months.

He said, “Use recipes to teach math skills such as measuring ingredients, fractions, and following step-by-step instructions. Cooking also introduces basic chemistry concepts.

Turn grocery shopping trips into math lessons by having children compare prices, calculate discounts, and estimate the total cost.”

Martin explained road trips or daily commutes can be used to discuss geography, history, and culture.

“Create fun quizzes related to the places you visit. Encourage children to read a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Many libraries offer summer reading programmes with incentives to keep children motivated. Utilise platforms like Duolingo and other educational apps that offer free lessons in various subjects,” he added.


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