UAE: Will private, public school hours change? FNC member calls for shorter class timings

Students need more time to rest and spend with their families to improve their wellbeing, he said

By Web Desk

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Published: Tue 13 Dec 2022, 8:24 PM

Students across public and private schools in the UAE would benefit if current school timings were cut by an hour, according to a member of the Federal National Council (FNC), who raised the concern at a session held in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Addressing the session, FNC member Obaid Al Salami observed, "The students of public and private schools suffer from exhaustion and fatigue due to long school hours, which begins with them waking up at 5am and extends for seven or eight classes, ending with their arrival home at 4pm or after."

He added that children would often meet their families exhausted, as an accumulated amount of homework and projects await, noting there is no room for rest, hobbies, community participation, or family visits.

"Does the Ministry of Education have a plan to evaluate the negative results of the current long school hours and reduce the school day by an hour per day to end at exactly two o'clock?" he asked.

Responding to question, Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, said UAE schools have fewer hours compared to most countries in the world. "If we look at the daily school hours, shorter hours on Friday have been compensated for and added to the rest of the school days. Students must obtain a certain educational standard, whether we increase the school days or reduce the working hours.


"But in reference to the current situation and the average hours in the country, it's 5.4 hours in the UAE, and 7 hours in Sweden; South Korea is 8 hours, Germany is 5.5 hours, and Finland is 5 hours. So, our school day is less than most countries.

"If we measure these daily hours with schooling days, there are countries that study 180 days in total if we multiply the hours by days. In the UAE, it is about 1,015 hours, and in Sweden, 1,246 throughout the year, while the international average is 1,246 hours."

He also pointed out that the working hours in UAE have changed and that has to be considered. "The change in the working days per week in the country must be taken into account, as it has been reduced from five days to four-and-a-half, so there are procedures for compensation, whether in work days or school days."

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