Dubai: Schools, students hail shorter hours during Ramadan

KHDA stated that timings for private schools in the emirate will be reduced to five hours during holy month


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Fri 10 Mar 2023, 6:43 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 Mar 2023, 6:51 PM

School heads and parents have welcomed the shorter working hours during Ramadan.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) stated that timings for private schools in Dubai will be reduced to five hours during Ramadan.

According to a circular sent to all schools in the emirate, KHDA has directed schools not to hold classes for longer than the stipulated time during the month of fasting.

Schools in Dubai have been given two options. As per the first option schools that begin at 7.45am will end at 12.45pm from Monday to Thursday and 7.45am to 11.45am on Friday.

According to the other option, institutions that start school at 8am will end at 1pm from Monday to Thursday, and at 11.45am on Friday.

The KHDA circular seen by Khaleej Times says: "As the Holy Month of Ramadan approaches, [below are some guidelines] for Dubai private schools to provide instructional time while allowing students, staff and their families to observe this holy month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.”

The circular further states: “schools must provide a maximum of five hours of instruction time. On Fridays, schools must end instruction by 12pm to accommodate Friday prayers.”

Exempt from PE classes

As per the circular, fasting students are exempt from participating in PE classes.

“Consider fasting students while fixing field trips during Ramadan. Limit the amount of assigned homework and revision. This will allow time for teachers, students and parents to spend more time in prayer and with family.”

Meanwhile, some schools have been conducting a survey about their preferred timing for Ramadan.

Lalitha Suresh, principal at GEMS Our Own Indian School, Dubai told Khaleej Times that they will hold consultations with parents to determine the actual timings and submit it to the KHDA.

Wayne Howsen, principal, The Aquila School says: “At The Aquila School our community has received details about revised school timings for Ramadan, in alignment with the guidelines issued by the authorities. We consulted our community before deciding the start and end times of the school day.

During the Holy month we look forward to celebrating cultural customs, hosting a community iftar for our families and inviting the community to donate to our Ramadan fridge and closet. This month is always a great opportunity for reflection and spending time with those that mean the most to us.”

Parents welcome move

Parents welcome the decision saying families can spend quality time

Meanwhile, parents as always welcome the move highlighting that it allows them to spend more time worshipping, and spending quality time with family.

A Malay expat in the UAE says: “Shorter school hours coupled with two weeks of spring break that falls during Ramadan is perfect. My daughter is 14 years old. She has been fasting since she was six years old. So, with shorter school hours and holidays, she will have ample time to relax and revise her lessons for the O level exams. It surely would be less taxing for the children.”

Zeba Khan who is a mother of two primary school-going children says: “This the time when we try to inculcate the values of Islam in our children and tell them about Ramadan. But when children have long days, everything is a hurried affair.

"The holy month is the time to bond with family and friends. We are trying to teach our son about the importance of fasting as he is about to start the same. This way the time is celebrated with greater fervour. So, we thank the KHDA for be giving us this privilege. My cousin’s children fast, and it is especially easier on such children. Coming back home early during this time helps them to be less tired.”


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