UAE: After 2 months, students go back to school for new academic year

Pupils were seen taking pictures with props in elaborately decorated photo booths


Nandini Sircar

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GEMS Wesgreen International School, Sharjah
GEMS Wesgreen International School, Sharjah

Published: Mon 28 Aug 2023, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Mon 28 Aug 2023, 10:16 PM

The iconic yellow school buses once again took over on Dubai’s roads on Monday morning after a two-month summer break.

Schools have organised staggered entries to ensure that there is time for introductions, school tours, and orientation sessions, supporting new students in adapting to their environment, peers, and academic expectations.

Students in Dubai schools seemed exhilarated as they returned to their schools after the long holidays. They were seen taking photos with their friends using amusing welcome back props in elaborately adorned photo booths.

GEMS Wesgreen International School, Sharjah
GEMS Wesgreen International School, Sharjah

These pupils even eagerly shared stories of their enjoyable holiday experiences. Numerous students recounted their journeys, while others caught up with their class companions.

For some, meeting their classmates again made them really happy as they missed their friends. Abir Talwalkar, a Year-7 student at DIA Emirates Hills, was one among them. "I am excited about going back to school after the summer break. It will be great to see all my friends. It is also a big jump, going into Year 7 for the beginning of Middle Years Programme."

Supplied photo of Abir Talwarkar (L) and Varen Shetty (R)
Supplied photo of Abir Talwarkar (L) and Varen Shetty (R)

Students said that although adjusting to early mornings after the vacations felt somewhat difficult, the school's atmosphere and the anticipation of entering a senior class created an inviting ambiance.

Some believed that summer holidays introduced a pause and rebooting into the usual routine demanded an extra effort.

Varen Shetty who is also a student of the same school said, “Getting up early was a little difficult after the holidays but I was really excited as I hadn’t met my friends in a long time. It feels good to be back.”

At Indian curriculum schools, it was the beginning of a new term. For senior students, their term exams are not too far away.

Omar Elhoussaimi, Year 10 student at Wesgreen International School, Boys Section, said, “It feels good to be coming back to school after the summer break. But it also feels scary since we will be starting our IGCSE. I want to establish a good relationship with my teacher.”

GEMS Wesgreen International School, Sharjah
GEMS Wesgreen International School, Sharjah

Malak Mohamed, a Year 7 student at Wesgreen International School, Girls Section said, “It feels really good because I am going to adjust to new teachers and make new friends and learn new things. I am most excited about what I am going to learn and what’s going to come up in my tests and I want to see how charged I am going to be. The most challenging thing about the back-to-school transition is sleeping and waking up early because during holidays we get to sleep later.”

Meanwhile, school principals say it is heartwarming to see the school brimming with life once more as classrooms and corridors are abuzz after a long time.

Steven Giles, Principal, Raffles International School, said, “Our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure rooms and spaces are inspiring and ready. The children arrived with their parents wide-eyed with the anticipation of making new friends and meeting their new teacher for the year. The summer holiday is the longest holiday in the academic calendar and our children miss school. They are all enthusiastically back and have been telling us just how lovely it is to see all their old friends and meet lots of new friends too.”

New schools open, others see enrolment surge

Some major school groups inaugurated new institutions across the UAE on Monday.

Jeremy Hallum, Principal/CEO of GEMS Metropole School – Al Waha, said: “The first day of opening a new school is a very proud and memorable moment. Opening our doors today is one of the most special moments in my eighteen years of school leadership, and I will hold this day dear in my heart for the remainder of my career.”

“The first day so far has been a success with our excited school community joining us to meet our incredible staff and see our wonderful facilities. It has been heartwarming to see families, alongside our teachers, taking the first step on their journey."

"As a father of two children, it’s important to me that each child is excited about coming to school. That they look forward to coming in every day as they learn new things, make friends, and have fun. The smiles and excitement radiating around our school today make me incredibly excited for the future and the experiences that lie ahead,” added Hallum.

Some school groups even witnessed a surge in student enrolment this year prompting school groups to launch new institutions.

Poonam Bhojani, CEO, Innoventures Education said, “Student enrolment across Innoventures Education schools has gone up by 16 per cent, as compared to the same time last year, with an increase of 20 to 40 per cent across certain class groups. Responding to demand from parents, we have launched an Early Childhood Centre at DIA Al Barsha for children up to three years old, making it the first ECC in the largest school campus in Dubai.”


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