UAE: Boys in public schools can now wear traditional Emirati dress as option for school uniform

Some parents prefer Kandura to new school uniform for children


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2022, 7:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 31 Aug 2022, 10:37 PM

Male students in public schools in the UAE have been allowed to wear the traditional Emirati dress (Kandura) as an alternative for the new school uniform.

The Emirates School Establishment (ESE) on Wednesday announced that it has decided to provide the option of wearing the male Emirati dress as a school uniform for boys in cycle 2 and cycle 3 (from Grade 5 and above).

According to the ESE, starting next week, boys in cycle-2 can wear the Kandura as an optional school uniform besides the approved new school uniform, while students in cycle 3 can wear Kandura with Hamdaniya or gutrah (traditional UAE headscarf) besides the new school uniform.

The move follows a survey that showed that some parents preferred Kandura to the new school uniform for male students, which includes a shirt, a tie and trousers.

The ESE said it was keen on communicating closely with parents to move forward in supporting the educational system.

The ESE had earlier announced that all public-school pupils in the UAE would be using a new school uniform with effect from the current academic year that began on August 29.

The ESE introduced the new school uniform for all students of public schools, starting from kindergarten to grade 12.

Officials said the new uniform, which is in white and dark blue colours, is suitable for all age groups across all cycles to meet their dynamic nature and provides an educational environment based on equality and positive interaction between students.

Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, and Chairperson of the Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) said on Twitter: “In response to the suggestions and wishes of the parents, the option of wearing the national dress (Kandoura) was made available for boys in the second and third cycles as an optional school uniform.

“Parents are one of the elements of the success of the education process in the country, and by joining forces with them, we will achieve the vision of our government in this sector.”

The new uniform includes a set comprising a white shirt and skirt for a girl in Grade 9 and a set comprising a white shirt, blue trousers and a tie for a boy in the same grade.

For boys in grades 1 to 4, the uniform includes a formal white shirt with a logo, a tie and shorts or long blue trousers, while girls in the same grades put on a formal white shirt featuring a logo, with either wide-leg blue culottes-style trousers or a blue dress.

Their sports uniform for boys includes a white and blue T-shirt, with white and blue trousers or shorts, while that of girls includes a white and blue T-shirt with trousers or shorts.

For grades 9 to 12, boys wear a formal white shirt (long or short sleeve) with a tie, and dark blue trousers. Their sports uniform consists of a white and dark blue T-shirt and dark blue sports trousers.

Girls in grades 9 to 12 wear a formal white shirt with either dark blue wide-leg culottes-style trousers or a long skirt. The girls’ sports uniform includes a dark blue (long or short sleeve) sports T-shirt and trousers.


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