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Thu 2 Jul 2009 02:15 AM

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New academic year at gov't schools set for after Ramadan

Decision follows high level government talks taking account of public input.

Classes in government schools for the academic year 2009-2010 have been postponed until after the holy month of Ramadan it was confirmed on Wednesday.Ahead of the announcement His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had posted a question up on his Facebook page, seeking public input on whether the school year should begin after Eid. The majority of parents and pupils preferred the term start after Eid.

According to Khaleej Times the Ministry has said that teaching staff will have to report back on September 13 and the students will resume school on September 23. 

In his post, Shaikh Mohammad thanked the respondents and indicated his appreciation of opinions from a ''wide diversity of people in our society.''

Meanwhile, one parent, who is also a school principal, told Gulf News that Ramadan is the month of fasting, and represents a significant part of UAE national culture. Having a holiday during this month would help parents, principals and pupils to concentrate on the values of this month, she said.

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abusidra 11 years ago

Long holidays will disrupt studies and the keeness and enthusiasm just goes off in students and teachers alike. I view this as a receipe for lousiness and laziness. Anyways, if it's just a formality to go to school to enjoy and not to learn, then let the whole summer time be the holiday, or why not give the option to students and teachers for e-learning from home at their convenience.

Billy 11 years ago

Anyone thought about the education of the kids? Since Sept 23rd is a Wednesday it is highly unlikely schools will start on that date and if they do nothing will be achieved in those 2 days so the start of true education will be postponed to September 27th. That is a 3 week delay to the start of the term. Absolutely ridiculous, especially at a time when the Government has stated a clear aim to improve the standards of education in its schools. I am not an expert on the principles of Ramadan but I believe it was never intended that it be taken as a holiday to make fasting easier. I hope the private schools do not have to bend to this really bad initiative

s dunlop 11 years ago

I really hope that the Government does not expect this policy to be appled to Private Schools. Whilst respecting the values and importance of Ramadan, application of this policy to Private schools would be disastrous leaving many expatriates with enormous difficulties regarding child care, working hours and education. It would also prove incredibly miserable for the children.

Mansoor 11 years ago

Hi does any body knows how does this announcement applies to the O level schools.

GB 11 years ago

It is my understanding, I have lived in Dubai for 25 years, that Ramadan is a month of self-denial, prayer and commitment and that fasting should be a joy as it is done onto the Creator. With al due respect, to cancel school during the Holy Month teaches that it is ok not to make an effort and that staying home during this time is acceptable. Our daughter was born here in 1986 and had normal school hours during Ramadan throughout her school years. Going the extra mile creates backbone - Why should that change now?

Anupama V. Chand 11 years ago

While it is great for parents, teachers and students all over the UAE that the long summer vacations have been extended by almost another month, as a parent I cannot help but be concerned about the implications of this decision for schools that will need to race ahead to complete the portions within a highly reduced academic year. How will they manage it? This will also mean a much bigger strain on parents to send children to tuitions, extra classes and do whatever it takes to make them get through the year with competititve grades. It is unfortunate that the Holy Month of Ramadan, which has always been considered a period of fasting, devotion, and above all else of carrying on one's daily work with the usual dignity for Muslims worldwide, even while the body fasts and the mind turns to thoughts of prayer, should now be reason to justify deferring the academic year. Students when they do return to schools are going to find it difficult to shake off the lethargy that their bodies and minds have become used to in the course of the long summer hiatus. Please UAE, let us not begin to set an exmaple that puts education second to anything, because that education is the single most important thing that shapes the character of our next generation. This step seems to indicate that education can be compromised, and we must be careful that children do not imbibe this message!

Owais Athar 11 years ago

Hats off to His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai - for using Facebook as a good example.

Paul Welsh 11 years ago

I am fully aware that Ramadan is called with the sighting of the moon and thus is a somewhat moving target. How much it moves though is usually no more than 1 or 2 days either way. The beginning of Ramadan (at least very close to it) has been known about for many years and thus why this decision now? I sincerely hope that it does not affect schools other than the UAE curriculum as mentioned but standby!!!

NT 11 years ago

Forgiving the response from Owais above, I can only agree with the comments of the other respondees to date. I read in one of the newspapers today a statement which reads 'I expect from our students a year filled with achievement and productivity' How, when the school year is reduced by almost 1 month ? For some this is O level or maybe A level year - how are they expected to cover the full curriculum ? Do we want our children to achieve great things or merely be medicocre........

raja 11 years ago

This is not a good move from the govt. as it can make the students more lazy and will be difficult to adjust after a 'extended long vacation' My children are born and bought up in this country and studying in 'O' level. The school closed for vacation on 9th June, and if this extended holidays applies to private schools also, schools will start possibly on 23rd Sept, gosh, 105 days of holidays. Never heard in human history this kind of treatment to education system, 2nd priority. We, the parents, specially, people from our part of the world take education very very seriously, and in last 10 years of my son's schooling, I don't think he ever missed school for wrong reasons, except sickness etc., We make sure that he should not cultivate of habit of 'it's OK'. But now, the govt. with this (if it applies to private schools, I pray god not to implement to private schools), surprised everybody, who thinks seriously about Education.