UAE | Education

Abu Dhabi Indian School revised school timings worry parents

Rescheduling required to accommodate pupils, says Abu Dhabi Indian School

  • By Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:30 March 30, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News Archives
  • Parents queue outside the Abu Dhabi Indian School with their children for enrolment for the new academic year.

Abu Dhabi: A change in timings for hundreds of primary school children at a popular private school in the capital is causing parents great concern ahead of the 2013-2014 academic year..

The changes were announced by the Abu Dhabi Indian School in March, with the most notable difference for pupils enrolled within Grades 2 to 5. Instead of starting the school day at 7.30am as in previous years, pupils in these grades will be attending school between 11.15am and 4.30pm during the next academic year, which begins on April 7.

School authorities, however, told Gulf News that the timings were required in order to accommodate as many pupils as possible within the current premises.“My daughter is just seven years old, and she will be moving to Grade 2 in the next academic year. We found out about the new timings and ever since then we have been very worried. There will be no one to send our daughter to school at 11.30am because my wife and I will both be at work,” said M.J., a 37-year-old medical officer.

“We are still wondering how we can accommodate the changed schedule. We are also worried that our daughter will not have enough time for an afternoon nap when she returns from school. Moreover, she tends not to have a proper meal while at school, so we are concerned about her lunch arrangements,” the concerned father said.

Another parent with a child who will be enrolled in Grade 5 complained that he too would face similar issues.

“My wife and I both work full-time, and there will be no one to take our daughter to the bus. Besides, we do not feel it is safe for us to leave her at home early in the morning. But we also have no solutions yet,” he said.

“With the seat shortages at Indian curriculum schools in Abu Dhabi, it is also not an option for us to move her to another school,” the father-of-two added.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, the school, which has about 7,000 pupils enrolled at present, was able to run a morning and an afternoon shift for pupils in KG 1, KG 2 and Grade 1. According to a school circular dated March 6, both batches will however be required to attend classes between 7.15am and 11am during the following academic year. The increased demand for classrooms during this time of day, as well as other logistical factors like provision of transport for all pupils, therefore prompted the ‘rescheduling of school timings’.

Classes for Grades 2 to 5 will begin classes at 11.15am, after the kindergarten and Grade 1 classes end at 11.15am. School timings for girls enrolled in Grade 6 to 12 have been changed to 8.30am until 3.15pm, whereas boys in Grades 6 to 12 will attend classes from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

When contacted, V. K. Mathu, adviser to the school’s board of governors, said the timings had been decided upon after much consideration, and with approval from the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec).

“We want to accommodate as many children as possible, and are constrained by a number of factors. For instance, all pupils must have finished school by 4.30pm, as per federal regulations. We also cannot have pupils in higher grades start later in the day during the timings allocated for Grades 2 to 5, because older pupils need at least six and a half hours of study each day,” Mathu explained.

The second shift for KG 1, KG 2 and Grade 1 was cancelled, and 700 pupils from the shift were merged with the morning shift, because the Adec had granted permission for the later shift during the 2012-2013 academic year only.

“We understand the inconvenience to many parents, and I have met many of them to discuss these. However, this is the best possible way for us to accommodate as many pupils within the present premises,” Mathu said.

Due to the great demand for its seats, the school has also been allocated a plot for a second campus in Al Wathba, but certain legal arrangements are still pending.

Comments (12)

  1. Added 16:48 March 31, 2013

    This whole thing is result of lack of interaction between the parents and the school authorities. We should have a Parents and Teachers Association that will negate the need to get things like this into the media. And also help the Schools and Parents alike to bring about an amicable solution for their problems.

    paul, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:25 March 31, 2013

    I cant understand why people are so concerned about this. If people get so tense about such issues, how can they prepare their kids to cope with future challenges? The school management has limitations and within that framework they are doing their best for the community. You have to find alternatives to suit your requirement such as changing the school, speaking with your management for time change in your office, or quitting your job or sending your kid to India for education. I am not being insensitive. I am also facing the same problem here in Qatar, the problem being inadequate seats even for KG students. People in the UAE are lucky that the management is finding solutions for accommodating the maximum students within their constraints

    Feroz, Doha, Qatar

  3. Added 16:01 March 31, 2013

    Senior students can get into the bus at 11.30 without parents help, Junior students need their parents help to get into the bus at 11.30. If junior students going in the morning hours parents are able help them to get the bus on time. My suggestion is to change Grade 2 to 5 to morning shift and senior students to later shift.

    A.Y, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:53 March 31, 2013

    Dear Readers, being born and raised in Dubai, I don't see a reason why people are complaining about this issue. As a toddler, I had school from 12pm to 7pm and never saw my folks complaining to the authorities in reference to the timing. I am with the folks who say raise in fee structure is an issue, but you can't expect the school to deliver 100% satisfaction in terms of listening to everyone who has a concern.

    Sagar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 15:19 March 31, 2013

    i have one question, does the mangement agree if threir kids study in different school and this time is agreeable to them. this timimg will hold parents at home and unable to work due to unethic timimg. its vague idea look into the convenient of school management ignoring parents convenience. so pitty

    P.C. Ummer, abudhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 14:34 March 31, 2013

    what about children who have no school to go to as most of the schools are closing down? .....at least AD Indian school is doing what it can to accomodate more students ....other option is to seek admission in other schools where the Swimming pool is the higest priority and Play ground and fees amounting to 18000++

    john, Auh, India

  7. Added 13:18 March 31, 2013

    my daughter is 7years old and studing in 3grade now, me and my wife go to work at 7am , before change of school timing we use to drop her to school and she will return in school bus at 2:45, my wife reach home for luch at 2pm, but now the new timing has made us little worried, the school management should think before they issue new rules, the children's whole system will be disturbed. Why is the management not thinking of the kids?

    syed, abu dhabi, India

  8. Added 11:38 March 31, 2013

    We also cannot have pupils in higher grades start later in the day during the timings allocated for Grades 2 to 5, because older pupils need at least six and a half hours of study each day,” Mathu explained. Quoting the above, senior students can study themselves and they can utilise evening hours and morning hours, they can get more than six and a half-hours. Grades 2 to 5 need their parents help to study, only in the evening hours parents can help them. Another point is Senior students can get into the Bus at 11.30 without parents help, Junior students need their parents help to get into the bus at 11.30. If junior students going in the morning hours parents are able help them to get the bus on time. My suggestion is to change Grade 2 to 5 to morning shift and senior students to later shift.

    Manoj Koshy, Anu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 11:20 March 31, 2013

    We are working parents. My son is in 5th Std at ADIS. I am forced to stop my wife's job, because of this time change. Now we are in a totally difficult position in life. Request ADIS authority to look for any other solution to accomodate kids by morning time.

    Santhosh Kurup, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:35 March 31, 2013

    we prefer AD Indian school as all other schools are in Mussaffa...but AD Indian school has left us with only two options either to look for a maid (asking for big amount) or mothers to leave the job & sit at home.

    Sanjana, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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