Dubai: Schools — both private and public — will remain closed for the summer holidays till the end of Eid Al Fitr this year, following the government decision last year.
The Ministry of Education has issued a circular to all schools in the UAE announcing that schools will reopen on September 14, after Ramadan. The closing date for all schools is July 11, a two-week extension from the usual closing date of June-end.
Schools said they have already sent the circulars to parents allowing them to plan their summer holidays in advance.
Last year the first week of July, the Government announced the extension of the school year 2009-2010 till September 23 to include Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr in the holiday period.
The decision followed an overwhelming response to a Facebook post by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, asking public opinion on delaying the reopening of schools.
The idea was to allow fasting students to be at home without having to start the day early in the summer heat.
But the ministerial decision was binding only on government schools and private schools following the UAE curriculum. Private schools following foreign curriculum were given the option of either sticking to their normal schedule or fall suit with the new decision. After a string of contradictory statements by government officials in the press that reportedly led to jeopardising the vacation plans of many families, most private schools opened on the first week of September itself with a few exceptions.
In the public sector, concerns were raised last year that the delayed school year would adversely affect students as academic schedules could not be maintained with the number of school days being cut by over 20 days. However, this year the Ministry has delayed the closure of schools by two weeks to compensate for the delayed opening in mid-September.
"As the schools are closing on July 11 and not the end of June as was the practice, we won't be losing too many school days because of the delayed opening," said Ashok Kumar, CEO of the Indian High School.