The focus on child neglect or abuse follows implementation of the new Child Protection Policy. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: School timings have been reduced to a maximum of five hours for Ramadan, Arabic newspapers reported on Monday, quoting the Ministry of Education.

Starting Sunday (May 28), boys’ schools will start at 8am while girls’ schools and pupils in kindergarten will start at 9am.

According to the reports, schools have also been asked to suspend physical exercise classes and any other activity that is physically demanding during Ramadan. They must also ensure pupils are not exposed to the heat and sun to avoid the risk of dehydration and exhaustion.

The measures include cancelling the morning assembly, reducing breaks to 10 minutes and limiting classes to a maximum of 40 minutes per class.

The Ramadan timings and measures will apply till the end of the school year — June 22. Ramadan will end around June 25 or 26, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

According to a circular sent by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), school timings in Dubai during Ramadan will be shortened to five hours a day. Schools will start between 8am and 8.30am and end between 1pm and 1.30pm, with shorter breaks as required.

Mohammad Darwish, chief of regulations and permits commission at KHDA, said: “Ramadan is an extremely important and significant time of the year for Muslims. Schools share a collective responsibility to follow shorter timings during the month and exempt fasting students from any physically demanding activities.”

The circular encouraged schools to plan informative activities for staff, parents and students to raise awareness about the practices of the holy month.

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has also announced its Ramadan timings for schools. According to its website (www.adec.ac.ae), “school timings for kindergarten students will start at 9am and run till 11.55am, with 40 minutes class durations and a ten-minute break time”.

It added: “Grades 1 to 11 boys schools will start their day at 8.15am and end at 1.10pm, whereas girls schools will operate from 9am to 1.55pm. There will be seven periods for all schools, with a ten-minute break after the fourth period”.

It is routine for school timings to be reduced in Ramadan. In 2016, timings were also reduced to five hours. Fasting during the summer is more demanding; as a result schools and workplaces keep shorter hours to help people cope.