Archive image of students of JSS Private School in Dubai starting their new academic year Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News archive

Dubai: All preparations and checks have been done to welcome back more than 1.2 million students back to school in the UAE on Monday after the long summer break, officials and educators have assured the community.

Emirates Schools Establishment has rolled out a comprehensive back-to-school guide, detailing the phases set to take place from August 28 to September 1.

As per the plan, schools have been allowed to manage a phased return to school, based on their individual circumstances.

New academic year

The guide has also clarified the attendance timings:

Kindergarten: 8am to 11am daily

Grade 1 to 4: Two sessions - Monday to Thursday from 7:15am to 11:10am, and Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. The second session runs from 8 a.m. to 11:55 a.m., and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Grade 5 to 12 (boys): Monday to Thursday from 7:15 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Grade 5 to 12 (girls): Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Flexible hours

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) issued a circular for ministries and federal entities to allow parents to accompany their children to school and back home. Parents are being granted three hours off from their work to drop their children to school and ensure their safe return home on the first day of school.

During the first week of the new school year, parents with younger children, or those with children attending nurseries or kindergartens can avail flexible working hours.

Families ready

Indian expat Sumit Augustine, 34 is sending her seven year old son Joshua Sujay to JSS Private School in Dubai for Grade 1. Augustine said she has been prepping son for school since the past week.

“I have been speaking to him about his new class teacher, friends and the activities he will getting to do when he returns to school. Back to school can be an exciting time for children, especially the younger ones who like to show off their new lunchboxes, school bags and cool stationery items,” she added.

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Sumit Augustine with her son Joshua Image Credit: Supplied

“As a parent, I am grateful to the federal authority for announcing flexible working hours in the first week. It is such a lovely thought and consideration.”

An Australian mother, Zahirah Marty, is also ready to send her six-year-old son Noah to Year 2 at a British school. Marty, a destination marketing specialist said the start of the school year is always exciting.

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Zahirah Marty with her son Noah Image Credit: Supplied

“Noah loves being back in class with all his friends, meeting new teachers and getting into the routine of all the activities. I start preparing for the school year as early as possible, and try to get any uniforms, stationery or lunch box requirements well in advance,” she said.

“Our biggest challenge is always getting back to school sleep routines as the holidays always allow for late nights and long sleep-ins in the mornings. We have had our uniforms packed and labelled, and we are crossing fingers for good luck with wake-up time and school traffic.”

Student transport

Meanwhile Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) - part of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) - has lined up buses to serve 25,000 students returning to school for the new academic year.

DTC’s school buses have been equipped with a variety of smart features, including surveillance cameras, a system to ensure that no student is left behind at the end of each journey, a system to detect student movement in transit, and an emergency alert system among others.

‘Accident-Free Day’

The UAE has put a plan in place to ensure a seamless back to school for students and parents alike on the first day of school for the new academic year.

Meanwhile the police departments in the UAE also announced their full readiness with respect to road safety measures on the first day school.

Motorists who have registered their pledge to avoid accidents and fines on Monday under the ‘Accident-Free Day’ initiative will have four black points removed from their traffic file.