Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has introduced guidelines for schools during Ramadan, specifying that school timings should not exceed five hours of instruction time. Shamma Al Mansouri, Director of Permits at KHDA, emphasized the importance of adherence to these guidelines, particularly the conclusion of the school day by 12 pm on Fridays. The initiative aims to create an optimal educational setting during the holy month, prioritizing the well-being of students and fostering values associated with compassion, patience, and perseverance.

Consultation with Parents and Flexible Timings

In preparation for Ramadan, most schools will consult with parents to determine specific timings. Adjustments will be made to accommodate the unique needs of both schools and parents. Some schools have already adopted specific schedules, such as 7.45 am to 12.45 pm from Monday to Thursday, while maintaining regular timings on Fridays. Dubai’s education regulator has directed private school administrations to determine start and end times, ensuring flexibility during the holy month.

Minimizing Assessments for Spiritual Focus

With many schools completing internal exams before Ramadan, headteachers are focused on minimizing assessments and keeping them low-stakes during this period. The goal is to allow students ample time for family, prayer, and reflection without the pressure of intensive studying. Helen Hurford, Vice Principal at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, highlighted the school’s commitment to supporting students during Ramadan by keeping assessments to a minimum and designing low-stakes assessments with reduced duration.

Spring Break Alignment and Cultural Understanding

For numerous international curricula institutions, almost 10 days of spring break will coincide with Ramadan. In Indian curriculum schools, the end-of-session break often overlaps with Ramadan, providing students with a brief vacation following annual exams. Amity School Dubai Principal, Sangita Chima, noted the positive alignment of the academic calendar with Ramadan this year. The end-of-session break allows students time for reflection and relaxation, and the school fosters religious and cultural understanding by providing diverse spiritual learning opportunities during the sacred month.

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