Schoolchildren across the UAE will have an extra 14 days holiday per year from September, according to an announcement by the federal Cabinet. This will bring the number of schooldays down from the current number of 189 to 175. The winter holiday will be extended to three weeks, with two weeks for spring break.
Pupils will conclude their academic year on June 23, 2016, and staff on July 5.The Government statement did not specify which schools would be affected and Ministry of Education officials were not available for comment. The changes are a reversal of a Ministry of Education announcement this year that added an extra 10 days to the academic year.
It is difficult to provide like-for-like comparisons with other countries as ‘instructional time’ varies significantly between them. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which carried out studies among 33 mostly developed nations, annual “total intended instructional time” averaged 790 hours for primary students (ranging from 470 hours in Russia to 1,007 hours in Chile) For the international equivalent of U.S. middle-schoolers, average annual required hours increased to 925 (ranging from 741 hours in Sweden to 1,167 hours in Mexico). The OECD did not have data for high schoolers.