Dubai Schools Free to Set School Dates

Dubai Schools Free to Set School Dates
By David Westley
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Private schools in Dubai will be allowed to follow their own holiday calendar, and not have to fall in line with government set dates according to a report in Gulf News.

Earlier reports had suggested the Ministry of Education would demand dates to be aligned across all schools, but requests are being approved on a case-by-case basis by the KHDA, according to the paper.

Schools need only comply with the number of school days and school hours stipulated by the regulators, the report says.

With 138 private schools there had been fears that uniform dates could have mean travel chaos. The 13 curricula operating in the emirate also has timetabling implications.

Mohammad Darwish, Chief of the Regulation and Compliance Commission at the KHDA, said the unique school landscape of Dubai requires a certain flexibility in order for it to function in harmony. "We cannot have one-size-fits-all solutions, we have schools attached to their respective education boards [IBO, US, UK Edexcel and CIE, French and Japanese, etc.] who have different schedules for examinations, external assessment dates and other similar commitments.

"KHDA has been approving academic calendars for schools with the academic year beginning in September, since the end of January as this is when the schools begin planning for the next academic year," he added.

Representatives of several schools said they have already applied for approval of their calendar dates and are awaiting the response from KHDA.

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