School Admission Age Confirmed, Questions Remain

School Admission Age Confirmed, Questions Remain
By James Mullan
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Children must be at least three years and eight months old to enter school education in the UAE, according to a joint announcement by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).  The statement brings clarity to parents throughout the country many of whom had expressed concern about confusing signals communicated by various parties over the past three months.

The confusion began when the MoE issued a statement in January, which said that all children should be four years of age as of July 31 that year, to received admission into KG1 the following September.

Most concern was voiced by parents of children at Indian schools in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates as there appeared to be a discrepancy between the admission ages in these emirates and Dubai.

Despite the clarification from the federal Ministry of Education parents in some emirates are looking for confirmation from their local regulator. While that has been forthcoming in Abu Dhabi, parents elsewhere are still waiting. A number of schools across the UAE however have already begun to remove their programs for 3-year-olds with an understanding that, country-wide, FS1 will be seen as a program to be delivered by nurseries.

Note: To find out the latest information on Admissions by emirate, please click on the following links:


5 Archived Comments
Deepu Pillai
Archived 6th Apr 2014, 12:47

I have the same query raised by user " Lahcen"

Kindly update with any information, if available

Archived 6th Apr 2014, 13:08

No more specific information is as yet available. As soon as we have it, it will be posted here...

Archived 26th Mar 2014, 17:26

Dear Sir
Thank you for the information. Unfortunately it only adds to the confusion. When is the new regulation due to start ? If it starts with the new academic year 2014-2015 how about the children who will be younger than 3 years and 8 months and already got registered at schools for the academic year 2014-2015 prior to the new regulation announcement ? Is the new regulation also applicable to Dubai schools ? Is it applicable regardless of the curriculum ?

Archived 26th Mar 2014, 18:48

Thank you for your questions Lahcen. We're following up on this.

Archived 31st Mar 2014, 16:55

The answer to the question seems to be that this has yet to be resolved in all emirates, although many schools are beginning to remove their classes for 3 year olds on their own initiative. As soon as there are clarifications from individual emirates we will update accordingly.

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