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Dubai and Sharjah Schools Adjust Timetables for Ramadan; KHDA and SPEA Issue Guidelines

Dubai and Sharjah Schools Adjust Timetables for Ramadan; KHDA and SPEA Issue Guidelines

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, private schools in Dubai and Sharjah are preparing to adapt their schedules in accordance with religious observances. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai and the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) have issued guidelines to ensure a smooth transition during this period.

Dubai Schools:

In Dubai, private schools will shorten their operating hours, with the school day not exceeding five hours. Additionally, schools will close by noon on Fridays to accommodate prayers. Shamma Al Mansouri, Director of Permits at KHDA, emphasized that these guidelines aim to facilitate religious observances while ensuring minimal disruption to educational activities.

Sharjah Schools:

Similarly, private schools in Sharjah will implement reduced hours, limiting school days to no longer than six hours. However, each school has the flexibility to determine its operating hours based on curriculum requirements and Ramadan regulations.

Community Response:

School administrators are working closely with parents to determine the most suitable schedules for their children. Many schools are offering options for earlier or later start and finish times to accommodate family needs during Ramadan.

Adaptations by School Leaders:

School leaders are proactively adjusting timetables to meet the needs of students and staff. Simon Crane, head teacher at Brighton College Dubai, highlighted the importance of maintaining in-person learning during Ramadan. The school will operate a compact timetable to ensure efficient lesson delivery within the reduced schedule.

Efforts to Boost Attendance:

Principals recognize the challenge of maintaining attendance on Fridays during Ramadan and are implementing special activities to encourage student participation. Lisa Johnson, principal at American Academy for Girls in Dubai, emphasized the importance of engaging students through house events and assemblies to foster a sense of community spirit.

Consideration for Staff:

Schools are also mindful of staff well-being and have adjusted operating hours to minimize disruption to their schedules. Ghadeer Abu-Shamat, superintendent and chief executive at Gems Al Khaleej International School, emphasized the importance of considering both student and staff needs when planning operating hours.

In conclusion, Dubai and Sharjah schools are proactively preparing for Ramadan by adjusting their schedules to accommodate religious practices while ensuring continuity in education. Through collaborative efforts between school authorities, parents, and students, the aim is to maintain a supportive and inclusive learning environment during this sacred month.

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