The four-and-a-half-day work week will begin in January at all UAE schools. Extracurricular activities will stay mostly unchanged in most schools, with no significant changes to schedule.
“The fact for our school is that it is not a half-learning day’s loss,” Campbell Douglas, principal/CEO of GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, stated. “Because of the way our week was previously planned, we just needed to find an extra hour to ensure our learning week remained the same.”
The school accomplished this by cutting Friday recess and altering enrichment curriculum timings while ensuring that the core curriculum was not impacted.
“From Monday to Thursday, our start and finish times, extracurricular offerings, and break periods will all remain the same,” Douglas stated.
Several schools have stated that they will not have classes on Saturdays since they have been able to incorporate lessons into the new work week.
“Traditionally, many private schools in the UAE had a reduced day on Thursday, so making the move to Monday through Friday is actually not providing a substantial issue in terms of making up learning loss,” said Dr. Joseph Kotarski, superintendent of Dubai Schools.
“Because of the shift, we’re losing an hour to an hour and a half of teaching time.” We were able to combine the session times on Friday and yet meet our curriculum’s requirement of giving the required hours.”
Despite the fact that lessons will not be held on Saturday, he stated that students can access online educational learning platforms if they require assistance.
The administration has not extended the school hours, according to Naveed Iqbal, principal/CEO of GEMS Metropole School – Motor City.
“From Monday through Thursday, we’ll finish at 3.05 p.m., and on Friday, we’ll finish at 12 p.m.,” he stated. “What we’ve done is moved our after-school activity clubs, which were previously scheduled during the school day.” Any bus student who desires to participate will be able to do so on one of our club buses. Small changes to lunch and break schedules have also aided in reclaiming lost time.”
Iqbal went on to say that the school would urge students to make the most of their half-day by volunteering, working on projects that would help them develop their abilities, or spending quality time with their families.
Principals of schools that follow the Indian curriculum say they have a lot of syllabi to cover, but those extra sessions will help them make up for the shorter workweek.
“Our course plan will remain the same,” stated Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO/principal of Credence High School. We have special boarding classes twice a week at Credence High School. We hold co-scholastic classes for grades 4 to 8 and grades 9 to 12 on these days.
These sessions will continue in the same manner as before. We have chosen to continue all activities, including extracurricular activities, as they were previously. Credence High School places a high premium on student and staff wellness and safety protocols.”