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UAE: School exams to finish before Ramadan begins.


In preparation for the upcoming Ramadan season, schools across the UAE are ensuring that end-of-year examinations are completed before the commencement of the holy month. While the specific dates may vary slightly depending on local moon sightings, Ramadan is expected to begin in the country on March 12. The majority of schools aim to conclude internal exams before this date to minimize disruption to students' schedules and provide ample time for religious observances and family gatherings during Ramadan.

Headteachers emphasize the importance of minimizing assessments and keeping them low-stakes during Ramadan to support students' well-being and allow them to prioritize spiritual practices over intensive studying. Nav Iqbal, Principal and CEO of GEMS Metropole School – Motor City, explains that mock examinations for older students are deliberately scheduled to avoid coinciding with Ramadan, while internal assessments for younger students are completed beforehand. Similarly, Helen Hurford, Vice Principal of GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, highlights the school's commitment to conducting low-stakes assessments during Ramadan to minimize stress and allow students to focus on familial and religious activities.

School holidays are strategically planned to align with Ramadan, with most international curricula schools scheduling a spring break that coincides with the holy month. Indian curriculum schools, however, may have ongoing internal and CBSE Board examinations during this time. Rashmi Nandkeolyar, Principal and Director of Delhi Private School (DPS) Dubai, explains that internal exams will conclude before Ramadan, while CBSE Board exams will end by April 2. She notes that instead of a traditional spring break, Indian curriculum schools observe an 'End of Academic Year' break, with students returning to school in early April.

Principals emphasize that for schools conducting exams during Ramadan, arrangements will be made to ensure that examinations take place within the abbreviated working hours typically observed during the month. Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO and Principal of Credence High School, states that the school operates for half a day during Ramadan, minimizing disruptions to the examination schedule. Muhammad Ali Kottakkulam, Principal of Gulf Indian High School, Dubai, notes that while exams will coincide with Ramadan, shortened school hours during the holy month will facilitate academic management and lesson planning.

Overall, schools in the UAE are proactively adjusting schedules and assessment practices to accommodate the observance of Ramadan while ensuring academic continuity and student well-being. By prioritizing flexibility and sensitivity to religious observances, educators are striving to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students during this important time of the year.

Feb. 22, 2024 2:51 p.m. 1940

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