There will be a maximum of five hours of teaching time at Dubai’s private schools throughout Ramadan 2023, according to a circular issued by the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
The authority, which regulates private schools in Dubai, circulated the directive on operational requirements this week. Schools will not be allowed to be open for more than five hours during Ramadan, although there is flexibility for schools to choose exactly what time they start and finish. This is in contrast to schools in Abu Dhabi, which have also been told teaching may not exceed 5 hours, but with the additional ruling that schools may start no earlier than 9am and may finish no later than 3.30pm.
A five-hour school day represents a cut of around two hours of teaching time compared to a regular school day outside of the holy month. Additionally, the school day in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi must end by 12 noon as usual on Fridays in order to accommodate Friday prayer. This means that many schools will only be in session for around three hours on the last day of the week.
School timings are not the only difference students and parents might notice during Ramadan. The content of PE and music lessons may be altered to accommodate fasting students and to be respectful of the contemplative and reflective nature of Ramadan. There may also be changes to where fasting and non-fasting students spend their lunch and snack times, and schools may choose to reduce the amount of homework in order to allow for more family time during this period.
Ramadan is predicted to commence on Thursday 23 March 2023, according to the International Astronomy Center, although some countries may be able to see the new moon earlier and may begin Ramadan on 22 March.
عاجل: باعتماد رؤية الهلال، الخميس 23 مارس 2023م أول أيام شهر رمضان المبارك.
بعض الدول ستتحرى الهلال يوم الثلاثاء 21 مارس، والرؤية يومها مستحيلة.
في حين ستتحرى العديد من الدول الهلال يوم الأربعاء 22 مارس، والرؤية يومها ممكنة.
المزيد: https://t.co/0xX2JLEHO5 pic.twitter.com/h93YBFDWTw
— مركز الفلك الدولي (@AstronomyCenter) March 9, 2023
However, Ramadan hours will not impact schools much this year, since the beginning of the holy month coincides with Spring Break. Just as Ramadan commences on Thursday 23 March, students immediately break up for the Spring vacation on Friday 24 March.
Students will then have either two weeks or three weeks off school for Spring Break, depending on their school’s individual calendar. Find out how to easily see your own school’s individual academic calendar online here.
This means that when school recommences after the Spring holiday on either Monday 10 April or Monday 17 April, there will be just 1 – 2 weeks left of reduced school hours for Ramadan before the month ends with the Eid Al Fitr public holiday. Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall on 20-23 April 2023. This lessens the impact that the shortened Ramadan hours could otherwise have on teaching time.
Find out more about Ramadan, how it impacts schools and how non-Muslims are expected to behave here.
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