Dubai: The excitement is building up as more than a million children march back to school next week on Sunday, with some private schools opening this week after the long summer break in the UAE.
Government schools and most private schools will reopen on September 10 for the new academic year 2017-18. However, most Asian schools — mainly Indian and Pakistani schools — will start on September 5 for their second term, having already started their new academic year in April.
Some schools will also host an open day this week to welcome new students and parents so they can feel more at ease about the main school opening next week.
The summer break for students this year started on June 23 and ends on September 9 — almost two weeks longer than last year.
After returning to the UAE, parents have been busy with back-to-school shopping and school re-registration formalities. Schools too have been preparing in advance, with staff resuming duties a week or two ahead of the new academic year.
Dubai British School (DBS), part of Taaleem, one of the UAE’s biggest education providers, is hosting orientation days on Wednesday and Thursday for new students. All its students will return to class next Sunday.
Brendon Fulton, principal of DBS, said: “There is huge excitement in the school as we anticipate welcoming back our existing students and warmly welcoming our new students. The DBS magic this year promises to be even more alluring, as we embed our happiness and well-being programme and begin our new moral education programme. Our students live out our school motto of ‘Enjoy, Aspire, Achieve’ every day, and so we cannot wait to have our corridors teeming with them again.”
Student enrolment at the school is at a record high of 1,152 pupils. Speaking about new developments at DBS, he said: “Once again, we have made some sizeable investments in the school facilities over the holidays: Year 1 students will now enjoy direct access to an outdoor learning area, while all students will get full use of our fully revamped auditorium with new staging and lighting. We are also very excited to embark on the school’s new moral education programme, and to further develop our mindfulness classes.”
At Gems Metropole School in Motor City, Dubai, new students and parents will be welcomed on Tuesday’s school open day. Preparations are also in place to receive around 3,200 students on Wednesday. The UK curriculum school will receive foundation stage students next Tuesday.
Anthony Cashin, principal and CEO of Gems Metropole School, said: “I welcome all my new and returning families. There are many exciting things happening this school year as well. There is a big push to promote engineering studies and develop new tech tools, as well as new reporting procedures for parents so they are aware of the targets at school, and so we can communicate with parents even more closely.”
The school has also undergone a major makeover over the summer break with gardens and other beautification measures.
At Indian High School (IHS), Dubai, 13,000 students return to class on Tuesday for their second term. The school is celebrating 70 years of India’s independence as well as the Year of Giving (2017) initiative of the UAE, said Ashok Kumar, CEO of IHS.
“Our children will be the core drivers and partners with the Indian missions in the UAE, as well as other Indian schools in the Gulf, to celebrate 70 years of India’s independence. Details of this programme will be shared soon. Also, we are partnering with various entities in celebrating the Year of Giving in the UAE,” Kumar added.
As an example of the Year of Giving, he said IHS has committed Dh500,000 towards Al Jalila Foundation in Dubai, with the first instalment of the funds already handed over.