New academic calendar will apply to all schools and universities in the UAE, but Ministry of Education says it will show some leniency to those following international curricula.
Set calendar announced for all schools and universities
ABU DHABI // Education officials today announced a set academic calendar for the next two years that will apply to all schools and universities in the country.
Government schools and those following the Ministry of Education curriculum will be required to follow the exact dates set by the authorities, while private schools will be given some flexibility in setting their timetables to take into consideration various assessments and important term dates.
The Institute of Applied Technology, adult education centres, homeschools and universities will also be required to follow these dates, although some flexibility will be given to foreign universities.
"The reason we are unifying the calendar is to maintain stability in the education process and ensure families who have children in various schools take their holidays together," said Ali Mihad al Suwaidi, director general of the Ministry of Education.
According to the new calendar, the 2011-2012 academic year will begin on September 4 for all teachers and administrators at schools. Students will return to classes on September 11.
The first holiday after the start of term one will last three weeks, beginning on December 18 and ending on January 8, 2012.
The second term will end on March 25 for a two-week break, and the third and final term will begin on April 8. Summer break will commence from July 15 and continue until the start of the next academic year in September 2012.
Earlier this month, the Abu Dhabi Education Council sent circulars to all private schools asking them to adhere with a Cabinet decree passed last month to unify holidays for schools and universities.
Some school operators said it would be hard for them to follow the new timetable because of education requirements set by external organisations outside the country.
Mr al Suwaidi said all schools cannot be forced to adopt the exact dates but must try develop their own schedules around the government schools timetable.
"We want all schools to adopt this calendar but will take into consideration examination dates and other important dates that they need to accommodate," he said.