UAE's parents divided over school start times
Mums and dads in the UAE are split as to whether school start times should be shifted from their early-morning slots.
The school day in the UAE tends to begin between 7.30am and 8am - a lot earlier than countries such as the UK, where the school bell traditionally rings at 9am.
But in a new poll of parents on website WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, 51 per cent say UAE start times should remain as they are, with 49 per cent voting for a change.
“The message is simple - change or don’t change school hours and you’ll be upsetting one out of two families in the UAE,” said James Mullan, co-founder of the site.
Dubai mum Marina Scott, who has put three boys through high school at Jumeirah College and has a daughter at Jumeirah Primary School who starts at 7.30am, said: “It would be nice if schools started at 9am.” But she added: “I don’t know if you could do it with the knock-on effect. Everything starts earlier - you’d need to change everything.”
Mullan said 210 parents throughout the UAE had responded to the poll. A spokesperson from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was not available to comment on whether it was considering changing school times. Previously, KHDA has said it would review whether it was “a viable option”.
Deira International School business management teacher Helen Staniland said she “preferred the early start”, adding it was necessary to have a longer school day
here compared with the UK as the teaching year is shorter. However, there was one person very much in favour of a 9am instead of 7.50am start. Ten-year-old Max from Emirates International School in the Meadows, said early rises put a dampener on his breakfast. “I never have enough time to eat it all,” he said.