If you thought you had enough time to scout around for a good school to enroll your child into kindergarten, then we’d like to burst that bubble.
Most Indian and British schools have stopped taking applications for March and September this year.
While Indian schools start their academic year in April, British schools begin in September.
So, if you haven’t enrolled or waitlisted your toddler in any school yet, then chances are that he/she might have to skip the new academic year altogether.
“I thought I had enough time and started making enquiries at many British schools just two weeks ago, but I was shocked when they told me that I had to missed the September 2013 deadline and will now have to wait an entire academic year,” admitted Saudamini, a Bur Dubai resident.
Starting two years to eight-months prior to the start of the academic year for British schools, it can be a daunting task for most parents of first-time school-goers.
“Our oversight will prove costly for our child,” claimed another parent.
Some parents aren’t willing to deny sending their child to school, and are looking at other options. “We are now looking at schools listed as acceptable, because some of them are still offering seats,” she added.
Saudamini, however, has decided to keep her three-year-old daughter in her nursery for another year.
“It’s OK if she misses a year. I would rather send her to a reputed school than just any random one only because she will miss a year,” she reasoned.
The prominent British schools like Al Diyafah High School, Dubai Scholars and Al Salam Private School, in Al Nahda and Qusais have stopped issuing application forms.
“We can’t take any more application forms now. We are currently interviewing siblings of our students, and once we are done then we will start calling new students for interviews,” informed the admission officer of Al Diyafah High School.
“Since the British schools start only in September, I thought I had enough time to plan. But, after calling a few schools in our area, I found out that I will either have to send him to a low-graded school or skip a school year altogether,” informed another parent living in Al Qusais.
“I’ve heard of parents putting down their child’s names in schools even when they are just a few months old. But clearly, I am not that foresighted,” argued Saudamini.
That said, some parents who plan way in advance, also hit a roadblock when their application doesn’t make it despite being in the waitlist for a year or two.
The two ‘outstanding’ Indian schools – Indian High School and Dubai Modern High School – have also closed admissions for their April intake.
Some Indian schools start admission procedure as far back as eight months to the start of the academic year.
But, there’s still a ray of hope for some parents, with the Dubai Modern High School opening a new section for their kindergarten because of the incredible response they received this year.
And, for those parents, who are ahead of the admission circuit with their infants still cradled in their arms, there’s a website – souqalmal – that compares schools comprehensively. “It allows parents to make an educated choice,” added a parent.