Valentine’s Day is Thursday, and hundreds of lovebirds will be running around this week to gift the loved ones flowers, cards, chocolates, plan a dinner date, or whatever they think is romantic – and can be afforded by their pockets.
Some schools in Dubai, however, have decided to avoid the ‘love problems’ by keeping it off the campus. Celebrating Valentine’s Day, especially in the high school, could easily turn out to be a nightmare for school authorities, what with a growing number of teens from all across the world, with various cultural influences, studying in the country’s schools.
A prominent IB school in the city is closed on Thursday. “It’s a Friendship Day holiday,” a parent confirmed to this website. “They are doing this to avoid last year’s problems,” she said on the condition of anonymity.
The last year’s problems that she mentions was, apparently, on-campus smooching among some high school students.
“There have been cases of kissing in schools and I think they just want to avoid this. It’s frowned upon,” said another parent without wishing to be named.
“I thought it was silly to keep the school closed but after speaking with a high school parent, I believe it’s not that bad an idea,” she added.
Some other schools have their ongoing mid-term breaks this week whereas some others have announced shortened school hours for Thursday, until 12 noon. The rest of the day is dedicated to a parents-teachers meeting. What better way to avoid the ‘problems’ than to invite parents on school premises?
However, even as a handful of schools decide to give their students time off on Valentine’s Day, most other schools in the city will be buzzing like any other day. Many schools that this website spoke with will indeed remain open this Thursday, like any other working day.
Keeping the school shut on Valentine’s Day is, in any case, not an option for most schools as closure needs prior approval from the authorities.
“Schools have to have their calendars approved prior to the academic year either by the KHDA in Dubai or ADEC in Abu Dhabi. They are not allowed to close on an-ad hoc basis. [They can shut down] only for emergency reasons, of which they have to inform the regulators,” Clive Pierrepont, Director of Communications at Taaleem Schools, told Emirates 24|7 while confirming that all schools falling under the Taleem umbrella will remain open on the 14th of February.