Kinana Homsi-Mardini could not believe what she was hearing.
After receiving the great news that she had passed her driving exam, she was told that she needed to take four more classes.
“I went through a lot of trouble getting my driving license.
“I consumed a large part of my annual leave to make this happen and I had failed two times already.
“I was not even sure if I would try a fourth time if I had failed the third, so you can imagine my relief when I passed.
“Then, I got this news. I had to come back. Four more times, for after-exam classes.”
Kinana protested and claimed that the examiner felt her distress, and granted her an exception.
“But I still had to pay for the classes, of course,” says the Syrian.
However, not everybody will be able to escape the rule, which was introduced by RTA in January this year.
“Everybody who registered after the 25th of January this year will have to abide by this rule,” acknowledged Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of the licensing department of RTA.
The four after-passing classes are highway training, not included in the curriculum before, explained Ahmed. “Because it was not included before, students would have their first experience on a highway like Sheikh Zayed Road without an instructor.
“We received some complaints about this from parents, and concluded that this was not ideal.
“If you asked me, 2 hours of highway training is not enough.
“It is a real challenge to drive these roads. But we do not want to create the idea that taking driving classes in Dubai is getting more and more expensive. This will not be well-received by the public. So we opted for this solution.”
According to Ahmed, the new curriculum does not mean that the number of classes has been increased.
“These classes are part of the curriculum. This means that a new student will have to take 36 classes before the examination and four after that.
“A student who requires 20 classes will need to take 16 before examination and 4 after that. Students will also not be asked to pay more.
“The reason that we decided to have these highway trainings after the examination, is that the student will be more experienced at that point, so driving on the highway is a little safer,” Ahmed adds.