UAE to adopt three-semester school year

Beginning of the school year across the country will be postponed.

As of next academic year 2010-2011, schools will have three instead of two terms, Minister of Education Humaid Al Qattami announced Tuesday after the Council for Ministerial Services passed the new plan.

The minister told the media that the start of the duty of the teaching and administrative staff will be deferred to September 12 from September 5, 2010.

''Students will come back to classes for the new year on September 15, instead of September 12,'' Al Qattami said, adding that the philosophy of reviewing the school time schedule, which will cover government and private schools following the Ministry of Education curricula, was introduced following a thorough study and scientific research conducted by specialised teams which examining the most advanced three-semester learning systems.

He added that the Minister had got assured that the new plan fits well into the Ministry's strategy for upgrading the educational sector and achieving stability in the school community. According to him, the Ministry's confidence was boosted by the state of satisfaction shown by the educators which was confirmed by a random survey in that respect.

The minister explained that the new system will feature two vacations, the first one will last for two weeks and start after the first semester while the second one-week long break will come before the third semester.

The Minister affirmed that the school year will remain at 180 days and the calendar set for the next three years will remain as it is. There is no contradiction between dividing the school duty into three semesters and the official calendar, he maintained.

On the readiness of the Ministry for the new reality, the Minister said the Curricula Department has set up taskforces to prepare the syllabus in line with the three-semester learning system.

According to the new system, examinations of the end of first semester will start on December 12, 2010 and the holiday will begin on December 19, for two weeks.

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