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Thursday, 26 January 2017

How to choose the right school in Dubai

Now that you have decided to enroll your child in school, here are the next steps.

Parents are no strangers to scrambling for admission to schools in Dubai. While getting an admission in schools here is not an easy job, it would be helpful to have a handy list of things to do. Khaleej Times has got you covered.

There are 173 private schools in Dubai with a total of 265,299 students, according to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Dubai private school at a glance





Getting admission

In the UAE, the academic year starts in September and runs till June. However for Indian and Pakistani curriculum schools, the academic year starts in April. Parents need to mandatorily enroll their kids to school starting from Grade 1.

Age criteria
The age of the child eligible for admission is calculated as his/her age on the 31st of July for Indian and Pakistani curriculum schools, or 31st December for others.

All schools will have to complete the admission formalities with KHDA. You will have to submit a copy of your child's passport and residence visa, a copy of the birth certificate (if the passport does not state the exact date of birth), a passport-sized photograph and attested certificates and/or transfer certificate (if registering at Grade 2 or above).

Choosing a school
The UAE Ministry of Education website provides an interactive service that uses Google Maps to show the details of each school in the UAE.



Academic calendar
Indian schools have a different schedule - Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education (ICSE) - follow an academic year from April to March. Pakistani and Japanese schools in the UAE also follow this schedule.

Here's the annual school calendar:

Dubai Private Schools - Academic Year 2016/2017
Start of academic yearAugust 28, 2016 *
Winter break beginsDecember 18, 2016 (Two weeks) **
Return from winter breakJanuary 2, 2017
Spring break beginsMarch 26, 2017 (Two weeks)
Return from spring breakApril 9, 2017
End of academic yearJune 22, 2017 *


Asian Schools in Dubai - Academic Year 2016/2017
Start of academic yearApril 3, 2016
Summer break beginsJune 26, 2016
Return from summer breakAugust 28, 2016
Winter break beginsDecember 18, 2016
Return from winter breakJan 2, 2017
End of academic yearMar 15-30, 2017 ***
New academic year beginsApril 2, 2017

Dubai Private Schools - Academic Year 2017/2018
Start of academic yearSeptember 10, 2017 *
Winter break beginsDecember 24, 2017 (Two weeks) **
Return from winter breakJanuary 7, 2018
Spring break beginsMarch 25, 2018 (Two weeks)
Return from spring breakApril 8, 2018
End of academic yearJune 28, 2018 *
Note:

*Asian schools calendar for AY 2017-18 will be communicated soon.

*Schools starting in September have the flexibility to adjust the opening and the closing date by one week (either earlier or later) subject to the school fulfilling the stipulated number of instructional and academic days and receiving KHDA approval.

**Private schools in Dubai following MoE curriculum have three weeks Winter Break in line with the MoE calendar:

- Winter Break 2016/2017: begins on December 18, 2016 and classes resumes on January 8, 2017 - Winter Break 2017/2018: begins on December 17, 2017 and classes resumes on January 7, 2018

***Private Schools in Dubai following Asian curriculum are allowed to close any day between March 15 and 30, subject to the school fulfilling the stipulated number of instructional and academic days. 

Note: Ramadan is expected to begin on Thursday May 25th in 2017. This has implications for school holidays. Eid Al Fitr in 2017 will fall on June 25 - just after the end of the summer term. Eid Al Adha in 2017 will be on September 1 - just before staff are expected to arrive back at work on the 3rd. Students follow one week later on September 10th.

(Source: Khaleej Times)

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