Exams to go ahead at many schools on Thursday and Friday despite rain and weather warnings

Extra invigilators and additional transport options among the emergency measures

08/03/10 - Abu Dhabi, UAE - Students at the Abu Dhabi Indian School take exams on Monday March 8, 2010.  For story on lack of places in Abu Dhabi Indian School.(Andrew Henderson/The National)
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Many UAE private schools have decided to go ahead with International Baccalaureate and GCSE exams which will be held in-person on their campuses on Thursday, despite an extreme weather forecast.

The Emirates has called for remote work and distance learning to be introduced on Thursday and Friday as the country prepares for heavy rain and thunderstorms.

While some schools have applied to postpone exams, many have decided to go ahead with emergency measures such as enlisting extra invigilators and arranging additional transport options.

We hope our students and invigilators face minimum disruption and limited travel time
Fatima Martin, principal at Gems New Millennium School

Richard Drew, chairman of the IB Association of UAE schools and principal at Jumeira Baccalaureate School, said the majority of schools offering the IB diploma programme had decided to go ahead with exams this week.

He said GCSE exams had not started at his school and oral language exams scheduled this week would be postponed to next week.

More than 50 pupils will sit for their Maths IB paper on Thursday. The school asked pupils to arrive early on campus.

“Our building is an old one and fared very well [during the rains in April] but where we've had leaks and things like that, we've tried to make sure that our maintenance team have cleared leaves out of gutters, released drains and all of those important things,” said Mr Drew.

“We tend to get floods in the car park so, for tomorrow morning, because we've only got grade 12 pupils coming in and a few members of staff, we're trying to steer clear of the main entrance and use our side entrances.

“We will be in school by 6am to assess the condition of the building, the safety of the building, and the accessibility of the building.”

Better for pupils

Leigh Girven, principal at Greenfield International School Dubai, also confirmed that International Baccalaureate exams would go ahead on their campus on Thursday.

“We feel that is in the best interest of the pupils,” said Ms Girven.

“We plan to have extra invigilators coming in just in case some are not able to make it in.

“In the unfortunate case that some pupils are affected by flooding, we have our deployment co-ordinator who can look at alternative arrangements.

“We will make a final decision about whether the exams go ahead tomorrow morning.”

Fatima Martin, principal at Gems New Millennium School, said both parents and pupils are keen to continue with their exams.

“We have been working very closely with our parents and School Transport Services to organise transport to and from school on both days,” she said.

“We hope our students and invigilators face minimum disruption and limited travel time over the coming days.”

Simon Herbert, head of Gems International School, said: “The Gems Education group, and all our IB schools, have worked closely with the IB Organisation and the KHDA to ensure that our IB DP examinations take place as planned on campus.

“We also have plans to deal with ‘adverse conditions’ and all other eventualities.

“For now, we can reassure our Grade 12s, and their families, that our IB examinations will take place as previously announced.”

Jumeirah English Speaking School sent a note to parents on Wednesday confirming that the International Baccalaureate and GCSE exams would still be held this week.

Contingency plans

Not all schools will be going ahead with the exams on Thursday.

Jane Clewlow, head of senior school at Brighton College Dubai, said they have a GCSE Maths exam on Thursday and an A-Level History paper scheduled on Friday.

The school has applied to the board to have the exam on Thursday postponed until Friday.

“That's what we're hoping for. We've not heard back yet from Cambridge, but we're hoping,” said Ms Clewlow.

She feared staff could “struggle to get in the building” based on Thursday's forecast but is optimistic the stormy weather will have cleared enough by Friday for an exam to go ahead.

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Updated: May 02, 2024, 7:14 AM