Victor Besa for The National
Victor Besa for The National

The survey says: school absence



A recent judgment by the highest court in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on pupil absence from school during term-time has potential consequences far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. At the very least, it has stirred up a fierce debate about the rights of parents, pupils and schools.

The Supreme Court found that a local council in England was entitled to fine a parent for taking his son out of school during term-time. The parent had taken his child to Disney World in the US and was fined around Dh500 for doing so, before the ruling was challenged.

We asked 3,513 users of the TaskSpotting app for their opinions on absences from school in this country.

TaskSpotting describes itself as the region’s only advocate marketing platform and pitches our questions to its app community who typically engage with brands to create content, spread awareness and share feedback.

Four out of ten respondents said they would take a child out of school during term-time. Around the same number said parents should be fined if their child was absent without good reason. Overall, the results paint a picture of respondents being conflicted on this thorniest of educational issues.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

How will Gen Alpha invest?

Mark Chahwan, co-founder and chief executive of robo-advisory firm Sarwa, forecasts that Generation Alpha (born between 2010 and 2024) will start investing in their teenage years and therefore benefit from compound interest.

“Technology and education should be the main drivers to make this happen, whether it’s investing in a few clicks or their schools/parents stepping up their personal finance education skills,” he adds.

Mr Chahwan says younger generations have a higher capacity to take on risk, but for some their appetite can be more cautious because they are investing for the first time. “Schools still do not teach personal finance and stock market investing, so a lot of the learning journey can feel daunting and intimidating,” he says.

He advises millennials to not always start with an aggressive portfolio even if they can afford to take risks. “We always advise to work your way up to your risk capacity, that way you experience volatility and get used to it. Given the higher risk capacity for the younger generations, stocks are a favourite,” says Mr Chahwan.

Highlighting the role technology has played in encouraging millennials and Gen Z to invest, he says: “They were often excluded, but with lower account minimums ... a customer with $1,000 [Dh3,672] in their account has their money working for them just as hard as the portfolio of a high get-worth individual.”

Ramez Gab Min El Akher

Creator: Ramez Galal

Starring: Ramez Galal

Streaming on: MBC Shahid

Rating: 2.5/5