When do children go back to school for the new academic year?

Many pupils are planning for full-time return to classroom as new term beckons

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Latest: New UAE vaccine drive targets children as young as three

Hundreds of thousands of pupils across the UAE are set to return to school for the start of the new academic year on August 29.

In 2020, authorities announced the academic calendar for the next two years for all public and private schools in the UAE.

Private school pupils will attend school for 186 days in the 2021-22 school year.

Pupils in public schools and the ones that follow the Ministry of Education curriculum will attend lessons for 182 days.

Winter break dates for 2021 are December 12 to 30. The spring break is from March 27 to April 14, 2022.

In Dubai, the academic year cannot end before June 30, 2022, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the city’s private school regulator said.

The Covid-19 pandemic will again affect the education landscape but schools are gradually moving back towards a traditional timetable.

More than half of pupils in Dubai were attending in-person lessons by the end of the last school year, the highest number since private schools reopened their doors in 2020, a KHDA report published in June said.

Abu Dhabi authorities in June approved the return of pupils to in-person classes for the next academic year.

The decision was supported by strong vaccination rates of more than 80 per cent of teachers and school staff, including maintenance and security teams.

Private schools in Dubai have been open for in-person classes since August 2020, with many adopting a hybrid model of remote and in-person learning.

For the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, pupils at Abu Dhabi schools will return to physical education lessons, sports, and extracurricular events in the new academic year.

School canteens in Abu Dhabi can now resume live cooking services under special arrangements.

Children's play areas, common areas and canteens will be reopened, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) said.

In Abu Dhabi, all school staff and students aged 16 years and over, barring those with official exemptions, must be fully vaccinated to return to, and continue, face-to-face learning.

Children aged 16 and above in the UAE must be vaccinated to return to school after the summer, the Ministry of Education said in early August.

Pupils in Dubai, which has its own crisis authority and whose private schools are regulated by a separate education body, are not affected by the decision.

Officials have encouraged pupils to sign up for doses as soon as possible to avoid delays in getting back to classes.

Thousands of pupils in the UAE aged 12 and over have received the Sinopharm and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines.

Education leaders in the UAE say vaccinating pupils is the key to protecting pupils and parents, and allowing schools to return to normal.

Pupils in government schools will return to in-person classes for the next academic year.

Updated: August 23, 2021, 8:13 AM