Sharjah private-school pupils to have four-day school week

Private-school timetables will change from January 1, 2022

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 14 OCTOBER 2015. 4th Grade pupils from The Australian International School in Sharjah practise their skills for an online UNICEF competition that sees kids competing for the highest spots. The higher the score the more school supplies UNICEF will be donating to schools around the world. LtoR: Dana Ahmed 12 (Iraqi), Reem Al Amiri 13 (Emirati) and Khalil Kashwani 13 (Emirati) practise their skills. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Ramola Talwar. Section: National. *** Local Caption ***  AR_1410_UNICEF_Maths-06.JPG
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Private-school pupils in Sharjah will attend school from Monday to Thursday, Sharjah Private Education Authority has said.

The change will come into effect at the start of 2022.

A memo was sent to residents confirming that the working day at private schools had been modified. It said more details would be announced later.

“Based on the directions of the Executive Council in the Emirate of Sharjah, Sharjah Private Education Authority announces that the working days in private schools in the Emirate of Sharjah have been modified to become four working days from Monday to Thursday, while the weekend will be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, effective on 1st of January 2022. Details will be announced later,” said the memo.

Leaders in Sharjah said on Thursday that its public sector would switch to a four-day working week – the first in the Middle East – with a Friday to Sunday weekend.

Vandana Marwaha, principal at Delhi Private School Sharjah, said the school would extend hours from Monday to Thursday as the school moved to a four-day work week.

“Sharjah is known as the child-friendly emirate so this will definitely give children time to develop their skills and talents. I don't think it will affect productivity, because we will now work towards having a longer school day,” said Ms Marwaha.

“There's no other way out, because six hours of the fifth day will now be adjusted in the four days.

“We don't look at it in the number of days, we look at the number of hours. We will be getting the same number of hours of study for every subject.

“At present, pupils attend school between 7.15am and 1.30pm, But next term they may have to stay back in school for an extra 90 minutes from Monday to Thursday".

She said the school “would definitely want children to have two breaks so that they are comfortable".

She said pupils would now have the time to pursue hobbies and work on their own projects on Fridays.

Ms Marwaha believes it has already been proven in other countries that it is possible to move to a shorter working week without facing a drop in productivity.

She said the challenge for schools was to ensure no learning gaps developed as a result of the change.

Another Sharjah school confirmed it would also transition to the four-day learning model.

“We are committed to ensuring that our students continue to thrive, and are even more productive,” said Teresa Varman, Principal at Gems Millennium School Sharjah.

“The school will be extending the working hours to accommodate the change, and looking to make the transition smooth and seamless for all."

Updated: December 13, 2021, 6:32 AM