Thousands of UAE children won't have to face their first day back at school alone - thanks to a new government initiative allowing working parents to be by their side.
A new "Back to School" scheme has been launched in time for the new term next week, which will allow public sector bodies to offer flexible working hours so employees can take their children to school in the morning or leave early to pick them up at the end of the day.
The policy has been set up by the Federal Government, in partnership with the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), to take into the account the need for children, particularly those in kindergarten and their first primary school year, to have the support of a loved one.
The policy will enable ministries and federal authorities to give their employees flexible working hours during the first day of school, by allowing them to start work late or leave early on the same day.
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Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi, director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, said: "The new policy reflects the efforts of the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing to promote the family social role and achieve balance between social and professional lives, as well as its desire to promote wellbeing within the community and coordinate with relevant authorities to provide for the needs of students, especially during kindergarten and their first primary school year, by enabling their parents to accompany them at the start of the school year."
Dr. Abdulrahman Abdul Manan Al Awar, director-general of FAHR, said: "This new policy, which was recommended by the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing, aims to facilitate the lives of employees, both mothers and fathers, and consider the requirements of the new school year. We hope that it will have a positive impact on the children of employees, and will motivate them at the start of their education."
The scheme will give 28,000 government workers the chance to accompany their children to school on the first day of term.
The move will benefit 90,000 children in total, more than 4,000 of which are aged under five.