UAE Education: End-of-Year School Exams to Finish Prior to Ramadan

Headteachers are giving priority to supporting students so they can allocate sufficient time for family and prayer rather than focusing heavily on studying during Ramadan.

Most schools in the UAE are expected to have completed their internal exams before the start of Ramadan, which is anticipated to begin on March 12 this year.

Nav Iqbal, Principal and CEO of GEMS Metropole School in Motor City, explained that they are currently conducting mock examinations for Year 11, 12, and 13 students, strategically scheduling them to avoid coinciding with Ramadan and adding extra pressure on students during this holy month. Similarly, all internal assessments for younger students will be finished before Ramadan begins, with no external exams planned during Ramadan.

Principals emphasize their understanding of the significance of Ramadan for Muslim families and the personal challenges it brings. Therefore, they aim to minimize stress and barriers for their students during this important period by keeping assessments low-stakes.

Helen Hurford, Vice Principal of GEMS Wellington Academy—Silicon Oasis, clarified that there are no external exams scheduled before Ramadan. Instead, internal in-class assessments are ongoing as usual, with a focus on reducing stress for students and allowing more time for family and prayer during Ramadan.

Spring break and Ramadan fall on the same dates, giving students more time off for many institutions that follow an international curriculum. Internal and CBSE Board examinations are continuous components of the Indian school curriculum. Delhi Private School (DPS) Dubai Principal and Director Rashmi Nandkeolyar announced that the internal examinations would end on March 6 and the CBSE board exams would end on April 2.

Additionally, principals have stressed that schools that administer examinations during Ramadan would make every effort to accommodate the shorter school day that is customary during the holy month. The principal of Gulf Indian High School in Dubai, Muhammad Ali Kottakkulam, stressed that the brief break before the new school year starts means that the reduced hours would have little effect on academic management and lesson planning, even when examinations fall on the same day as Ramadan.

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