Saudi annual school holidays move to coincide with Ramadan

Published:  24 Aug at 6 PM
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Students attending schools in Saudi Arabia will now have one long break encompassing the fasting month of Ramadan.

In order to ensure examinations don’t take place during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Saudi school year has now been rearranged for a period of five years. A cabinet decision approving the change was taken following a proposal by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. The school year will now begin on September 17 and end on May 15, the day before Ramadan begins. September 24, the Kingdom’s National Day, will be a holiday, a mid-year break will start on January12 and end on the 20th and exams will take place after Ramadan ends.

For the following years; timetables will depend on Ramadan dates, which move up by 11 days each year. The decision was taken following a standoff between parents, students and the ministry, and involves an early end to the academic year as well as longer periods of school closures. Students will study for 167 days a year, divided into two 15-week blocks, and schools and universities will be closed for 120 days, the longest period in the kingdom’s history.

Meanwhile, a study undertaken in the UAE has revealed retaining employees is now a major challenge for human resources departments across the emirates. Other concerns include employee salaries and benefits, recruitment and talent management. A number of organisations are now struggling to replace departing professionals, with the transient nature of the expat community a major reason. A separate survey showed over half of the emirates’ working professionals were planning to switch employers by the end of this year, giving bad news for companies hoping to strengthen high-performing teams.

In Sharjah, expat tenants of homes owned by expat landlords are unhappy about a 50 per cent increase in the price of electricity which only applies to expat-owned and tenanted properties. The standard unit rate of 30fils is being increased to 45fils, with many expat tenants not aware of the changes until this month. In addition, from the beginning of next month a further charge of 0.06fils per unit will be applied should demand exceed the consumption threshold, again only to expatriate users.
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