The Ministry of Education (MoE) has passed a ruling, setting a new age limit of 3 years and 8 months for children being enrolled into KG1 and KG2.
The previous age set for admission into KG was four years old. However with the revised ruling, the new age limit will be applicable for the upcoming 2014-15 academic year. Each school will follow different deadlines based on their curriculums.
Abu Dhabi is the first to set in motion the new ruling with Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) establishing guidelines for all schools in the emirate. According to the guidelines, new cut-off dates for 2014 will be 1st January for Bangladeshi schools, 1st March for Asian schools and 1st September for schools with all other curriculums. These deadlines will have to be implemented without exception for the 2014-15 academic year.
According to Gulf News, schools in Dubai and Sharjah haven’t been updated on the matter by MoE and are continuing to stick to cut off dates as per their old rules. Some schools have even closed admissions, keeping in line with their previous cut off dates. Lack of clarification on the ruling has left parents and schools in a state of confusion as details on implementation remain unclear.
Amongst schools based in Dubai and Sharjah, a few principals have expressed concern regarding pending admissions of children below the age limit. They are worried about how parents will react if their child’s admission is affected. Others need clarification as different schools have different entry criteria for admissions. For example, schools which follow Indian or public curricula have younger entry levels in comparisons to western schools.
Besides school, many parents are also anxious about the status of their child’s admission. It’s distressing for them as some parents have enrolled their kids on waiting lists to ensure they get slots in reputed schools. However, with this new age limit, their child’s admission can be affected resulting in parents waiting an additional year before their child can start school.
Even though the new law comes with uncertainty for schools and parents alike, overall it has been seen as a positive move. Following the new age limit will ensure children easily incorporate into schools back home.