Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Unbearable Lightness Of Clarity

dubai international airport
dubai international airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Clarity is, apparently, being sought by the educational sector regarding quite what the Ministry of Education meant when it clearly mandated a unified holiday for all schools in the UAE.

I posted about this one last week and feel obliged to point out at the time that I spotted a strong whiff of Clarity To Come. GN's story today shows journalist Rayeesa Arsal clearly being given the runaround in her own mission to obtain clarity - a ministry spokesperson apparently sent our Rayeesa to Dubai's KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) who, brilliantly, "refused to comment on the announcement saying clarification should be sought from the ministry as the announcement was made by them."

The story goes on to quote an official who declined to be named saying "it is most likely that Asian schools are not part of the decision". However, just in case you started to think this was beginning to get clearer, the story goes on to mention a source from the KHDA who is unaware of any exceptions to the ruling.

The problem is that Indian and Pakistani schools start their academic years in April. This is compounded, as I pointed out last week, by schools already struggling to follow international curricula and also make allowances for the needs of international families (for instance, English schools will tend to have breaks at Christmas and Easter, major holiday periods in th UK). For this reason, 'international' schools have always had different, and frequently much shorter, holidays to the 'Arabic' or local schools under the Ministry of Education.

Meanwhile, while we await clarification, we can take comfort from the fact that the Emirates Identity Authority, which has so often in the past provided us with entertainment and wave after wave of Announcements Subject To Clarification, has quite clearly announced the final - and this time they really, really mean it, honestly, no kidding, take this one seriously because we're one messing around - deadline for applications.

They're hardcore about it this time. No more Mr Nice Guy. The final, final, final deadline is May 31st. Go past that, Aisha Al Rayesi of EIDA tells Gulf News, and you'll be fined Dhs20 per day up to a maximum of Dhs 1,000. It would be churlish to bring up the original deadline of January 1st 2009 at this late stage, wouldn't it?

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