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Admission age for KG-1 in Abu Dhabi set at four years Olivia Olarte-Ulherr / 19 February 2014 Adec clarifies on dates after confusion over Ministry of Education’s order, no rule change in Dubai. The new admission age for kindergarten 1 (KG-1) is four years for all schools — public and private — in Abu Dhabi emirate. This was clarified by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) following confusion over the Ministry of Education’s recent ruling. Likewise, first-time enrollees in KG-2 should be five years while those in Grade 1 six years. According to the Adec, this “is the same for all schools” across the emirate. New Bangladeshi students who started school in January should be four by April 31 while those joining the Asian and Indian curriculum in KG-1 in April should be four years by July 31, and other curricula starting the academic year in September should be four by December 31. An official from Adec’s Private School and Quality Assurance (PSQA) Sector said that they met the principals in September last year and issued a circular in January explaining the new age limit. The new regulation takes effect from the 2014-2015 academic year. “Our education system is clear as to what age the school should start with… our electronic student information system is programmed accordingly,” said the PSQA official. He stressed that the new age applies only to first-time enrollees and that continuing students are exempted from this. The clarification came after parents and schools expressed confusion over the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) ruling that raises the entry level for kindergarten from the previous 3.6 years and 5.6 years for Grade 1 by October 1 in public schools and those following the MoE curriculum. Other private schools previously accepted students in KG-1 at three years but with the new regulation, many parents were left disappointed to have to wait for another year. Rosario Soares’ daughter will be 3.7 years in April when he hopes to start her in KG-1 but was told that they cannot accept her due to the new age limit. “This is not ideal because my other two daughters started at three years,” complained the Indian national. “It was very clear; a child should turn four by December 31 if he/she is joining a school in September… By first of September, a child should be 3.8 years minimum to become four years by December 31. (Similarly), a child should be 3.8 by January 1 if joining the Bangladesh school,” the PSQA official said. He noted, however, that this does not apply for the Foundation Stage 1 (FS-1), which is equivalent to nursery in the British curriculum and accepts students at three years. But FS2, equivalent to KG-1, should follow the same regulation. To be in line with the Adec regulation, the British International School Al Khubairat (BISAK) has renamed the FS-1 to nursery and is accepting students at three years while FS-2 admission is for four-year-old students. A random check of other schools in the Capital showed that many schools have since adjusted their admission age. The Horizon Private School has set 3.8 years as the minimum age by September 5 while the Twenty First Century Private Academy set the same by September 1. The Abu Dhabi Indian School following the CBSE curriculum has set its admission age at 3.8 by March 30 while Bright Riders by March 31. The Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School, meanwhile, only admitted new students in KG1 at 3.8 years by January 1. Mir Anisul Hasan, vice-principal of the Bangladesh school, said they used to accept new students as young as three years but now have to abide by the regulation. As the only Bangladesh community school in the Capital, he said parents initially found it “tough, but we have to stick to the rules of Adec”. No change in Dubai In Dubai, schools and parents also expressed confusion over the new MoE regulation. But in response to Khaleej Times enquiry, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) assured that this does not apply to private schools in Dubai. “At present, the rules remain unchanged and the minimum age is determined by each school/curricula. We will update them if there are any changes,” the KHDA said in a statement on Tuesday. firstname.lastname@example.org For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →
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