Abu Dhabi: A lack of clarity in regulations for transferring students between schools offering different curriculums is proving to be a source of confusion and concern for parents in Abu Dhabi.
Parents say that schools demand proof of children completing the preceding grade in a school offering the same curriculum, even though the children meet all age criteria set by the emirate’s education sector regulator, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec).
“I would like to move two of my children to an Indian curriculum school from their British curriculum school. They are currently in KG 2, and I want them to begin Grade 1 at an Indian school this April,” Manoj Kollara, a 48-year-old telecommunications engineer from India, told Gulf News.
“Even though the children meet the age requirements set by the Adec, the two schools where we can secure seats for the 2017-2018 academic year said my children must complete KG 2 in an Indian curriculum school in order to be admitted to Grade 1. My understanding, however, is that until Grade 1, children simply need to meet certain learning outcomes to get into next grade, and do not need to provide any grade completion certificates. Why then the schools are adding to the complications?” he added.
Another parent, Prashant Mohide, said he wants to move his daughter to an Indian curriculum school in Grade 1.
“In case we move back to India, my daughter will need to have studied the Hindi language from Grade 1 onwards, and this is not available at the British curriculum school she is enrolled in. Schools have told us that she needs to complete KG 2 before they can admit her,” he added.
Mohide said this means that his daughter will have to repeat the first six months of Grade 1 if she has to switch between the curriculums, mainly because schools have indicated that she must have completed KG 2.
“Her 2016-2017 academic year at the British curriculum school will end in September, but the 2017-2018 academic year at Indian schools will already have begun about five months ago (in April). As a result, I will only be able to register her in Grade 1 at an Indian school for their 2018-2019 academic year beginning in April 2018. Instead of having her stay at home from September onwards, we would let her attend school until the new year begins at the Indian curriculum school,” he said.
He added that being able to shift his daughter to Grade 1 before having her complete KG 2 would truly make the situation easier.
When Gulf News contacted an Indian curriculum school in the capital, a school leader said the Adec requires parents to submit completion certificates for the preceding grade if they have to be admitted.
A circular from another Indian school also says that it would not accept students who had previously studied in other curriculums.
Kollara, who managed to find seats in two Abu Dhabi schools for his children, said neither would accept them for admission in Grade 1 due to unclear regulations.
A response from the Adec clarifying the regulations is awaited.
Many Indian parents look to transfer their children to Indian curriculum schools before they begin Grade 1. The Abu Dhabi Education Council simply specifies that up to Grade 1, children must meet certain age criteria to get admission into Indian curriculum schools.
Most parents understand that this means children do not have to produce completion certificates for the previous grade to gain admission up to Grade 1, and instead have to demonstrate only basic knowledge of the alphabets, numbers and words. So they are confused as to why certain Indian curriculum schools require completion certificates to enrol their children.
For children studying in other curriculums, this poses an additional problem as their academic year ends in September, while the same academic year at Indian curriculum schools ends in March and the new year begins in April. So in order to provide a grade completion certificate, these children need to attend school until September, then stay home from September onwards till they can join an Indian curriculum school in April of the next year.
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