Public and private schools in the UAE will be closed again on Thursday due to windy and rainy weather, the Abu Dhabi Education Council has announced. The move was made for the safety of students, the official UAE news agency said.
Some schools were closed also today, Wednesday, in Abu Dhabi due to heavy rain.
Rain is a rare occurrence in the United Arab Emirates and most people and authorities are not prepared to cope with the consequences of it. Roads and buildings sometimes get flooded for a few hours. Unstable constructions are logically hazardous.
However, rain is a pretty natural occurrence in many countries around the world where people see it as normal and do not pay much attention to it. Instead, they factor weather conditions when building schools and other structures for public use. So, they are well prepared to continue with their daily routines even if it rains outside.
For example, in central Europe the year has four seasons and three of them are rather cold and rainy. Still, companies and businesses remain operational as usual. If they had to close when it rains, they will be open let’s say six months during the year. This is not a sustainable business models as the losses they will incur will be quite significant.
When private schools in UAE decide to close their doors due to a rainy weather, they do not incur losses as parents have to pay the tuition fees in advance of the school term’s start. So basically, parents lose the tuition fee for a day. As the private schools in UAE are expensive, the amount could be approximately AED 500 ($130) if a student is in a middle or secondary stage of its education. Parents with more than one child in school will induce even more significant losses. There is no word about compensation whatsoever.
Also, the issue of taking care about the staying at home children during a normal working day should be taken into consideration. Nowadays, with a recessionary sentiment prevailing, most of the family people can’t afford to keep housemaids full time. So, in such cases one of the working parents should take a day off and stay at home with the children. This could lead to additional loss of income.
Children also don’t benefit from school closures as they miss out on their studies and social interactions with peers. The academic year in UAE is not very long; it consists of 175 days only.
Is it logical to close a school due to a rainy weather, providing the outside temperature is around 25 degree Celsius and the transport system operates as usual?
It depends on the point of view…