As schools are busy preparing for the new academic year based on the new guidelines issued by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, they are also witnessing an increase in re-enrolment by a majority of its students.
Leading school groups in the UAE have opened their admission department for new enrolments only in schools where they have vacant spots left.
While most re-registrations are from candidates based locally, institutes have also observed a few overseas new entrants.
"We are still busy taking admission applications in schools. The summer period is usually a very demanding time for our admissions staff. Recently, we have seen a sharp spike in demand for places from local families who are seeking to transfer their children to a Taaleem school," said Shahida Patel, head of admissions at Taaleem Group.
"We have over 1,600 new students joining our schools in August - 87 per cent are from local competitor schools and 13 per cent from overseas. We are approaching 90 per cent re-registration at present which is encouraging," she added.
Parents are also getting accustomed to the idea of sending their children back to school despite pandemic fears. Various Indian curriculum schools, where the new academic year has already begun, have noticed a re-registration of over 90 per cent as well.
Certain schools have even extended their re-enrolment deadline to allow parents cope with the pressures of the Covid-19 situation. "Over 90 per cent of our students joined back in April. Consistent communication with parents on new protocols and systems for September has played a large role in easing fear," said Sangita Chima, principal of Amity School Dubai.
"Our admissions for kindergarten and primary school students only are open until September every year. But this year we are extending the enrolment deadline for all grades, new and existing students until September," she added.
Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal of Credence High School, said: "Our new academic session started in April 2020 and we have had 95 per cent of re-enrolments. All (parents) have confirmed that their wards will be continuing with us from September onwards. We are open for admissions for all grades - pre-kg to grade 11. We are looking forward to welcoming our new students."
'Significant drop' in TC application at some schools
Some schools have said they have observed a "significant drop" in application for transfer certificates (TC).
"We have around 380 new admissions this year as compared to 400 in the same period last year. Many more admissions came last year by September, but we do anticipate a slight drop this year. The number of applications for TCs has dropped this year, so we will be able to balance our numbers," said Annie Mathew, Principal, Gulf Model School.
Mohammad Ali Kottakkulam, principal of Gulf Indian High School - Dubai, said: "Asian curriculum schools have already completed registrations at the beginning of their academic year in April. We managed to maintain 85 per cent of the momentum of last year's re-registration."