Summer break in UAE: Are kids engaged or bored?  08/02/2020 15:46:25   Nandini Sircar/Dubai

Nandini Sircar/Dubai

Filed on August 2, 2020 | Last updated on August 2, 2020 at 07.44 pm
Summer break, summer vacation, Dubai, UAE, coronavirus, Covid19,

Children in the UAE have seamlessly adapted to the new normal using their time productively during the summer break. While the pandemic has limited holiday activity options, parents and training institutes have successfully kept children occupied with constructive engagements.

Azerbaijani expat Elshad Shirinov wanted his 14-year-old son Aydin Shirin to use his vacation prudently. While Covid-19 did seem like a roadblock, he refused to accept it as an obstacle. "I sent my son for two-week Jujitsu (Japanese martial arts) training. He had to undergo Covid-19 tests to attend the camp in Abu Dhabi. But I had complete faith in the organisers and I knew he would be in good hands and be disciplined.

Shirinov received the schedule in advance and was impressed by it. "At 7am children had breakfast, from 8.30am to 1pm they were at the gym with specific coaches. This was followed by lunch and swimming. Then Jujitsu classes at 6:30pm. Here, they wrestled with different opponents. Obviously, everybody at the camp was tested beforehand and was Covid-19 negative.

"I feel children should utilise their time effectively during their holidays. This helps them become confident and learn the value of hard work. It will also stand them in good stead in future," he added.

Expressing unanimity at the idea of utilising time fruitfully, Indian mother Madhulika Chatterjee has also made sure that both her daughter and son remain busy with different development resources amply available around.

"My daughter Nandini is in Year 8 and has been busy with a drama camp being hosted from Canada. She has also resumed her physical rehearsals maintaining social distancing measures here. She goes to The Junction - Alserkal Avenue for rehearsals. They've also had theatre practices using Zoom. Additionally, she is taking online lessons in Hindi from a training centre in Kuwait as they have an upcoming play in November.

"My son Neil is doing an EDX course on Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies. Two weeks ago, he also went for his MCC summer Bash in Ajman. These matches were held at midnight. So, yes my children have been gainfully occupied."

Malaysian mum Adilatul Abdullah added: "I feel physically active kids are more likely to be motivated, focused and successful in school. I am glad the Covid-19 situation is much better controlled in the UAE. That's allowing everyone to resume different activities gradually. Needless to say, everyone seems to be maintaining good hygiene and safety measures. I am happy my children are utilizing the summer break prolifically."

Children find their niche at home, outdoors

Siblings Mishal, 13, and Mir Faraz, 9, are engrossed throughout the summer making their favourite creations from supplies they find in the recycling bin. They had recently bagged the Princess Diana Award for their civic and environmental work.

"Apart from making innovative items literally out of junk, my children are also a part of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG). Besides, they have completed some courses on Coursera online learning platform pertaining to environmentalism, sustainable cities and diets. Their school GEMS Winchester has also rolled out a 'summer reading challenge' to keep their grey cells active. So, they read a book and submit their reviews. Later, the best child would be felicitated in an online ceremony," said their mother Iram Rizvi

Another time-efficient brother-sister duo is Abu Dhabi based Aiman and Alyssa Noor. Seventeen-year-old Aiman spends most part of his day preparing for his SAT exams. But kicking physical discipline into his routine he has also resumed his Taekwondo classes twice a week, while virtual classes are not completely off the radar.

Alyssa, 14-year-old, is equine oriented and loves it for her all-round fitness. She is back riding at the Al Forsan Equestrian Centre with her mellow stallions. Apart from that, she has a good ear and an aural memory - she is equally passionate about playing the violin.

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