Qatar public sector to work five-hour days during Ramadan
Employees of Qatar ministries, government bodies and public institutions will work a five-hour day during Ramadan, from 9am to 2pm, officials have announced.
The news, which was posted on QNA this morning, comes about 10 days before the start of Ramadan (which will begin around June 5).
The five-hour workday does not apply to private companies. However, Qatari law states that these firms must also have a shortened workday of six hours.
Government-run independent schools are already operating shorter hours following an education ministry directive to give them time to prepare for exams. The schedule will continue during Ramadan.
Since May 15, government kindergartens have finished at 11:10am, primary school students at 11:45am and preparatory and secondary school students at 12:35pm.
Shorter private school hours
Meanwhile, many of Qatar’s private schools are also reducing their hours as Ramadan approaches.
According to the Peninsula, the Pakistan Education Center (PEC) has already reduced its school day by up to an hour, and the Al Maha International School in Ain Khalid now finishes at 12:30pm, an hour earlier than usual.
Other schools are waiting for Ramadan to begin before they shorten their days.
Many have already notified parents of the changes. Doha College, for example, will shorten its days by an hour with a later start, and Doha English Speaking School (DESS) will reduce its day by around an hour (and in some cases, more) depending on the age of the student.
Meanwhile, the Peninsula reports that Birla Public School (BPS) will reduce its working hours during Ramadan by one and a half hours, with a later 7:30am start and an earlier finish.
Last year, the government issued a last-minute circular to all non-government schools and kindergartens urging them to operate a five-hour school day during Ramadan.
Long school holidays
The early arrival of Ramadan combined with two Eid holidays in the hotter months mean that the government has mandated an unusually long break for students this year.
The government’s unified summer holiday schedule, a policy that was introduced in 2012, states that schools should recommence on Sept. 18 after Eid Al Adha. Most schools in Qatar break for the holidays in late June or early July.
However, not all schools in Qatar are honoring the ruling. British school Doha College, for example, returns on Aug. 29, while a number of others, including Doha British School, Park House English School, Compass and DESS all begin again on Sept. 4.