(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The decision taken by the Cabinet on the annual school holidays has been hailed by members of the academic community here.
The travel industry, however, is expecting a relative lull in business due to the prolonged school holidays. The fact that Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr fall during the two-and-a-half month holidays could affect the travel plans of many prospective tourists in Qatar.
According to the schedule approved by the Cabinet, all the Independent and semi- Independent schools will close on July 7 and re-open on September 19 after the Eid Al Fitr holidays. All the private schools in the country will also resume classes on the same date.
Uniformity in school holidays has long been a demand of the academic community here. Earlier, the Independent and semi-Independent schools followed different academic schedules, leading to variations in school holidays. There was no uniformity even among the Independent schools in this regard.
The academic calendar of the Independent schools has a total of 180 days which were divided into two semesters according to the decision of each school. The examination and vacation schedules of all these schools have been made uniform by the Cabinet decision. The decision applies to the 72 semi-Independent schools as well that are now being converted to Independent schools.
Those who would benefit most from the new decision are parents with children enrolled in different schools. Most of the private schools in Qatar also close for the summer holidays by mid-July.
Travel industry sources, however, say that they would lose a major portion of their Eid and Ramadan business due to the prolonged holidays.
Most of the expatriate families leaving on vacation would return to Qatar only after the Eid holidays. This means that there will be less number of residents going for Umrah from Qatar this year as well as for the Eid holidays. This will affect our business significantly, said an official of a leading travel agency.