How to…support students when they are fasting

Rima WehbiHead of Arabic B – Primary, at GEMS Metropole School, shares her tips on supporting students and colleagues during the month of fasting. 

Ramadan presents an opportunity for renewal, charity and spiritual cleansing. For many, it can also be a difficult month to get through.

For Muslim students, Ramadan is already always a month when life is different, especially now that some are spending the school day online without eating or drinking.

To help your students stay engaged and alert, consider these simple pointers:

  • Revisit deadlines and screen time and be mindful when scheduling assignments, deadlines and video calls. Staring at a screen all day may be draining for students that are fasting. Try to limit the number of video conferences and screen time for students, as fasting will often cause headaches and exhaustion, and screens will add to this. Colleagues can also be considerate of this when booking meetings and video calls, so be understanding if your fasting colleague would prefer to go ‘video-off’ or have a phone call instead of video.

  • PE lessons can be gruelling for those who may be experiencing low blood sugar levels, so teachers can make accommodations for practising students, such as assigning a different task/project for students to complete that does not require them to do any strenuous work while they’re fasting.

  • Ask your students and co-workers how their fast is going. It will be appreciated that you recognise they are fasting, and some days will be more challenging than others for any variety of reasons.

Fasting should not interfere with everyday tasks at school, but fasting students and co-workers may be tired or lacking energy during the day, and a few adjustments can go a long way.