Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Diversifying education isdiversifying our society

Filed on June 10, 2021 | Last updated on June 10, 2021 at 12.02 am

This year will be a defining moment for the education sector in Dubai.

Education has been one of the prime casualties of the pandemic. Almost as soon as Covid-19 began rearing its ugly head, the site of classrooms shifted to virtual learning. For more mature students, who were already well-versed with technology, the shift has been easier. But for younger students, it has been no cakewalk. This ambivalence about digital learning has also made experts wonder what children are likely to miss out on should they follow a digital mode of learning going forward. Even if many schools have reopened, the challenge remains to acquaint students with the new normal and approach education through a new prism.

Amid these uncertain times, it’s reassuring to know that Dubai will get 10 new private schools. According to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, these schools will add 14,671 additional seats and will be spread across the emirate in Tilal Al Ghaf, Al Warqa, Al Karama, Al Barsha, City Walk, Mirdif, Nad Al Sheba, Al Khawaneej and Rashidiya. The syllabus too will comprise a choice of Australian, UK, US and IB curricula.

This year will be a defining moment for the education sector in Dubai. Not only will it mark the opening of the first ever Australian curriculum school in Dubai, the first Dubai campus of Britain’s well-known Royal Grammar School is also slated to open in the latter half of the year. According to the KHDA, a staggering growth of 2.6 per cent has been noted in school enrolment. Currently, there are close to 210 schools in the emirate that offer 17 different curricula to 286,588 students.

The opening of schools is in tandem with the government’s expansion plans under Urban Master Plan 2040. With efforts being made to boost the population to 5.8 million in 20 years, there will be an inadvertent need to have more schools. The step nonetheless points to Dubai’s astute, rounded vision when it comes to education. Despite the obvious challenges posed by the pandemic, it has not deterred from its resolve to expand and innovate.

Education is at the heart of this plan and the country remains committed to further its scope and potential. The decision to have a more diverse curricula will not only offer children an opportunity to be exposed to the best standards; it will also help children and parents choose which works best for their child. In a nutshell, diversifying syllabus is diversifying education itself. Not only that, campuses will strictly follow Covid protocols with thermal checks, social distancing and full staff vaccinations in order to ensure safety for all kids. Truly, yet another leap for the emirate.

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