Dubai: Online school sees 25% increase in student enrolments

Pupils say virtual learning gives them the time to pursue other interests, such as sports and learning languages


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Tue 13 Sep 2022, 12:37 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Sep 2022, 11:11 AM

Schools are getting back in action, but it doesn't mean all students have returned to their campuses full time — some still choose to take their classes online.

One online school in Dubai has seen a 25 per cent spike in high school students opting for virtual and blended learning options.

While there are those who attend classes on campus for five days, some students in Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 show up for on-site learning only for two or three days a week, according to the American curriculum school located in Dubai Knowledge Park.

Grade 11 student Ashan Karwe is among those who opted for online learning. Thanks to virtual classes, she is able to juggle her classes and training sessions as a swimmer.

“As a competitive swimmer, my schedule for training and meets is very tough. iCademy Middle East and the Knowledge Hub has allowed me to achieve good grades and still have time to swim at the highest level,” she said.

The school's principal, Dr Mohamed Mroueh, said this flexibility is one of the primary reasons why students and parents are going for the virtual option.

"Our programmes and the wide choice of courses enable children to really broaden their knowledge, whilst still getting support from our learning coaches," he said.

Another iCademy student, Khalila Zahraa, said this modern classroom set-up is a lot more engaging.

“I found my old school a bit boring. We spent a lot of time sitting in classrooms repeating lessons I had already learned," the Grade 9 student said.

"iCademy Middle East gives me the flexibility to attend Knowledge Hub two days a week and work at my own pace. I enjoy studying German, playing volleyball, and relaxing. This place gives me more time to do the things I enjoy outside of school," she added.

Preparing the youth for the 'real world'

Besides giving students an opportunity to pursue their passions, an online learning model also prepares them for the rapidly changing world outside classrooms, Mroueh said.

“These children are motivated, independent, and often very academic. They’re choosing us because they’re already on their pathway to college or university. Our environment resembles this, and we act as facilitators in order to shape their thinking and provide them with a sounding board," he added.

This is the future of education, Mroueh said. "Outdated and factory models don’t serve the changes happening in society or the workplace.”

High school fees are relatively affordable at iCademy. Students must earn 24 credits and be enrolled full-time for at least two consecutive semesters to be able to graduate and earn their diploma.

The online platform serves students in 35 countries, offering the US curriculum from KG to Grade 12.

The school is also accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and over 7,000 families have already passed through their virtual doors.


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