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9-month trial run of virtual schooling begins in Dubai

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on January 21, 2019 | Last updated on January 21, 2019 at 10.59 am
9-month trial run of virtual schooling begins in Dubai

The initiative is part of the Rahhal project, which falls under the Dubai 10X.

Virtual schooling will soon be available to students in the UAE and will likely cost parents just 20 per cent of what they usually pay in regular schools.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has already issued a licence to one school - the Dwight Global Online School. The initiative is part of the Rahhal project, which falls under the Dubai 10X and aims to get the education sector 10 years ahead. Part-time schooling and homeschooling are already available through the project and, so far, four schools have licences from the KHDA to implement it.

Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Innovation at the KHDA, told Khaleej Times that the virtual schooling initiative will have a nine-month trial period. "We realised that learning was mainly recognised within a physical school and to complete 12 years of schooling, it required a physical presence. But virtual schooling can offer you something different," Al Mualla said.

"The cost of virtual schooling will also be different from that of a physical school. There will be no school in the virtual world that looks like another, because it will be tailored to individual requirements."

More information will be revealed by the KHDA as the trial phase progresses.

The Dwight Global Online School offers virtual schooling for grades 7 to 12 and teaches the same subjects that would be available in a physical school.

However, the way of teaching and learning is very different. Their courses use the seminar approach with a college-style class schedule. The model mixes different components - real-time, online, video-based, virtual classrooms - with recorded lectures, seminars and other pre-existing materials available on demand.

Students are expected to watch the lectures before attending a class in order to partake in active online discussions. Seminars take place two to three times a week, instead of every day, which would be the case in a traditional, physical school. Each seminar is recorded and can be viewed later.

Virtual schools often follow the same format, where students are required to do the necessary readings before going online to join a lecture and meet students from other parts of the world.

Al Mualla said the Rahhal project was one of the first ones to be issued a licence by the Legislations Lab.

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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