Dubai: British online school opens office, will conduct education remotely

There is a renewed focus on homeschooling in the region, says founder



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 28 Jun 2022, 7:36 PM

A British online education school, one of the first of its kind, has opened its office in Dubai.

The UAE is the biggest market outside of the UK for My Online Schooling (MOS). Tom Crombie, who is the founder and CEO, explains that especially after the pandemic, there is a renewed focus on homeschooling, among the UAE’s local and expatriate families.

With an aim to support children of parents travelling with work or those experiencing challenges in mainstream schools, over 165 pupils are enrolled from the UAE while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sees 47 pupils attend the British curriculum run school.

Crombie explains, “We are enrolling a great number of students at the moment with the year starting in September both within the UK and internationally. We continue to have very strong numbers joining in from the UAE...particularly from Dubai, and other neighbouring nations. This mainly includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar being the largest cohort of students. Due to the pandemic people are looking at alternative ways of doing things within the society."

He adds, “We have over 80 different nationalities in the school. We’ve got a lot of Emirati nationals in the school. The appetite for online schooling from the region has been high. But overall, we see a very diverse mix of nationalities. Therefore, to have our base in Dubai is exciting for us. We understand that the UAE is very progressive within the education sector. There are exciting plans and it’s great to be a part of that. Though, we are not yet a registered school within Dubai or the UAE, we are excited to be establishing our support base in Dubai to align with the growth strategies of the region. We see online education will be a very exciting part of the future and it fits in well with the plans for changes in education within Dubai and the UAE. As a leading international online school and Cambridge International School, we want to be there 'on the ground' to support pupils and families in the region.”

With fees ranging between Dh10,000 to Dh25,000 per year, depending on the number of subjects selected and the age of the student, Crombie avers, “we are less expensive than an international school and the reason being, we can make cost savings without having physical buildings.”

With over 100 teaching and non-teaching staff now, since it started in 2016, live lessons are delivered for around four hours daily from Monday to Friday, with two to three hours of independent study.

MOS already counts over 1,200 pupils worldwide and like any regular school, subjects include Key Stage 2 to A Levels. Classes range from the traditional core subjects (that also include Arabic classes) to a wide variety of extracurricular activities and enrichment opportunities.

As student enrolment steadily increases, MOS has witnessed 88 per cent pass rate in A Level and 100 per cent pass rate at GCSE level.

Crombie opines, “Our teachers are very well trained, fully qualified, and permanently employed, teachers with experience in traditional and online teaching. They go through not only rigorous checks but also professional development just as any teacher would.”

Strong interest from teachers to teach in online schools

Shedding light on how this virtual academy also serves to advance teaching professionals many of whom now prefer online jobs, Crombie says, “Just as we have several students transitioning from brick-and-mortar to online, many teachers at this stage are also considering a move to online. So, we’ve also seen a very strong interest from teachers that want to be a part of our school.”

He adds, “We will have a small number of staff based in Dubai who will be supporting families in the Gulf region and also assisting with admissions and enrolments.”

ALSO READ:


More news from UAE