Dubai's first 'campus on the cloud' opens for students


Dubais first campus on the cloud opens for students

Dubai - About 180 students from all over the world study at this virtual school, which offers education for Grades 7 to 12.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Thu 31 Jan 2019, 5:31 PM

Dubai's first licensed online school has opened its virtual doors to students who are looking to pursue either a few subjects or full school years online.
The Dwight Global Online School was recently issued a licence by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to open their 'campus on cloud' for UAE students. The move supports the KHDA's Rahhal project, which aims to offer pupils alternative and disruptive ways of learning - such as the already available part-time and homeschooling.
About 180 students from all over the world study at this virtual school, which offers education for Grades 7 to 12. Students from the UAE can expect to interact with these pupils and international teachers, some of who work night hours to accommodate students in different time zones.
Physical Dwight schools have been around since 1872 and it also opened a campus in Dubai's Al Barsha South last year, which has 200 students enrolled.
In the virtual school, there are already a few Dubai students who take some courses online and the remaining at the physical school. It is yet to receive students who are enrolled in the full programme being offered by the virtual school.
The fees for the virtual school has been sent for approval to the KHDA. However, Khaleej Times quoted an education official previously, who said online schools are likely to cost 20 per cent of what they pay for private schools in Dubai. The fees for Dwight's physical campus in Dubai, for Grades 7 to 12, ranges from Dh91,000 to Dh103,000.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, the head of school at Dwight's Dubai campus, Janecke Aarnaes, said: "In our physical school (in other parts of the world), we had extremely talented students who had a lot of absences. The reason for this wasn't that they weren't taking their studies seriously, but, because they were professionals in sports or arts. In the very beginning, we had a professional dancer and a tennis player, who were absent for large periods and they didn't get the assessment from their teachers because they didn't have any data to assess them on.
"They're academically strong but their life just doesn't allow them to come to school. So, then we thought why don't we, as educational experts, make sure we bring school to them instead of making them come to us when they can't. That was the starting point. So, there's a massive benefit for students who physically can't come to school."
Dwight isn't the only school in the emirate that is creating personalised learning solutions for students who are already professionals in various fields.
The Indian High School in Dubai has students who miss several months of school as they compete in international sports tournaments. Also, they recently announced that nearly 1,500 of their students will attend classes only 3.5 days a week to give them additional time to develop talents.
Dwight also offers the homeschooling option to its students. It has four siblings who get assessed by their teachers, study from their curriculum but spend 75 per cent of their time at a homeschool environment.

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