Dubai: Affordable Indian curriculum schools witness surge in popularity

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) reports 10% rise in enrolments this year

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Nandini Sircar

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 4:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 4:37 PM

Affordability and the opportunity for exposure to both traditional and international cultures often make Indian-curriculum schools in Dubai the favoured option among numerous parents.

This was reiterated by many Principals in the UAE after the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Thursday revealed that 83 per cent, equivalent to 15,000 students, are currently enrolled in Indian curriculum schools rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Better’.

Notably, at least four schools have enhanced their ratings during the 2023-24 inspections.

In the previous academic year, this number was down by 10 per cent with 73 per cent of students attending the Indian curriculum schools with similar ratings.

The annual tuition fees at these schools typically range from a minimum of Dh5,150 to a maximum of Dh10,253.

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Great education

Rashmi Nandkeolyar, Principal and Director of Delhi Private School Dubai said: “Parents relocating to Dubai from India see the excellent value that schools like ours offer. It offers a great education, packaged with international best practices; great value for money; sterling values, and exposure to international as well as Indian culture. The bonus point is the ease of transiting back home, moving to the West, or continuing to stay in Dubai.”

Headteachers explain parents pay close attention to a school’s positive reputation, the career opportunities secured by its alumni in universities, and the comprehensive development of students’ personalities.

“Schools in Dubai have accelerated their improvement curve, powered by the KHDA, year on year. They point out that one of the most notable transformations is how schools reflect the necessary adaptations demanded by the contemporary world. “For example, well-being is a key feature of our school’s ethos, and this has been rated ‘Outstanding‘. Student-led initiatives, future skills development, innovative practices, reading across the curriculum, and the sophisticated use of technology, are some other notable changes in the last few years,” she added.

School heads said these changes positively impact how the curriculum is transacted in schools and the development of pupils.

Strong foundation

Educationists also highlight the curriculum places a strong emphasis on academic excellence, with a focus on core subjects such as mathematics, science, and languages.

“This helps students develop a strong foundation in these subjects, which is essential for pursuing higher studies and careers in related fields. The Indian curriculum is a comprehensive and structured curriculum that aims to provide a well-rounded education to students in different subjects and disciplines. The curriculum is designed to help students develop a range of skills and competencies, including critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration,” said Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO and Principal at Credence High School.

Meanwhile, among the 32 Indian curriculum schools that underwent inspection, one school achieved an Outstanding rating, 10 were assessed as Very Good, 14 as Good, and seven as Acceptable.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA.
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA said: “Dubai has ambitious targets for the growth of its economy and population and high-quality education will be central to achieving these targets. Our vision is to transform Dubai into a global destination for education and this starts with every school and every classroom. We are grateful to Dubai’s Indian curriculum schools for their support and for being part of a school community that reflects the innovation and excellence that exemplifies Dubai.”

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