Dubai: Student registrations continue even as new academic year begins

Educationists explain in consideration of the unique circumstances of late entrants, schools demonstrate flexibility in assessments


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Wed 30 Aug 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 30 Aug 2023, 9:53 PM

Private schools in Dubai are witnessing ongoing student registrations for the upcoming academic year, with the registration process set to continue for some time at certain schools.

Many school authorities revealed that that the initial day of classes witnessed a consistent influx of registrations and payments of tuition fees, with fewer new enrolments seen later in the year.

Dubai’s private schools currently offer a total of 17 curricula representing diverse countries, languages, and educational methodologies, reflecting Dubai's position as an appealing place to reside, promising a high quality of life.

Dawn Rennie, Regional Head of Admissions, International Schools Partnership – Middle East said, “All ISP schools in the UAE are still welcoming families to enrol. We have limited availability in some year groups at some schools, as we have opened additional classes to accommodate the increased demand. Our admissions teams are supporting each family through the process quickly and as seamlessly as possible. We are seeing increased movement from families new to the UAE, as well as those that are not happy at their current school.”

Dawn Rennie
Dawn Rennie

She added, “We welcome families all year around and pride ourselves in the induction process that our teams carry out regardless of when in the school year it is. Our school leaders host numerous coffee mornings to ensure our families are welcomed into our school communities.”

School heads highlight that they take a personalised approach to each student’s educational journey which enables all children to easily integrate themselves into the school’s learning and social environments.

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO - Principal at Credence High School said, “Enrolment is an ongoing procedure, and if any new admissions occur during the current academic year, the KHDA portal facilitates the school in efficiently executing the online registration. A student's admission is confirmed only upon receipt of all necessary documents from the parents. As a result, the KHDA registration process becomes streamlined and expeditious, allowing the child to commence attending the school promptly.”

Deepika Thapar Singh
Deepika Thapar Singh

How do schools help students with late admissions?

“Newly enrolled students are given access to Google Classrooms, where teachers consistently update study materials via simplified PowerPoint presentations, covering the subjects taught up to the present time. In addition to this, subject teachers offer supplementary classes to aid them in any areas that may require additional attention. Furthermore, every new student is paired with a ‘buddy’ to facilitate their seamless acclimatization to the new educational environment,” added Singh.

Educationists explain in consideration of the unique circumstances of late entrants, schools demonstrate flexibility in assessments.

This might involve adjusted timelines or alternative evaluation methods to account for missed exams and assignments.

Jeremy Hallum, Principal/CEO of GEMS Metropole School – Al Waha, said, “As a new school, we are currently welcoming registrations from interested students. We are flexible and will review each case individually in the upcoming weeks.

“One of the approaches is through orientation and induction programmes for students and parents. These specialised sessions introduce late entrants to the school's environment, rules, and facilities. Familiarising them with the school's culture and layout will help alleviate the initial apprehension that comes with joining late. Additionally, late entrants have the opportunity to meet teachers, staff, and fellow students, establishing a sense of belonging from the outset. We have also developed personalised learning plans to provide a structured path for late entrants’ catch-up efforts.”

However, principals encourage students to join school at the commencement of the new school year to avoid any learning lag.

They say timely enrolment sets the stage for culminating in academic, social, and emotional growth and accomplishment, as well as mitigating stress for both parents and students. Therefore, many schools do not entertain late admissions in senior classes.

Akram Tarik, Principal/CEO of GEMS Founders School – Al Mizhar, says, “Enrolling children on time offers a range of advantages, primarily for social integration and academic achievement. We consistently remind parents of its significance as it also heightens the likelihood of securing a spot due to limited availability in schools. Furthermore, starting at the beginning of the academic year ensures a seamless transition, facilitating peer adjustment and familiarity with school routines.

“Late entrants may struggle to assimilate into already established social groups. The benefits of timely enrolment also extend significantly to academic performance. Commencing studies from day one enables children to grasp fundamental concepts and skills, forming a robust academic foundation that shapes their subsequent learning endeavours. This foundational knowledge allows teachers to provide tailored support, adapting their teaching strategies to the collective needs of the class.”

They reiterate a coherent learning journey is another compelling rationale for timely enrolment. Commencing classes at the onset of the academic year ensures a structured and progressive instructional approach.

“Schools follow a curriculum that builds on prior lessons, and joining on time permits students to seamlessly follow this educational trajectory. Late joiners could face knowledge gaps that are challenging to bridge, potentially affecting overall academic performance. Consequently, we don't admit students in senior years, specifically Y10-11-12,” added Tarik.


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