UAE: Newly-announced CBSE office hailed as 'positive step' by heads of education

The announcement of the office in Dubai was made by India's Dharmendra Pradhan during his three-day visit to the UAE

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Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 5 Nov 2023, 5:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Nov 2023, 11:17 PM

The news of India’s decision to establish a regional office of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in the UAE has been positively received by CBSE school leaders in the country.

They reiterate that this development will facilitate swift resolutions to various concerns for both students and teachers.

The announcement of the CBSE office in Dubai was made by India's Minister of Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, during his recent three-day visit to the UAE.

During a gathering at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, attended by the principals of CBSE schools in the UAE and remotely joined by their counterparts in different GCC countries and India, Pradhan mentioned that the planned administrative office of CBSE would collaborate closely with the Indian missions in the region.

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Speaking to Khaleej Times, several principals expressed that the announcement marked the fulfillment of a longstanding request from CBSE schools in the region.

Long-stand fulfillment

Michael Guzder, Senior Vice President - Education, GEMS Education, said, “This has been a long-standing request among principals over the years. With the large number of CBSE schools in the UAE, the head office in Delhi has in the past often been late in responding to schools despite their best intentions.”

“Hence matters were inordinately delayed. With this office in the UAE, schools and parents will undoubtedly breathe a sigh of relief. This is a positive step in the right direction and we thank the Honourable Minister of Education for this initiative,” he added.

Pramod Mahajan, the head of Sharjah Indian School, commended the diplomats at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai for their crucial role in the Indian government's decision, which had been pending for a long time.

“This is a very good decision from the Indian Minister of Education. We are very happy about it. The fact that an administrative office will open here will resolve a lot of our problems. All face-to face and pedagogical trainings will happen. The students’ admission, affiliation and registration issues will be resolved because the competent authorities will all be here.”

“Even the Consul education was instrumental in the same thing and now principals will have assistance for several platforms,” he added.

Expediting issues and better clarity

Reiterating the need for an immediate response, Abhilasha Singh, Principal, Shining Star International, Abu Dhabi, also explained that school leaders here sometimes required swift clarification as they dealt with regulatory policies of two different countries.

“Any concern that is raised takes that much extra response time for CBSE to get back to us because CBSE is big. They manage so many schools, so responses often got delayed. So, this will now help with immediate answers.”

“There have been so many times we have issues related to students’ approvals, mark list issues, or name issues and, so many other things come up related to our operations… especially, related to board classes, that is class 10 and 12 students. With the rest of the school there's a language policy issue that's coming up now.”

Principals seemed more optimistic as they said meeting the officials in-person and presenting their concerns would not only help in expediting things but will also have better clarity in responses.

“Policies in India that are released from the CBSE are not completely applicable here because we’ve got our own regulatory bodies and we are under a MOU over here. We have ADEK, KHDA and SPEA. So, we have to fulfil these expectations from the education regulatory bodies here as well as the CBSE. Therefore, having an office over here would help immensely, particularly to resolve these issues that crop up in terms of policy applications.”

CG highlights the initiative to create further opportunities for cooperation

Meanwhile, the total number of students of Indian nationality in general education schools in the UAE is 271,109, including 248 in government schools and 270,861 in private schools.

Bearing this in mind, the Consul General of India in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Satish Kumar Sivan, highlighted that such initiatives will create opportunities for cooperation and guarantee that students and teachers in the region benefit well under the guidance.

Sivan said, “The UAE hosts the largest number of Indian curriculum schools outside of India, reflecting the vibrant Indian expatriate community here. There are over 100 schools with CBSE affiliation in the UAE, again the largest CBSE school network outside of India."

"Furthermore, the UAE is home to the largest number of Indian students appearing for board and competitive exams outside of India. This includes CBSE, NEET, Kerala board exams etc. As of today, well over 250,000 students of CBSE alone study in these schools. All these augur well for further consolidating the education ties between our two nations.”

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