DUBAI // An Indian school due to open in November plans to offer a special curriculum founded by Harvard graduates that focuses on interactive learning.
The school, spanning more than 2.8 hectares, will be one of the largest in Dubai and will have cutting-edge infrastructure.
“It’s an exceptional educational institution which is unique and out-of-the-box,” said Sameer Mohammed, managing director of Jaleel Holdings and one of the school’s promoters. “We need children to take up moral values and an interest to learn versus pushing knowledge into them and the curriculum gives them that.”
The Dh50 million Credence High School will offer the CBSE syllabus along with the XSEED programme of learning from KG to Grade 6. Grades 7 to 12 will only follow the CBSE programme.
Set up by iDiscoveri, an education consultancy founded by Harvard graduates, the curriculum focuses on collaborative learning merged with experiential education.
“They came to India and took the best of both syllabus, which is British and Indian,” said Nalapad Ahmed Abdulla, managing director of Nalapad Group Overseas and one of the school’s directors. “They’ve created a curriculum which is not the typical chalk-and-talk way. They want the teacher to actually facilitate the learning rather than teaching the child so it’s a more hands-on approach for teaching.”
The school hopes to be able to offer knowledge rather than information.
“Getting information nowadays is very easy and we, as teachers, don’t have to give information to students because Google is there,” he said. “But certain things can’t be done with Google – we’re inculcating moral values into the students and things like critical thinking, which go a long way in life. These factors make us very different.”
Teachers will receive training in the new curriculum, which is currently followed by more than 800 schools in India.
“We searched the best faculty around in India, especially in the north,” said Dr Azad Moopen, chairman of MMS India. “We visited seven to eight various areas like Delhi and Calcutta. This syllabus is very well thought-of and it teaches children through actual participation in the learning process while empowering teachers for properly guiding children.”
Arabic language classes will be compulsory, with Hindi and French as options from Grade 3 onwards.
The school’s infrastructure is also highly rated. With a capacity of 3,000 pupils, the 25,700 square metre school includes classrooms with built-in washrooms and a nanny for each KG class.
Almost 1,000 square metres of covered outdoor area will be for play, and there is a 370 square metre library.
A dance and drama hall and four state-of-the art IT labs will be on campus. Sports facilities include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a football ground, cricket pitch, courts for basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton, and a six-lane athletics track.
“A lot of passion was put into building this school,” Mr Abdulla said.
Tuition fees will be lower than some other Indian schools, ranging from Dh15,000 to Dh29,000 a year.
“In terms of infrastructure and fees, it’s one of the best value-for-money schools that you can have,” he said.
The school will begin admissions in November for the following academic year, in April.
“We look forward to moulding the children coming there into responsible, very proactive and committed future citizens of the country,” Dr Moopen said.
The school is off Sheikh Zayed Road, near the Al Khail compound. A new branch is planned for Abu Dhabi in the future.
“All the curriculums were built over years but the world is ever-changing so we need forward thinking,” Mr Abdulla said. “We can’t be stuck with the same system we had 20 years back.”