x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Gems schools enrol rising number of Emirati pupils

There are more than 5,000 Emirati students in Gems schools, and the number enrolling is rising at more than 30 per cent a year.

Dino Varkey, chief operating officer of Gems in the UAE. Satish Kumar / The National
Dino Varkey, chief operating officer of Gems in the UAE. Satish Kumar / The National

ABU DHABI // There are more than 5,000 Emirati students in Gems schools, and the number enrolling is rising at more than 30 per cent a year.

“The UAE national agenda is very close to our hearts and we will do all that we can to support the leadership’s vision, “ said Dino Varkey, chief operating officer of Gems Education.

“I am very proud that we are increasingly seen as the education provider of choice for Emirati students and their families.”

Mr Varkey said that in the past three years, the number of Emirati pupils is rising faster than any other nationality. There was also a growing number of Emirati teachers.

“We are working with Dubai Women’s College to implement student-teacher placements in our schools, offering the opportunity for permanent placements,” he said.

“We believe our partnership with the various regulatory bodies will accelerate this process.”

Mr Varkey belongs to a family of teachers. His grandparents, K S and Mariama Varkey, came to the UAE in 1959 and established the first Gems school in 1968 in Dubai.

His father, Sunny Varkey, added dozens of schools providing different kinds of international curriculum.

Now Mr Varkey is taking his family’s legacy forward. There are more than 42 Gems schools across the country.

He said that many pupils had gone on to achieve great things.

“Our alumni have gone on to compete for their countries in the Olympic Games, begun Bollywood careers, and are taking part in the UAE space programme,” Mr Varkey said.

He believes cultural diversity in his schools is a tremendous strength

Gems Education has more than 140,000 pupils from 173 nationalities and 13,000 education staff from 115 countries.

akhaishgi@thenational.ae