Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Head of affordable Indian school in Dubai says quality is not always expensive

Ashok Kumar, principal of the Indian High School, Dubai, said that seventh top rating is a proud moment for the school.
Indian High School principal Ashok Kumar is delighted with the seventh ‘outstanding’ rating. Antonie Robertson / The National
Indian High School principal Ashok Kumar is delighted with the seventh ‘outstanding’ rating. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // Good quality education does not have to be expensive, the principal of an “outstanding” Indian school says.

“My school has proved that performance cannot be related to its fees structure and it’s wrong to assume that only expensive schools can provide high-quality education,” said Ashok Kumar, principal of the Indian High School, Dubai, which has just earned its seventh “outstanding” rating.

“We are one of most affordable schools in Dubai and yet our performance is among the best. We are focused on following the UAE Vision 2021, given by the leadership, to take education standards to among the top 15 in the world.”

Vani Shikawat, a Grade 9 pupil at the school, is delighted to be at one considered among the best by the authorities.

“We always love our school and are very happy with the quality of education but such acknowledgement gives another level of achievement,” said the 16-year-old.

She said while academic success was a vital component to the school’s ethos, opportunities to hone creative and extra-curricular skills also added quality.

“There are also lots of opportunities to help us become not just a good person but also to enhance our creative skills,” she said.

Another school to gain an “outstanding” rating was Gems Modern Academy, its fifth such rating in as many years.

Principal Nargish Khambatta said that the secret lay in the partnership between pupils, parents and teachers.

“The involvement of our students in the planning stages has improved their leadership capabilities,” she said. “Introducing a class council system has led to more meaningful parent engagement.

“Parent and student participation in reviewing and evaluating our initiatives has also helped. The Arabic classes for parents have been much appreciated.”

Ms Khambatta believed new teaching techniques and a focus on improving pupils’ critical thinking helped a lot.

“We have piloted a number of projects and conducted action research – this is exciting for an educational institute as research should establish the effect of our innovative practices,” said the principal.

A “good” rating was secured by Gems New Millennium School, whose principal, Fatima Martin, was pleased.

“We opened in April 2013 and in just a few years, we were rated good in two consecutive years,” she said.

“We host more than 40 nationalities of students, with 1,150 students and 80 teachers in all.”

Kshama Shailendra, whose daughter Niharika is in Grade 5 at New Millennium, said she was satisfied with the way the school was progressing.

“Keeping in mind the fact that it is just three years old, I am happy it is performing well and is duly acknowledged by the authorities,” she said.

“What else would a parent want from a school where their child is studying?”

Mrs Kshama pays more than Dh2,700 in monthly school fees and has been told that they may increase.

“I am OK with the fees as it is value for money,” she said.

“If my child is getting a good education and learning good values as a person then it’s a double treat.”

akhaishgi@thenational.ae

Updated: February 9, 2017 04:00 AM

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