A new academic year has started for Indian curriculum schools in the UAE, with several schools reporting strong enrolment and attendance rates. Thousands of students returned to their classrooms this Monday for the new school year.
Indian schools start a new academic year in April while most other curriculum schools start a new academic term in September. There are around 80 Indian-curriculum schools in the UAE, out of which 32 Indian curriculum schools are in Dubai.
Arogya Reddy Principal, Ambassador School Sharjah said, “Our school started very well, recording 98 per cent attendance which is very unusual on the first day of school as many families usually travel and many joining later. But as Ramadan coincides with the new school year this time, most people are in the UAE. Our students will now be preparing for the Term-end exams, which as per CBSE, are called ‘periodic tests’ for classes 9, 10, 11 and 12.”
He added, "The admission trend has also improved this year compared to Covid period with numbers reaching almost pre pandemic times. A new pattern of assessment has also been issued by the CBSE for the senior grades. So, we’ll be working on that. Overall, it’s been a good start to the new school year so far."
Meanwhile, schools are launching new academic and extracurricular programmes and rolling out nascent activities.
Fatima Martin, Principal of GEMS New Millennium School – Al Khail, said, "The academic year 2023-24 has begun positively for our school. We are grateful for the efforts of our staff, students, and parents in adapting to the challenges and uncertainties of the past year and a half. As we move forward, we are pleased to have concluded all the Board Exams and are focused on the education and growth of the students enrolled with us."
Schools are also working full steam to incorporate 'sustainability' in pedagogies in line with the country's theme of the year.
She added, "As a school committed to providing high-quality education, we are conscious of the importance of sustainability in today's world. Therefore, we have incorporated the UAE's theme for 2023, sustainability, into our curriculum. This includes focusing on sustainable practices in our daily operations, such as waste reduction, energy conservation, and water conservation. We believe that by instilling a sense of environmental responsibility in our students, we can create a better future for them and for the planet."
School heads said that the holy month of Ramadan holds a special significance in their school community, where they celebrate diversity and inclusivity.
"The essence of Ramadan is visible through many cross-curricular themes and activities, which helps our students to develop an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and traditions," says Martin.
Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO - Principal at Credence High School, underlined, "The corridors are abuzz with excitement as the new academic year kicked off with a burst of energy and enthusiasm. Students, teachers, and staff are all geared up for an action-packed year filled with learning, growth, and fun. The new school promises to be an exciting one, with a wide range of activities and initiatives planned to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment for students.
Orientation programmes are being held to familiarise students and parents with school policies, procedures, and academic expectations, helping them settle in and feel they are part of the school family right from the start.
Singh added, "The school's dedicated teachers have been busy preparing their classrooms and curriculum to provide top-notch education to their students. With a focus on academic excellence, the school has implemented innovative teaching methodologies and technologies to make learning exciting and relevant. Students are looking forward to engaging lessons, hands-on activities, and collaborative projects that foster critical thinking and creativity."
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