Emirati students thriving as Dubai Schools begins new school year with support from DAMAC
Dubai, UAE, 1 November, 2022: The social responsibility arm of DAMAC Group strongly believes that education plays a key role in empowering young people in the Arab region. It is within this context that DAMAC announced earlier this year that it is proactively collaborating with The Knowledge Fund Establishment and the Dubai Schools Project to offer scholarships to Emirati children for a 5-year period.
“DAMAC is happy to support initiatives like Dubai Schools which equip Emirati students with the tools they need to succeed in life — not only academically but also socially by instilling in them key values that will make them well-rounded individuals and be able to thrive professionally when they graduate,” Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC Group said.
Only a few weeks after the announcement, DAMAC visited Dubai Schools campuses to observe that the Dubai Government has put the wellbeing of the students and pastoral services on par with the offerings of quality education.
“The students are doing fantastic. We are busy right now assessing their educational needs and aspirations through what we would call targeted baseline assessments and making sure that we are carefully and timely reaching out to our parental community to engage them,” said Dr. Joseph Kotarksi, Director of Education-US Curriculum at Taaleem.
Dubai Schools is a new model initiated by the Dubai Government built on the basis of a private-public partnership. It currently has three schools in operation which include branches in Al Barsha, Mirdif and Nad Al Sheba, with plans to expand and add more schools in the coming years based on community needs. There are currently 1,900 students enrolled, with the majority being Emiratis and a healthy mix of other nationalities making Dubai Schools a culturally diverse body of students. By 2028, the schools are expected to accommodate 15,000 children with an additional grade being added every year until the students graduate high school.
All teaching and learning is being delivered in strict compliance with KHDA’s regulations and guidelines. More than 10 subjects are being taught by a skilled team of educators and overseen by an experienced team of administrators. Speaking on the quality of education, Aimee Fleming, Principal at Dubai Schools Mirdif Branch said: “The curriculum that we align with is the New York State Next Generation Learning Standards which integrate beautifully with the UAE national standards for Arabic, Islamic, Social Studies & Moral Education. The curriculum is cross-disciplinary, which allows faculty and students to explore clear and relevant links within, across and outside the curriculum and ensures learning is applicable to real-life.”
Dubai Schools prides itself on a set of values inspired by the 2071 UAE Centennial ideals, including academic excellence, being future focused, ensuring there is collaboration and inclusion and instilling empathy in students. Diving into greater detail Karen Green, Principal at Dubai Schools Al Barsha Branch, said: “One of the unique elements of this project is taking cutting-edge innovative pedagogy and really understanding how we build the children's capacity to learn, think and collaborate alongside building their knowledge and skills.”
Speaking on the importance of the public-private partnership between the Government of Dubai and Taaleem with scholarships being offered by private sector players like DAMAC, Anita Stewart, Principal at Dubai Schools Nad Al Sheba branch, said: “This partnership is really supporting the education system in Dubai. The focus on international education standards underpinned by UAE values and Islamic principles, is really driving forward the educational experience of our children across the Dubai Schools Project.”
“I feel so privileged and actually humbled to be part of this project because the legacy of what we are doing with this project and in these schools is really serving the future of this nation,” Green concluded.