UAE boasts of having a population of over 38% expats. The Emirate of Dubai is very modern, known best for its oil, its culture, lifestyle, tourism and expanding modernity. Dubai is one of the most expensive but tax free places to find a home in. With new policies for retirement of expats, easier access to food and drinks during festivities, it is one of the favourite places for expats from India. India, being a country with strong IT and banking, families often move and settle in Dubai, Doha and so on. Dubai also has a spurring number of schools for the increasing Indian population.
Why is Kindergarten Education Important in Indian schools in Dubai?
Kindergarten the world around has shown to play a major role in the early development of children. Indian’s prefer to start educating their children at early ages and even more so when they are in foreign lands. Kindergarten education helps students develop essential motor skills, adjust to the new environments different from their homeland and truly embrace the Dubai culture.
Not only that, preschool helps students create a sense of self and identity, and become more embracing of change and diversity at the same time. It helps children establish safe spaces, and interact with the world outside of their primary caregivers. Kindergarten and pre-schooling is also important since most expats are working individuals, hence it becomes easier for children to adapt to their parent’s schedule.
Which Methods of Education Are Important for Indian schools in Dubai
In Dubai International schools with an Indian background, usually Montessori curriculum is followed in a blended fashion. They combine old age learnings of Montessori with modern technology and impact. Montessori is a method of teaching where the teacher takes a back seat, supporting and enabling students to explore themselves, their strengths and grow.
In a classic Montessori classroom, you will find students engaged in different forms of activities that focus on community awareness and environmental programs. Some students will be involved in group activities with their classmates while others will be flying solo.
This format of teaching inculcates a sense of individuality as well as accountability. Students learn from each other and from different domains. Learning is not restricted to academia, but also to society, harmony, how to be a member of a group, how to forgive, make mistakes and learn from them.
Montessori, when blended with modern techniques of teaching, make pre-schools, especially for Indian children, a safe place because students are encouraged to express their diversities and excel in the fields of their choice. Students engage not only with other students, their peers but as well as physical infrastructure and play material.
What is the Ideal Age to Get Your Toddler in a Preschool in Dubai?
In Dubai, most schools accept students who are 3 years and 8 months old by March 31 in KG-1 classes and 4 years and 8 months by March 31 in KG-2 classes. According to research this is an ideal age for students to be enrolled in kindergarten and preschools.
What Procedures must you follow to admit your child in Dubai Preschool if you are an Indian expat?
If you are an expat first, it is very important that you apply to the school long in advance since these schools are usually full which would put your child on the waiting list.
The school generally requires the following documents-
● Birth certificate of your child to ensure the right age.
● Your annual income/ profession to understand if you will be able to afford the finances
● If you apply for any reliefs or scholarships for siblings, single child etc, you will be required to submit your documents.
● You will also be required to share your employment contract/ letter from your office establishing you are an employee. This often goes to the Ministry of Education as well.
● Your passport and local addresses.
● Some schools may also interview you to understand your background and what your child might need.
● Any disabilities certificate that may apply to your child.
● Any transfer certificate if your child has been transferred from another school/ country.
You must also ask in advance from the school the list of documents that you may need to equip them with so there is no last minute panic and you are ready with everything.
Technology, an Imminent Part of Modern Learning for Preschool students in Dubai
Technology has literally saved us through the pandemic and intertwined in our lives seamlessly whether it is shopping, learning, playing, even our bread and butter is dependent on technology. Those who are technology natives are reaping the benefits and those who are technology immigrants have been forced to learn it. Hence, technologically savvy infrastructure, teaching model, day to day administration becomes non negotiable in today’s learning for preschoolers. In fact, expats from India are mostly technology natives and it would only make sense for their children to have the opportunity to learn from the beginning.
International Indian Schools in Dubai are involving technology in many ways:
● Technologically equipped infrastructure
● Digital classrooms and smart classes
● Virtual Reality as a mode of experiencing learning
● Using big data and Internet of things to keep information secure for generations and shareable, safely
● Constant student teach and parent teacher, parents forums and discussions, feedback sessions
● Smart watches to check vitals of students and keep them healthy physically as well as mentally
● Automation of data which was eliminating human labour and a more efficient and faster system
● Biometric to keep students safe and record attendance and data
● Mental Health Applications to keep a pandemic raised generation mentally fit and sound
● Access to any new workshops or technologies that may be relevant for your child’s learning.
● CCTV security across the campus
What is holistic development and why is it important for your child?
Children of today are living in enormous stressful environments. It then becomes the duty of schools, parents, governments to create a collaborative plan that aids your child’s growth. This must be student centric and the environment, especially for kindergartners who have just begun to explore the world, must be safe and secure physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is important to look at not only academia but health and fitness, physical and mental as well as extracurriculars.
The goal of most top Indian school in Dubai is to help students become their authentic, ideal selves. This also means that students who are young are vulnerable to most threats and it thus becomes the responsibility of schools to ensure their optimum safety and thereafter. There should be child psychologists and counselors in place, parents and teachers must work together to learn and support the different needs of different children compassionately.
All this must be done amidst strong mentors who the students can look upto. There should be a push of optimum resources for all children. Holistic development then becomes an ecosystem of growth in all domains that a child can grow in and learn becoming global citizens and future leaders.
Technology in schools has far reaching effects that are very beneficial to the current generation and this doesn’t just limit to higher grades but to preschools too.