(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A new school in Dubai has introduced a mother-tongue integration programme, where students get to learn in their native language in addition to the curriculum language.
South View School (SVS), the first British-curriculum school in Dubai's Remraam community, was officially inaugurated on Tuesday by senior officials of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), including Dr Abdulla Al Karam, chairman of the board of directors and director-general of the KHDA.
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of KHDA during the inauguration of the South View School in Remraam, Dubai. The Chairman, Dinesh Kothari Chairman and other officials are also seen in the picture.-Photo by Juidin Bernarrd
At the ceremony, the school's officials announced that it is one of the first UAE schools to offer a mother-tongue instruction programme.
"Once the students complete their lessons in the curriculum language, students are given the opportunity to attend the lessons in their mother tongue," Joanne Wells, SVS principal, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony. "Some of the children do not get the practice of using their mother tongue beyond conversations with their parents. We aim to have children practice within the school day to help retain the child's fluency with their native language," she said.
However, Wells added that the programme is yet to fully take off as most of the students who are currently enrolled in the school are of British and Arab nationalities.
Besides the mother-tongue integration scheme, SVS also runs a specialist sports programme and a department for students of determination, Wells said.
Operating since September, SVS is home to nearly 200 students 24 teachers, 12 assistants and an administration team. The school caters to pupils from FS1 to Year 8.
It is the fifth UAE school to be operated by Interstar Education, which serves more than 16,000 students across the country. SVS has a maximum capacity of 2,000 pupils, and by 2020, its management is expecting at least 1,500 enrollees.
Sixty per cent of SVS students live in Remraam, while the rest are from nearby Dubai neighbourhoods, proving that more parents are opting for schools within their communities.
Amit Kothari, director of Interstar Education, said: "If you see the way Dubai is moving, there are a few transitions taking place. Things are moving to become more community-oriented and real residential communities are now complete with healthcare centres, parks, schools and other facilities. Also, Remraam is close to the residential communities in the area of Expo 2020."
The founder fees for FS1 students at SVS are priced at Dh35,000 per annum while Year 7 tuition is at Dh49,000. Transportation costs range from Dh2,000 to Dh4,900 per annum.
The school also offers several scholarships schemes, a refer-a-friend programme, sibling discounts, founder fees, corporate deals and association with companies, among others.