The first Chinese-curriculum school opened in Dubai on Tuesday.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed, son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the school in a physically distanced ceremony. The Chinese government is going to financially support the non-profit school in Mirdif.
It is a popular residential area having Chinese population, allowing the residents of the villas for rent in Mirdif access to basic Chinese education. The school claims to have high-tech facilities and strong adherence to sanitization and safety protocols.
After revealing the commemorative marker, Sheikh Mansour warmly welcomed the first-ever Chinese public school to open outside China, in Dubai. He spoke of how this initiative mirrored the friendship between the UAE and the People’s Republic of China.
The capital of China’s Zhejiang province was part of the inauguration, with the entire event going live online from there. The school’s officials and teachers were hired directly by the Hangzhou Education Bureau. The school has a capacity of accommodating 2,000 pupils and shall operate on the model of Hangzhou No 2 High School, one of the internationally acclaimed schools in Hangzhou, offering high-quality basic Chinese education.
Along with the national Chinese curriculum, students are going to study Arabic, Islamic studies, and moral education. The school would not focus on serving the Chinese community living in Dubai while accepting pupils of other nationalities living in the emirate.
As per Chinese Consul-General Li Xuhang, the school is going to follow the ‘All for the Students’ and make efforts to nurture and promote citizens with international vision and humanistic accomplishments to come on terms with the mission of building a globally-known overseas Chinese school in basic education.
Chinese School Dubai – CSD happens to be a win-win project by China and the UAE, striving to encourage cultural exchanges and bilateral relations. The school shall lure in talent from China as well as other regions to study, work, and live in Dubai. Job prospects already bring people to the City of Gold from all over the world. Due to the fact that many people are searching for homes in Dubai, property finders are quite popular here.
CSD is the first overseas Chinese school to receive financial assistance from the Chinese government. And the opening of this school has brought the number of curricula offered by Dubai’s private sector to 18.
The school’s principal, Yin Liping, said that 200 students have enrolled for the first term for the pilot batch. Initially, the school is expected to offer classes until Grade 5. She talked about the increasing demand among the Chinese community in Dubai for a Chinese school. It took them only six months to prepare for the establishment of the school.
She further discussed the upcoming plans for CSD, and how they plan to offer full KG to senior high school and eventually accommodate at least 1,800 students in the Mirdif campus. Yin reported of establishing another campus in the emirate soon.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority KHDA, Dr Abdulla Al Karam, said that both China and UAE have shared a close friendship for a long time. And there is nothing better than a school to symbolize that friendship. CSD aims to connect both parents and teachers and make this school the heart of the Chinese community in creating a healthy interchange of teaching and learning.
Health and safety protocols were followed during the inauguration as well. Temperature scanners, along with a giant screen, were placed right at the entrance of the main school building. A disinfection booth could be seen as well on the left side of the entrance. The right side of the entrance housed multiple isolation areas. The school clinic had nurses available wearing PPE (personal protective equipment).
Everyone present at the ceremony was wearing a face mask. Desks and chairs were at least two meters apart. A touch screen was placed at each classroom’s door with a list of all the students and teachers. And right next to each name, their body temperature was mentioned as well. Teachers were witnessed asking students to do basic calisthenics and stretching after each class.
The inauguration of the school was held as the new academic year is starting across the country. Schools have reopened, businesses are gradually back on track, properties in Dubai are available, and students are going to be seen back on campus with strict safety measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.