Dubai experiments with personal tailored education

Rahhal initiative provides a creative and innovative alternative to mainstream education

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Schools in Dubai are moving towards personalised learning in an attempt to make the most of young minds.

The Rahhal Initiative claims to provide a creative and innovative alternative to mainstream education. It is a platform that allows pupils to study at more than one school or even part-time, while spending the rest of their time developing the skills they are most interested in.

Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority is rolling out the programme as part of 10X, the Dubai Future Foundation’s plan to achieve 10 years’ worth of development in the next two.

“If you are a gifted student and can’t attend school every day but still want to continue in school, the school tailors this journey for you,” said Rashmi Nandkeolyar, principal of Delhi Private School Dubai, which has signed up to the initiative.

“Pupils can still integrate at a regular school while pursuing what they want to pursue. Children who can’t cope with exams can also make use of this option.”

Ms Nandkeolyar said personalised learning was "the future", and was common in Finland, a world-leader in ­education.

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“If we are very inflexible, learning gets held back because of too much structure. Rahhal is a futuristic way of approaching education,” she said.

Hind Al Mualla, head of Creativity, Happiness and Innovation at KHDA, said each pupil has an individual way of learning. Rahhal can bring new experiences for schools as well as pupils.

“We recognise the needs of our pupils and try to find new opportunities to see how students with unique learning needs can be supported,” Ms Al Mualla said.

Recognising out-of-school learning was a big step towards the future, she said, and every Rahhal pupil presented a unique story.