One of Dubai's largest schools aims to cut waiting list after expanding campus

The Indian High School is set to increase its pupil population after opening a new three-storey building featuring dozens of classrooms

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One of the oldest and largest schools in Dubai aims to cut waiting lists and enrol more pupils after opening a new three-storey building that features dozens of classrooms, laboratories and activity rooms.

The Indian High School in Oud Metha currently has about 9,000 pupils on site, but it is now in a position to boost its capacity.

The expansion will also enable the school, one of the most affordable in the city, to accept pupils who have been on a waiting list.

The new building was opened by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline, on Thursday.

Colourful dance displays took place during the inauguration ceremony as the school marked a significant moment in its history.

The school was founded in 1961 and is one of three campuses that make up the Indian High Group of Schools, which comprises more than 15,000 children.

The school has also opened a happiness tent, a social meeting space for parents and teachers, as part of its expansion project, which took two years to complete.

"We're talking about at least 60,000 square feet of expansion, which is spread over three floors," said Punit MK Vasu, chief executive of The Indian High Group of Schools.

"We have added a total of 44 classrooms, which is a combination of classrooms, laboratories, special activity rooms and a happiness tent. This will definitely help our wait list."

The school has also established a well-being centre, where pupils can seek help from counsellors if they have mental health concerns.

“The pandemic taught us that it's important to focus on the mental health and well-being of children, so we have a dedicated well-being lab," Mr Vasu said.

"We want to make it a space where people feel comfortable talking about such issues."

The school's new classrooms are equipped with technology such as smart boards so pupils can download notes from lessons.

"We have a very affordable price point and usually you would see such facilities in a premium school," Mr Vasu said.

"We have not increased our fee point in spite of this building and construction."

The school's fees range from Dh552 ($150) a month to Dh1,046 a month.

He said the trustees at the school believed in serving the community decided not to increase fees this year owing to the effects of the pandemic.

All essential common shared services including administration, transport, finance, and account departments will be moved to the new building.

Updated: May 26, 2022, 5:44 PM