Approximately 50,000 students are already studying in Indian curriculum schools in Sharjah, a number limited not by demand but by the number of school places.
The emirate currently has 18 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools but five new schools that have applied for affiliation, which will increase the number of CBSE seats sharply.
Speaking to Gulf News, Rafia Zafar Ali, an educator based in Sharjah, said demand is the result of an influx of young couples into the emirate.
“Their children are young and they want to secure places in KG and lower grade levels in newer, affordable Indian schools. Cost-conscious parents prefer the lower school fees and rents of Sharjah, compared to Dubai,” she said.
Older Indian schools in Sharjah are already full or nearly at capacity, especially in the middle and higher grades.
That leaves considerable opportunity for new schools, and for existing schools limited by space and unable to expand to create whole new entities to meet the demand.
Two schools to have done this already are Delhi Private School Sharjah (DPS Sharjah) and Sharjah Indian School.
DPS Sharjah established New DPS Sharjah (NDPS) in April 2017. Director of DPS and NDPS Sharjah, Vandana Marwaha told Gulf News the new school was effectively an “extension” of the 17-year-old institution. It added 2000 new CBSE places.
The new Sharjah Indian School which also opened in April 2017 is said to be a branch of the existing school and comes under the management of Indian Association Sharjah (IAS). Speaking to Khaleej Times, YA Rahim, the president of the IAS, said:
"For two years we have not given any new admissions in the Sharjah Indian School, a school already under pressure for space. The New Sharjah Indian School will accommodate 12,000 students when the two phases are complete."
The first phase, which began in April, admitted 6,000 students.