New Indian Model School, located in Garhoud, is a private CBSE/ Kerala State curriculum school that currently enrolls 6,500 boys and girls aged 4 through 18.
New Indian Model School Dubai (NIMS), established in 1988, is a low fee CBSE/Kerala curriculum school based in Garhoud. It is one of several schools in the UAE - others are located in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Sharjah - together with the Central School in Dubai - under the same ownership and management. The vast majority of students are Indian passport holders.
In line with recent economic changes, student numbers have reduced somewhat over recent years, with 200 fewer students now attending the school. Having said that, this remains are very large school with approximately 6,500 children from KG1 to Grade 12. Girls and boys are taught separately from Grade 5 to Grade 12.
Students, at the time of the last KHDA inspection in 2019, were supported by 349 teachers, down from 364 teachers, and 13 teaching assistants (an increase of 10) compared with 2017-18. The school also employs three Guidance Counsellors (a reduction from 10 in previous years) to support students across the school. The teacher:student ratio has increased from 1:18 to 1:20 - never a good development, since the ability of teachers to plan and teach to meet students' individual needs is inevitably further challenged the larger the class size.
Teacher turnover had also increased in 2019 from 14 percent in 2018-19 to a very significant 30% in 2019-20. It would seem that teachers have perhaps voted with their feet - an unusual occurrence in Indian curriculum schools where turnover is generally much lower than the UAE average of 20-22%. Whether this was also due to a change of leadership (which has subsequently again changed post the KHDA inspection) is not clear. Certainly, the DSIB inspection did note concerns about not all staff being fully qualified and a significant need for staff professional development.
What about the curriculum?
The school follows the CBSE and Kerala State curricula, though it additionally offers an option of a Montessori-based curriculum in Kindergarten. The Secondary school curriculum is entirely focused on Science and Commerce streams.
In addition to the core curriculum, the school also offers a range of Scholastic and Co-scholastic activities. These include inter-NIMS school competitions such as Urdu Recitation, as well as Art and Sports activities. The latter include Volleyball, Football, Basketball and Cricket. NIMS Dubai offers the Tahfeez ul- Quran course which enables students to memorize the holy Quran completely following the Thajweed rules.
NIMS Dubai has a significant number of students who have been identified as Students of Determination - some 900 in total - and this is therefore clearly a school that intends to do its utmost to support students with SEN requirements. Their skill at meeting this aim is shown through the Good rating from the KHDA in terms of the provision and outcomes for Students of Determination.
According to the most recent KHDA inspection report, the Inclusion Team provides a positive service to the school. The skills of the inclusion coordinators and specialist educators are used with increasing effect, but the management of support in classrooms varies and requires strategic planning. Parents are positive in their opinions about the support provided by the school. They receive a range of helpful information about their children’s progress through regular termly reports. Parents value the guidance and training provided to help them support their children at home.
Unusually for many Indian schools in the UAE, NIMS Dubai does provide information about students' achievements in their Board exams. Unfortunately, this is limited only to the Topper information - meaning that there is no way of knowing the average achieved by all students, and whether results are improving overall.
We at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com believe that full disclosure of academic achievement is a must for all schools as we believe it is important for students to be able to celebrate the achievements publicly and for parents to see the standards of results.
The last results released publicly and in detail were those of the March 2018 Kerala Board Exams, where 96 Grade XII students participated (split equally between Science and Commerce). In the Science stream, six students achieved 6 A+ results with the topper scoring 96.17%. In the Commerce stream, four students achieved over 90%, with the topper achieving 92.42%. 99% of students passed the examinations. In the Grade X examinations, 50 students sat for the examinations and four achieved 10 passes at A+, whilst four achieved 9A+ together with 1A grade. All 50 students passed the exams.
In the CBSE Grade XII exams, 129 students appeared - 44 in Science and 85 in the Commerce streams. The Science Topper achieved a score of 95%, whilst the Commerce Topper achieved 93.4%.
NIMS Dubai sits on a large site of over 5 acres. Specialist facilities include outdoor space for sports and recreation, as well as fully equipped labs for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Home Science. In addition, there are three computer labs and a multimedia lab. Wifi is available throughout the school. The library houses a collection of over 15,500 books, the number increasing each year. NIMS has also started to incorporate SMART boards in the multi-media lab and some classrooms. A school canteen provides healthy snacks and sandwiches throughout the day. Whilst there is outdoor space for sports and recreation, this is limited.
What the inspectors say
New Model Indian School Dubai was again rated Acceptable - for the 11th year in a row - in the 2019-20 KHDA inspection round. An Acceptable rating is the minimum that a school is expected to achieve, although the KHDA targets a Good rating for all schools.
However, as is so often the case, the overall rating did not reflect the full level of provision and successful delivery of the school.
In many respects, Student Achievement is clearly better than Acceptable! Ratings for English, Maths and Science were largely Good, and in fact for English and Maths, Very Good in the KG section. Primary is the section of the school that does not appear to perform as well as the other sections (Acceptable for English and Science), and there will be concern about a drop in performance for Science in the Secondary section from Very Good to Good. Whilst Islamic Education is Good across the three sections, Arabic remains Acceptable.
Disappointingly, however, there had been some backwards movement with regard to Teaching and Assessment, with the latter being downgraded to Acceptable in all but the KG section (where it remained Very Good). And the third Key Performance Standard of the Curriculum had also not made sufficient improvement to enable the inspectors to improve the ratings from a mix of largely Acceptable and Good. Until there is improvement across both of these fundamental areas of delivery which are in large part responsible for Student Achievement, an overall rating increase for the school to Good is unlikely to occur.
Where there is a clear area of strength is in the Personal and Social Development and Innovation skills of students at NIMS Dubai. Ten of the twelve measures were Outstanding with the remaining two rated Very Good. And in terms of the Protection, Care, Guidance and Support of students, again the majority of ratings were Good. The final Key Performance Standard of Leadership and Management also retained its mix of Acceptable and Good ratings.
In terms of the strengths of the school, the inspection team found these to be:
As far as the key areas for improvement were concerned, the DSIB inspection team identified the need to:
If you would like to read the full inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has received a limited number of responses to our School Survey. Those parents who have responded have been somewhat split on whether to recommend the school with around 1/3 being happy to do so, whilst the remainder were not sure. None were entirely negative. An overall rating of 2.5/5 - or a positivity rating of 50% - is evidence of the uncertainty shown by respondents.
If you are a parent, teacher or students at NIMS Dubai, please share your opinions and experience with other potential members of your community and complete our Survey here.
The latest inspection report notes that the partnerships and mutually respectful relationships between home and school are positive features of this school. Parents believe that the school leaders listen to their views and feel welcomed to meet teachers on a regular basis. Communication systems are secure, and information is shared digitally and on report cards. Parents view the school as being inclusive, and they receive accurate information on their children’s progress. Governors involve parents and other stakeholders by means of meetings and electronic communication.
Over 1,750 parents responded to the KHDA's pre-inspection survey, with 91% saying that they were fully satisfied with the quality of education provided. Almost all indicated that their children were safe and that teachers were helping them acquire important learning skills. Most parents stated that they were involved in the school and that leaders listened to their opinions.
Almost 1,700 students from Grades 6 to 12 responded to the KHDA Well-being Survey.
A large majority reported that they were satisfied and happy, but a significant
minority reported low levels of both aspects. More than a third reported high
levels of sadness and worry. Overall, the students' responses were more negative than the averages at other schools in Dubai.
New Indian Model School Dubai is one of a group of schools which are all, for the most part, delivering an Acceptable level of education. It is clear that the school requires investment in terms of staff, their professional development and certain facilities and resources. The challenge will be for the Governors and leaders of the school to deliver these quality improvements in an environment where fees are decidedly on the low side.
Fees for New Indian Model School start at AED 3,915 for both the Montessori and CBSE KG classes and rise to AED 6,811 for Grades 11 and 12, making this school a very affordable option for families.
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