WISE Indian Academy in Ajman is the third school in the UAE to be managed and operated by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Bhavan) Educational Trust. It is a low fee CBSE curriculum school.
The story so far...
WISE Indian Academy (otherwise known as Bhavans Ajman) appears to have grown out of the demise of Al Saad Indian School in Ajman, a privately-owned villa-turned-school established in the early 1990's. The school was shut down by the Ajman Ministry of Education authorities in early 2016 having allegedly been functioning without a licence for the previous year and a half. The CBSE-curriculum school housed children from KG to grade 4. The 550 students involved were transferred to two other Ajman schools on a temporary basis. Al Saad Indian School also happens to be the name of the Bhavans school in Al Ain, suggesting a connection to the former school in Ajman. The somewhat confusingly named Private International English School (PIES), is the Abu Dhabi-based school operated by the Bhavans group.
WISE Indian Academy - no explanation for the choice of name could be found - under the management of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Middle East, took over operations in March 2016. and opened with 600 children from KG1 to Grade 6, in a new purpose-built building, in September 2017. The school now (as of 2019), educates children up to Grade 9 and is expected to open the High school section in April 2020.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is an Indian educational trust. The trust operates 119 centres in India, and 367 institutions. Ten international centres are located in the UK, USA, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, Portugal, and schools are managed in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and, within the UAE, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Ajman.
The trust was founded in November 1938 by Dr. K. M. Munshi. The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s motto is “Let noble thoughts come to us from every side”, a quote from the Rigveda.
The constitution of the Bhavan lays down the qualities that everyone connected with the Bhavan should develop for the Bhavan’s consolidation and sustained growth. They are:
What about the curriculum?
Unfortunately, the Bhavans website for all their Middle East schools, and the school's own website, are remarkably lacking in detailed information about the curriculum. The school is affiliated with the CBSE and aside from the core subjects required in the UAE of English, Maths, Science, Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies, WISE also has a particular focus on the teaching of languages, with Hindi, French, Sanskrit and Malayam all offered. In addition, ICT, music, drama, art and PE are part of the broader curriculum.
The school follows a Montessori approach in the Kindergarten, enabling the children to follow their own interests and develop their skills under teacher-led guidance. The school says that "all steps are taken to ensure that the school curriculum caters to the needs of the pupils and to equip them adequately to face the challenges ahead with due importance to our traditional, cultural and spiritual values. All these aim at supplementing the academic progress and all-round development of the students by giving importance to curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities".
The prime objective of the Kindergarten is to engage children physically, emotionally and socially, whilst in the Primary section, staff encourage enjoyment in learning through exploring and discovery, focus on basics, cultivating creativity and building confidence. through appropriate activities.
Teaching in the Middle and Secondary school sections "involves enticing children to innovate, tinker, explore and experiencing the joy of making, through experimental and experiential methods in the science, mathematics and linguistic subjects".
What about the facilities?
According WISE, there is a healthy and congenial environment on the campus. The school offers spacious classrooms, floodlit playgrounds and well-equipped Labs. A brand new Composite laboratory has been opened for the 2019-20 academic year and a new school auditorium is to expected to be completed by the end of the academic year. It is evident that investment in the building and resources of the school are being made - a very good sign in terms of commitment to improve.
With so little independent information available about the school, it is difficult for us at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com to comment on its operations. The lack of any external inspection reports for schools in the Northern Emirates (with the exception of a small number who have participated in British Schools Overseas inspections), means that objective information is thin on the ground.
However, we do know that both Al Saad Indian School Al Ain, and Private International English School in Abu Dhabi have been inspected by the Abu Dhabi schools regulator, ADEK. Al Saad Indian School was rated Acceptable in the previous inspection in 2016-17 - the minimum rating expected by ADEK. The report for the inspection due to take place in 2018-19 has not yet been published. Private International English School was inspected in 2018-19 and achieved a Very Good rating according to the school - again, ADEK has not yet published the report. This is a remarkable achievement - there are very few Indian curriculum schools in the UAE who have achieved the second highest rating.
On this basis, the indicators are good. WISE Indian Academy has also recently appointed a new Principal to lead the school into the final vital Senior grades. In Mrs. Indu Panicker's introduction to the school, she also introduces herself:
"I have been in Education for the last 25 years in various capacities as teacher, counsellor, and most recently as Principal at Global Public School, Kochi. I have enjoyed all of my roles and am proud to say that my deep passion and commitment to teaching and learning has helped me provide an environment that is challenging, nurturing and exciting to every single student in the school. This, I also aim to create at Bhavans Ajman too.
In line with our school’s vision of building global citizens of tomorrow who are able to lead and govern, our mission is to ensure that the young ones in our care are intellectually challenged and well-supported emotionally, so that they have the confidence to be creative and questioning and the verve and drive to be independent and self-disciplined. The initial steps in building this pioneering school profile is to have high and challenging expectations. It is important that we are ambitious, and I know that our students will respond positively to a challenge".
Mrs. Panicker's experience and pedigree appears to be strong with clear ambitions and plans for the development of the school. We hope to learn more. If you are a parent, teacher or student at WISE Indian Academy, please do complete our survey and share your experience with potential parents and their children.
Fees at WISE Indian Academy are on the low end of the scale, starting at AED 7,000 in KG, and rising slightly to AED 8,000 for Primary, and AED 8,500 in the Secondary school. Books are additional.
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