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Dr. Abdulla Al Karam of KHDA with Li Xuhang, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The first Chinese curriculum school to offer full-time K-12 education outside China is set to open in Dubai this September, a statement from the Dubai Media Office confirmed on Tuesday.

Chinese School Dubai will mainly focus on serving the Chinese community in the emirate and will create an additional 2,000 seats in the emirate’s private education sector once it is fully operational.

Apart from the Chinese curriculum, students will also be offered Arabic as second language, Islamic studies, moral education and UAE studies based on the UAE national curriculum.

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The new school will be located in Mirdif Image Credit: Supplied

Li Xuhang, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, told Gulf News that 183 Chinese students will start classes on September 1.

Located in Mirdif, the school will initially offer classes up to Grade 5 and operate on a non-profit basis. A senior leadership team from China has given orientation to 37 new teachers from Hangzhou and Dubai.

“We are so happy to add one more new record to Dubai’s honour of countless world’s firsts. This is the first Chinese school established overseas by the Chinese government, bearing in mind the teachings of ‘Chinese education going global’ by President Xi Jinping,” Li said.

“As a pilot project of overseas Chinese international schools sponsored by the Ministry of Education, this school is recognised as the first full-time Chinese school successfully established overseas by the Chinese government,” he added. “Chinese School Dubai is a blessing to many Chinese families in Dubai so they settle down, work and live in Dubai with peace of mind; make great contribution to the construction and development of Dubai, and lay a solid foundation for Dubai to attract more Chinese talent.”

Chinese school with a global perspective

The Chinese consul-general described the school as a Dubai-based Chinese school with a world view. “I am quite sure that the establishment of the Chinese School Dubai will serve as a good example both for the UAE and China to learn from each other,” he added.

Li noted three school principals travelled to Dubai in late March. It was during the pandemic but they solved tough problems such as textbooks, teachers, and student enrolment in only four months.

“With close cooperation, Chinese School Dubai will definitely prosper as time goes on, adding a bright colour to the grand blueprint for the diversified development of education in Dubai, and always playing a significant part of the cooperation between China and the UAE on the Belt and Road Initiative,” he stressed.

Long-standing friendship

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was given a tour of the school facilities along Chinese dignitaries.

Dr. Al Karam said: “China and the UAE have had a close long-standing friendship, and there’s no better symbol for that friendship than a school. The Chinese School Dubai will be the heart of the Chinese community in Dubai and foster a rich exchange of teaching and learning opportunities with other schools in Dubai.

“We are honoured that the first Chinese-curriculum school outside of China is opening in Dubai. We look forward to the new possibilities and connections this will bring to our education community,” he added.