Sener Erkol, the newly appointed General Manager of the German International School Dubai (DISD), discusses the school’s mission, vision, and strategies, emphasising its commitment to cultivating global citizens and preparing them for international careers. Erkol looks back on many years of service as a school advisory board member responsible for human resources and facility management. His experience in these areas has been instrumental in optimising internal processes and creating an optimal learning environment.
Can you tell us more about the mission and vision of DISD and how it represents German education values in the multicultural context of Dubai?
Our school aims to blend German education values with the multicultural vibe of Dubai. With its booming economy and a wealth of opportunities, this city never ceases to astound. At DISD, we value innovation, discipline, and academic excellence while embracing Dubai’s diversity. Our vision is to prepare our students for success in a wide range of opportunities, making them well-rounded global citizens. We are inspired by Dubai’s energy and ambition for excellence and innovation to provide our students with an education that will enable them to excel not only in this vibrant city, but also in Germany and around the world. Aligning with our ‘Global Citizens Set Sail’ mission, we steer towards a brighter future.
My leadership at the German International School Dubai will be characterised by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity as we continue to prepare our students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Multilingualism with German as a core competence is a key feature of DISD. How does the school support students in becoming true global citizens with proficiency in multiple languages, including German, English, and Arabic?
While German is the language of instruction, we recognise the importance of proficiency in multiple languages to nurture true global citizens. We offer a KMK-accredited Arabic curriculum in secondary school and plan to hire Emirati Arabic teachers in alignment with our Emiratisation efforts to enhance language acquisition. Our dedicated team of teachers for German as a foreign language supports students with varying German proficiency levels. Starting from Grade 9, we offer bilingual instruction in German and English for History and from Grade 10 Geography is taught in English. This approach ensures our students are not only fluent in German but also proficient in English, equipping them for effective communication in our interconnected world.
In your previous role as a school advisory board member, you optimised internal processes for an optimal learning environment. Can you share a specific initiative that has had a lasting impact on the school?
One of our major accomplishments was our successful digitalisation. In 2019-20, we transformed into an iPad school, introducing digital learning tools from Grade 1 to 12. This transition proved indispensable during the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling uninterrupted education. Our digital teaching methods gained recognition, and other German schools abroad sought our expertise as a case example. Our commitment to digitalisation is ongoing, keeping our school at the forefront, with current efforts focused on adapting to AI.
The school is known for its modern facilities, including science labs, libraries, and sports facilities. How do these amenities contribute to the overall learning experience?
Our modern facilities greatly enhance our students’ learning experience. They help them on the path to the German school leaving certificate Abitur, and to prepare for successful careers. Our science labs offer hands-on learning, our libraries encourage research and reading, and our sports facilities promote fitness and teamwork. These amenities are vital in tailoring education to each student’s interests and skills, fostering both academic and social growth. The German International Abitur from DISD opens doors to universities in Germany and worldwide.
As the General Manager, what is your strategic vision for the future of the German International School Dubai, and how do you intend to lead the school to new heights?
My leadership at the German International School Dubai will be characterised by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity as we continue to prepare our students to thrive in a rapidly changing world. ■
For more information about DISD please visit Germanschool.ae