Durga Chandrashekhar with her family-1625579422862
Durga Chandrashekhar with her family. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: More UAE students on Tuesday received their crucial school-leaving IB (International Baccalaureate) results following Monday’s release to schools, with many students achieving perfect scores despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s challenges.

As in 2020, students in the UAE (and many other countries) this year did not sit the IB exams, whose results are accepted for university admissions globally, because of the pandemic. Instead, schools here followed the IB’s “non-exam route” for the results, using a combination of internal assessment and teacher-predicted grades.

Record-breaking results

Each of the four IB schools of Taaleem, one of the UAE’s biggest school groups, attained record-breaking results, achieving an average of 35.2 points, Taaleem CEO Alan Williamson said. “We have had four students awarded the maximum 45 points; a historic and phenomenal achievement, as on average only 0.3 per cent of global students ever accomplish this award. All of our schools have attained results significantly above the world average point score. We are particularly proud of this as our admissions policy is non-selective,” he added.

Pali Nahal, principal of Uptown International School (UIS), part of Taaleem, said: “The results are amazing. We have improved significantly in all areas. With a 100 per cent pass rate, an average point score of 36.6 and two students being awarded the maximum 45 points, it just shows what can be achieved, despite very challenging times.”

School toppers

UIS students Durga Chandrashekhar, Shaikha Alnaqbi, Tala Daher-1625579425624
UIS students Durga Chandrashekhar, Shaikha Alnaqbi and Tala Daher celebrate their results. Image Credit: Supplied

UIS student and deputy head girl Tala Daher scored a perfect 45. She was awarded a merit scholarship to study computer science at Smith College, USA. Another UIS student, Durga Chandrashekhar, who was awarded valedictorian, also scored 45 points. She has been awarded a merit scholarship to study chemistry at American University of Sharjah.

Going to Oxford

Klyde Gironella

In Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen Academy, part of Aldar Education, also achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, as well as an average score of 35 points. Former head boy Klyde Gironella, who achieved 45 points, is the first Al Bateen student to receive an offer from top-rated Oxford University, UK.

Ananya Khosla

Schoolmate Ananya Khosla achieved 44 points; she has an unconditional offer to Stanford University, US.

Sahar Cooper, CEO of Aldar Education, said: “I am extremely proud of this year’s cohort of graduates for all that they have achieved. Marking Al Bateen Academy’s highest ever score, today [Tuesday] is a monumental moment for students, teachers’, and staff, and one that they should all be proud of.”

‘Students have persevered’

Repton School Dubai attained a record average score of 36.2 points alongside a 100 per cent pass rate. Headmaster David Cook, who is also Chief Education Officer of the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE, said: “This year, despite the overlying challenges, our students have once again persevered… well above the global benchmark.”

Pavani Duggal

Head girl Pavani Duggal scored 45 points and will attend University of St Andrews in Scotland to focus on her undergraduate psychology studies.

Ayesha Duhra

Schoolmate Ayesha Duhra, who scored 44, will study medicine at Imperial College London.

Highest-ever performance

UAE school group GEMS Education also celebrated its best IB results, with an average point score of 36, as reported on Monday. A total of 10 students across the GEMS network achieved 45 points, including one student from GEMS Modern Academy.

Nargish Khambatta, Principal, GEMS Modern Academy, and Vice President – Education, GEMS Education, said on Tuesday: “What a year it’s been. Our students and teachers have risen to the occasion, and the [IB] results are the best [the school has] had since 2016.”

GEMS Wellington International School toppers Chetan Nair, Tala Salemeh, Arghya Srivastav-1625579427606
GEMS Wellington International School toppers Chetan Nair, Tala Salemeh and Arghya Srivastav rejoice with their scoresheets. Image Credit: Supplied

Meeting expectation

GEMS Wellington International School student Chetan Nair, who scored 45, said: “I was definitely hoping for a 45, and that’s exactly what I’ve got, so I’m really happy. Now that I’ve got my grades, I’ve decided that I’m going to Stanford University in the US. And although I haven’t decided what major, I’ll probably be looking at computer science or physics, or some sort of blend between the two.”

School mate Arghya Srivastav, who also scored 45, said: “I’ll be going to the US to study mathematics and computer Science. It’s definitely been a lot of hard work. I’ve learnt the value of dedication, but it’s just been a really rewarding journey and I look forward to the future.”

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Twice as nice

Nil Karadede

Deira International School (DIS) saw twin sisters Naz Karadede and Nil Karadede both attain 45 points. Two other DIS students also scored 45 points – Jolie Ghobrial and Hasan Raza. The Class of 2021 is the most successful cohort in the school’s results history, with an average score of 38 points and a pass rate of 100 per cent.

Naz Karadede

Naz, Salutatorian and Head Girl at DIS, and her twin sister Nil both enrolled in DIS in 2006 as and have spent their entire school journey at DIS. Naz will be moving on to King’s College, London, to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics, while Nil will be studying medicine at Trinity College Dublin.

Simon O’Connor, director of DIS, said: “This has been such a challenging year for so many reasons, particularly due to the unpredictability of the examination systems. To achieve record results, especially with such a high percentage of students achieving 40-plus points and four students achieving a perfect 45 points, is phenomenal.”