The Indian High School in Dubai currently has a capacity of 12,000 students. It will be able to accommodate at least 1,000 more students after the expansion. Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Following a long-standing demand by Indian expatriates, the Indian High School (IHS) is finally increasing the number of seats by constructing new buildings at its Oud Metha campus, an official said.

IHS, founded in 1961, is one of the UAE’s oldest expatriate educational institutions.

Each year, expatriates scramble for admissions to this school as it is one of the few institutions with an affordable fee structure and outstanding academic rating. The seats are allocated by a lottery system.

Currently having a capacity of 12,000 students, the school wiil easily be able to accommodate at least 1,000 students more, according to sources in the Indian community. The expansion comes after IHS being in existence for nearly 54 years.

The fee structure for the school that follows the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum, ranges between Dh400-800 per month and it has received an outstanding rating for four consecutive years by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Dr Lalchand Pancholia, the chairman of the school, confirmed the plan but declined to provide full details of the expansion or the number of seats. “Everything is in a very primitive stage now, but the authorities have been very cooperative with us so far and we are very hopeful of getting the floor space index (FSI) approvals for going ahead with this expansion. God willing if everything goes as planned by 2018 we will be able to complete the expansion. The expansion will include addition of more classrooms, a new swimming pool, more indoor and outdoor extra curricular activitites faciltities. We have been around for over fifty years, some of our buildings are really old and we want to replace these by giving the best new facilities to our students”

The current campus at Oud Metha has five buildings — Block A, B, C, D and E. The expansion has to take place without disruption of regular classes.

The management plans to demolish Block A and B, also known as the Gandhi and Nehru block as the structures are a little over 40 years old and construct new ground plus three storey structures in its place. Block C, D and E have had new floors added to them. Instead of the earlier ground plus one structures, an additional storey was added to the three blocks and by January 2016, the ground plus two structures will accommodate the other classrooms from the neighbouring buildings to be demolished, explained Pancholia.

While estimates for the demolition and construction were not available, the IHS Trust is known to plough back all the profits it accrues into the improvement of the school.