Top Row: Nour Mouna Hedna, Sneha Sahay and Sameekshaa Panemangaloe Prabhu. Middle row: Akshara Thakur and Johann Pinto. Bottom row: Kushal Sodum, Giamcamo Schott and Patil Djerdjerian. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Schools in the UAE started receiving results for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) today. UAE students recorded outstanding results in these exams — their performance significantly above the international averages.

From seven GEMS-managed schools offering the IB curriculum, 534 students of grade 12/year 13 took the IB Diploma exams, achieving an average score of 35.2, compared to the international average of 33 in 2021. The schools recorded a pass rate of 97 per cent — significantly above the world average of 89 per cent.

The seven GEMS schools include GEMS World Academy — Dubai, GEMS International School — Al Khail, GEMS Dubai American Academy, GEMS American Academy — Abu Dhabi, GEMS Wellington Academy — Silicon Oasis, GEMS Wellington International School, and GEMS Modern Academy.

‘Excited and a little bit nervous’

Kushal Sodum of GEMS Modern Academy secured the highest possible score of 45 and will be heading to the University of Michigan in the United States to study Mechanical Engineering. Sodum said: “It feels crazy. I never expected this in my wildest dreams. . University is a big step. I am excited and a little bit nervous too, being so far from home. But it’s going to be a good challenge. I joined GEMS Modern Academy in second grade and it’s like a second home, so it’s going to be hard leaving, but that’s life!”

Other standout results from across the GEMS network included GEMS Modern Academy with an average score of 36.1, GEMS Wellington International School with 35.9 and GEMS Dubai American Academy with 35.4.

Nargish Khambatta, principal, GEMS Modern Academy and vice-president — Education, GEMS Education, said: “This has truly been the ‘batch of stoics’ and we’ve been amazed at their resilience and ability to stay calm and work around any situation they faced. We are so proud of every single one of them, as they have all been such troopers. There are so many heartening stories to share and on behalf of our entire school community I extend our congratulations to all our future positive changemakers.

‘We are incredibly proud’

“A big shout out, too, to our DP coordinator and supervisor, who helped students navigate the process and, along with our teachers, motivated students and kept their morale high. Their role needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.”

Kavita Bedi, IBDP Coordinator, GEMS Wellington International School, said: “We are incredibly proud of our Year 13 students and would like to congratulate them on their brilliant IB exam results. Our students have successfully overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and their results are testament to the effort, perseverance and resilience displayed by each student throughout their IB journey.

“This exam series has been a great opportunity for the students to demonstrate the amazing things they are capable of and it is wonderful to see their hard work rewarded. We congratulate the Class of 2022 on their fantastic achievements and wish them continued success as they move on to university and beyond.”

The school’s topper, Patil Djerdjerian, achieved a score of 44 and is now heading to Harvard University to major in Economics: “I’m ecstatic and so happy that all the hard work has paid off in the end. I stayed up all night, trying to predict what I’d get, and I’m just so grateful to my teachers who helped me get here today. I really have no words to express how much I appreciate my teachers’ hard work and guidance over the years. We’ll always keep in touch. I joined WIS in Year 1 and have been here for 13 years. So, leaving is bittersweet for me, but I’m also excited to go to Harvard University and see what this new chapter has in store.”

‘Never faltered in their determination’

Tammy Jochinke, high school principal, GEMS Dubai American Academy, said: “We could not be prouder of our students, who faced uncertainty in the midst of the pandemic, but never faltered in their determination to succeed in their courses. They took this challenge head on and remained flexible and positive. Our IB learners have made us proud year on year and we wish this cohort the very best as they embark on their future endeavours.”

This year’s results will once again enable GEMS students to go on to study at some of the very best institutions in the world. These include Stanford University, Tufts University, University of Michigan, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, University of Warwick, University College London, University of Toronto, University of Amsterdam and many more.

Taaleem school student flies high

Glen Radojkovich, deputy director of Ed & IB curriculum, said Taaleem schools this year have achieved 100 per cent pass rate for CP and DP cohorts with averages of 35.7 points. “Taaleem is delighted with our students’ extraordinary efforts and achievements in this year’s IB examinations. Our students faced challenges of distance learning and irregular examination practise opportunities. To have done so well is a monumental achievement. We are delighted to report also that we have students scoring the maximum 45 points, with perfect 7s awarded in every subject. This reflects on the great guidance and support our students have received.

‘A fond farewell’

All of our schools attained well above their previous school averages, with some increasing the school’s average by as much as 3.5 points.”

The Raha International School — Gardens Campus recorded an average scoring point of 33.8, higher than 31.8 points achieved in 2019. “As a school, we have continued to improve in many areas with scores well above the world average. With an average score of 33.8 and with a high number of students achieving more than 30 points, Raha continues to go from strength to strength. One of our students, Giacamo Schott, was awarded a maximum 45 points. We wish all our students a fond farewell as they continue their educational journeys at many of the world’s most prestigious universities,” said Pali Nahal, principal, Raha International School — Gardens Campus.

Schott is one of 0.3 per cent of students in the world to score 45 points. He achieved it by scoring 7s in Maths and Physics Higher Level — which have the two lowest percentages of students achieving top marks in the Diploma Programme. The world is truly Giacamo’s oyster now and he has already received offers from universities across the globe from Germany, Hong Kong and the UK!

Mario Gonzalez Pineiro also from Raha International School scored 44 points. A student at Raha International for eight years, Pineiro moved from Spain to the UAE with limited English. “His consistently impressive academic performance and formidable drive to succeed has culminated in a fantastic set of results. Mario was awarded the Azzam Award for demonstrating his understanding of what it means to be a Raha student by helping so many people across the world — from Spain to Malawi.”

‘A rigorous global examination’

Five students across Innoventures Education schools achieved the highest point score of 45 points.

Poonam Bhojani, CEO, Innoventures Education said: “We are so proud of all our students, who have shown exemplary hard work, resilience and talent to excel in an extremely rigorous global examination. These outstanding results testify to our amazing teachers and the success of the holistic, world-class education pathways offered by our schools.”

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Ian Thurston, Principal, DIA Emirates Hills: “Congratulations to the Class of 2022 and teachers on this brilliant performance. They exemplify our school motto: Dream, inspire, achieve. We cannot wait to see them shine as citizens of the world, equipped with the values of their alma mater.”  Akshara Thakur, Johann Pinto, Nour Mouna Hedna, Sameekshaa Panemangalore Prabhu and Sneha Sahay did their school proud with full 45 points.

Significant improvement

Uptown International School (UIS) also achieved great results. With an average score of 34.4 and a high score of 44 points, UIS students were brilliant in their performance. “This year’s results represent a significant improvement compared to the 2019 cohort. One quarter of this year’s cohort achieved over 40 points, with four out of every five students achieving greater than 30 points. This reaffirms the caliber of both our students and their teachers and we wish our Grade 12 graduates the very best of luck as they move on to leading universities across the globe next academic year,” said Rob Commons, the principal of UIS.

100 per cent pass rate

Repton School Dubai attained an average score of 36 in the IB Diploma programme, and an overall 100 per cent pass rate in both IBDP and IBCP courses.

This year’s achievements have resulted in admission offers for the school’s students from Russell Group institutions and some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including the University of Oxford, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Edinburgh, University College London (UCL) and University of Manchester, to name a few.

Ibrahim Usmani, part of the 2022 graduating IB cohort, scored an outstanding 43 points and will pursue his studies at the University of Oxford for the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) programme. Head boy Baraj Kohli and Head girl Daphne Fabre have demonstrated exceptional performances, securing admissions at the University of Edinburgh and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, respectively.

‘Phenomenal performances’

David Cook, headmaster at Repton Dubai and chief education officer of the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE, expressed his delight at the students’ excellent results: “We are proud that our students have passed their IB programme with impressive scores and have done themselves and the school proud this year. At Repton Dubai, academic excellence is part of our DNA and our students have consistently displayed phenomenal performances in their assessments. I would like to thank all our teachers and parents for their passion, hard work and dedication.”