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Gulf Asian English School, Muweilah Commercial
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Review

Gulf Asian English School, Muweilah Commercial

by April 16, 2016
Strengths

• Low fees

Weaknesses

• Lack of transparency
• Insufficient meaningful information for prospective parents to benchmark the school
• Technology perceived as a threat
• Demand outstrips supply
• The value of a school does not lie in the level of its fees

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
D-
C+
Value
D
C-
ExtraCurricula
D
C-
Languages
D+
D+
Sports
C-
C+
Arts & Drama
C-
C-
Teaching
D
C+
Communications
D-
C-
Warmth
C-
C-
Differentiation
D-
D+
SEND Provision
D-
C
Scl Community
C-
B-
Scl Facilities
D
C-
Opportunities

• A long-standing Sharjah school in the early years of new ownership. The current quality and degree of information provided by the school is insufficient for prospective parents to weigh up the school’s offer.
• Ongoing concerns with the school’s cultural focus should make prospective parents cautious in applying to the school without seeking, at a minimum, the independent views of a number of parents with children currently studying at the school.

D-
Our Rating
C
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Top of shortlist
14%
In my Top 5
0%
Shortlisted
14%
A possibility
29%
Pass
14%
No way
29%

Updated November 2016

Gulf Asian English School, also known as the Gulf Asian Indian School and the Gulf Asian High School, was bought by the PA Educational Trust (Pace Group) in 2011.

The school is set on a large, 6.69 acre site, and delivers an Indian CBSE education to between 4,971 and 5400 children (data provided for the school is conflicting). The school has considerable history in the emirate, tracing its founding to the Sharjah Montessori School established in 1975.

Under its new owners, Gulf Asian High School seeks to set itself apart from other schools in ’embracing Audio-Visual technology and its masterful use of PowerPoint’, which replaces outmoded rote learning. The school highlights this new “AV system of teaching” as the “Key Fact” about the school for prospective parents, noting the use of electronic gadgets and a sound system:

“In Students, when the Audio-Visual Perception is combined, it enhances their learning ability by increasing their memory retention.

“Therefore, we place great importance to the audio visual education rather than the outmoded rote method of teaching. The progressive outcome of this teaching method has proven to be astounding.

“Our AV room is well-equipped with hi-tech electronic gadgets alongside a 5.1 Creative (Labs) sound system for this purpose.

“The A.V. system of teaching is so masterfully weaved into their regular study cycle that in senior classes difficult topics are covered using Power Point Presentations.”

The school is owned by PACE Education, established by Dr P.A. Ibrahim Haji with the aim of becoming the “dominant force” in the provision of Indian education in the Emirates. The school is currently run by his son, Zubair Ibrahim, who was educated at the school.

The school advertises its facilities as including a swimming pool; 3 shaded areas and 1 indoor playroom; a music room; 45 buses; 2 clinics; and a library with 8000 plus books.

The school also has one or more Lab(s) designed, like its sister school, India International School LLC, to protect children from the perceived threat posed by technology:

“We live in a world driven by science and technology. If an individual doesn’t update himself and utilize the constant innovation that makes life easier; he is considered ‘outdated’. We at Gulf Asian English School provide hi-tech laboratories to equip students to face the challenges of this ever-evolving scientific and technological error.”

Post-16 provision is divided into a restricted two streams:  Science and Commerce. This is a characteristic of most value Indian schools.

In the Science Stream students take core subjects in English, Physics and Chemistry with options in Biology, Computer, Mathematics or Home Science. In the Commerce Stream, students sit for English, Business Studies and Accountancy as core subjects with options in Economics, “Informatics Practices”, Home Science and Marketing.

Prospective parents should note that somewhat archaically only girls can study Home Science and there is some implication in doing so that they cannot study Mathematics or Marketing. The school also segregates boys and girls at all phases.

School fees, which run from 4,200 AED at FS phase to 6,600 AED for post-16 study are extremely low even for a Sharjah based school. The PACE Group was established in part to provide affordable education for Indian parents and they are meeting this ambition at the Gulf Asian English School head on. This said, with a role of 5,000 plus children, the school leverages considerable economies of scale.

More importantly, the value of any school lies not in the level of its fees, but the quality and breadth of teaching provision. The Gulf Asian English School provides a level and quality of information rendering it impossible to measure the degree to which children are receiving an education at its school.

It is very difficult to benchmark the school. Information is contradictory and lacking in a sufficient level of meaningfulness for prospective parents to make an informed decision on the school’s level of provision.

Even a basic understanding of the number of teaching staff is contradictory and our calculation places the ratio somewhere between 1 child to 22 and 40 teachers, a considerable difference.

The school role also seems to be increasing significantly under Pace ownership, with no advertised investment in facilities to meet the increased density of provision.

The school as of 2016-17, is claiming to have reached maximum capacity and directing prospective parents to its new school, The Pace International Academy, an all-through school opening in a phased launch to Year 7 initially, but for which no further information is provided.

Our current recommendation is for parents to meet with the school, and to seek the views of parents with children already at the school, prior to proceeding with a formal application. We remained concerned, however, at the advertised perceived threat of technology that is emphasised by two of PACE Group schools which implies, at the least, that children will receive an education through a lens of values outside current educational best practice.

Go to the FULL REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
Details to consider
Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 4,200
FS2: 4,200
YEAR 1: 4,300
YEAR 2: 4,300
YEAR 3: 4,300
YEAR 4: 4,300
YEAR 5: 4,300
YEAR 6: 4,300
YEAR 7: 5,000
YEAR 8: 5,000
YEAR 9: 5,000
YEAR 10: 6,600
YEAR 11: 6,600
YEAR 12: 6,600
YEAR 13: NA

Curriculum

Indian:
CBSE
All India Secondary School Examinations [AISSE]

External Exam Boards

Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi

Selective

Inclusive
Notes:
(1) Siblings of existing students are given priority
(2) Entrance requires selection test
(3) Decision is made on the same day of application
(4) School publishes no information on Special Educational Needs [SEN] or disability
(5) School is no longer accepting applications for 2016-17

Waiting list

No

Number of Students

4,971 (CBSE)
5,400+ (2016-17)

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:22 (school quoted) - 1: 40 (CBSE data)

Largest nationality teachers

Indian

Teacher turnover

Not published

Year opened

1975 Sharjah Montessori School
1991 Gulf Asian High School
2011 PACE Group purchase "Gulf Asian English School"

Location

Muweilah Commercial, Sharjah

Student composition

Indian (largest nationality)
Religion: Muslim
FS1 - 2: 1,397 (CBSE data)
Years 1 - 5: 2,170 (CBSE data)
Years 6 - 8: 849 (CBSE data)
Years 9 - 10: 334 (CBSE data)
Years 11 - 12: 221 (CBSE data)

Gender

Segregated boys and girls

School canteen

Not published

Owner

PA Education Trust
PACE Education
Dr P.A. Ibrahim Haji

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)6 534 0000

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Attainment Pri SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Attainment Sec SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Attainment Post-16 SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Progress Nur SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Progress Pri SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Progress Sec SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Progress Post-16 SEM

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Islamic St. Primary Results

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Islamic St. Secondary Results

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Quality of teaching

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

Quality of curriculum

NA
Notes:
(1) School is not transparent with examinations data
(2) School is not transparent in publishing MOE data
(3) Sharjah MOE does not publish Inspection and accreditation reports and scoring

About The Author
Jon Westley

Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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Academic
Value
ExtraCurricula
Languages
Sports
Arts & Drama
Teaching
Communications
Warmth
Differentiation
SEND Provision
Scl Community
Scl Facilities