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Why international schools will weather the Covid storm8/4/2021

International schools are preparing to re- open in September, many with reduced class sizes or staggered shifts, though exact arrangements vary depending on the country.To get more news about international schools, you can visit shine news official website.

In Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, for example, the authorities have delegated to schools and parents the decision on whether to fully reopen, run classes in staggered shifts or continue online learning. Neighbouring Oman, by contrast, has yet to formally make a decision on how schools will operate.A recent report by ISC Research, In the light of COVID-19, concludes they will, not least because of the resilience built into a sector that’s weathered other crises.

While expatriate families may leave a country en masse, history shows there’s an ever-increasing demand from wealthier local families for a “Western” international school education, as the experience of 2008 financial crash shows.

International schools began as schools for the children of expatriate families, many of whom had generous employee relocation packages, including school fees. Expatriate families were seeking an education in their own language and a curriculum compatible with their home country.

By 2008, there was already a shortage of international school places in Qatar, Switzerland and Hong Kong, among others, as “wealthier local populations” enrolled their children in international schools in ever-greater numbers.

Although many expatriates returned home as a result of the financial crisis, “relatively few international schools suffered loss of enrolment,” according to the report. Local families had been on waiting lists for places and so these were quickly filled. Unlike expats, local parents, particularly in Asia, tend to withdraw their children from international schools only as a last resort.

Some schools that are heavily dependent on expatriate families for enrolments (China and the United Arab Emirates, for example,) downsized during the recession, but even these were able to make up lost business with enrolments from local families.

Post-2008, new international schools continued to open worldwide, albeit at a slower rate. ISC Research figures for the global market show that in 2000 there were 2,584 international schools, with just under a million enrolments worldwide. By 2010 there were 6,247 such schools with just over 3 million enrolments. By 2020, school numbers were at around 11,000, with enrolments over 5.8 million.With the slump in oil and gas prices in 2014, for example, many expatriates in the Middle East and South East Asia were repatriated. International schools were once again able to fill vacancies from local families. Some expatriates stayed, but with benefits packages cut, so they had to pay their own fees. Many of these moved their children from the expensive “premium” end of the market more affordable schools. As a result, the demographic of some Middle Eastern international schools shifted towards families from South East Asia. Competition became tougher, and accreditation became more important.

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