State-of-the-art school to come up in Muscat this year

MUSCAT, MAY 15 – Oman will soon be home to a new school that identifies itself as an independent, co-educational and inclusive day-boarding school catering to the needs of both Omani and expatriate populace. Paradise Valley Private School (PVPS), powered by Pallavan Learning Systems and governed by a distinguished and professional Board of Directors under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, will open its doors in September this year. PVPS’s promoters bring the expertise to provide equal learning opportunities and support to all students, including students with special needs. Its priority is to help students grow to be the best they can be, regardless of their abilities.
Speaking to the Observer, Arun Kapur, Director at The Royal Academy in Bhutan and Adviser to the Board of Directors, of PVPS, said that the school aims to serve the demands for high-quality education that focuses on the overall personality growth of all the students. “We want to serve the needs of the local Omani community as well as the demands of an expanding international population for a quality education system.”
The school will adopt a holistic education based on the five key areas of development which are the founding principles of Pallavan Learning Systems: cerebral, emotional, ethical, physical and social. The school will be located close to Al Mouj Muscat and has been given all the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Education. Paradise Valley Private School will begin its first academic session in September 2019, and start the admission process this June.
Starting with primary years, the school will grow into a full-fledged IB school offering primary years, middle years, diploma and career programmes in due course.
“We will be admitting around 120 students in the first year for classes from KG to Grade 3, and we will keep adding an average of 20 students and additional classes in each subsequent year,” said Mahesh Verma, President of the School Management Committee of PVPS. He added that the teachers of the school would be a blend of all nationalities and the teacher-student ratio will be 1:8.
“We have a teacher development programme in which the teachers will also always be in a learning mode. Our policy is to differentiate between schooling and education. There is a big difference between them, and we want children to be educated. We will learn from each other and create a learning community,” added Kapur.
One of the main differentiating factors that Kapur pointed out was its inclusive policy which will allow children with special needs to be a part of the mainstream student body and modules.
“We stand out from the rest by being a truly inclusive educational experience for students with special needs while following the IB curriculum governed by the International Baccalaureate Organisation, as an applicant for IB candidacy. The curriculum will be adapted or modified according to the student’s needs, academic and functional life skills, which will be articulated in the individual’s roadmap.”
PVPS will also have occupational therapists and special instructors to cater to the needs of every child. “Our focus is on inclusive education where the children with special needs will be a part of the mainstream, and their talents and skills will be given special attention and room to develop outside the classroom,” said Kapur.
Verma and Kapur believe that the fee structure is designed to give quality education at affordable fees, given the quality of education that the school will be offering.
PVPS will offer Arabic Language Studies, an Islamic Studies Programme and Social Studies in Arabic for Arabic speakers, providing a seamless transition for Omanis into an international setting.
Arun Kapur started as the founding headmaster of Vasant Valley School where he nurtured the school to become India’s leading co-educational day school. Since 2008, Kapur has conceptualised and designed the Royal Academy in Bhutan, a project for His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Kapur is the founder and chairman of Ritinjali, an NGO, set up in 1995 for community development among marginalised societies in India. He started Pallavan Learning Systems in 2001.
Kapur has contributed to multiple forums on education planning and policy formulation such as Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), National Advisory Council (NAC) set up under the Right to Education Act 2009, and is a member of HundrEd Academy, Finland that recognised the Five Areas of Development as one of the 100 most inspiring educational innovations in 2017 and 2018. He is also a member of East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS).
Mahesh Verma is the Managing Director of Paradise Sprig Investment Management Co, which is the owner of Paradise Valley Private School and is President of the School Management Committee of the school. He is an MBA from a leading institute in India and has been in Oman since 1985. Mahesh has worked with Bank Muscat in Oman and Merrill Lynch, a leading US investment house.
He served on the board of several institutions including The American International School of Muscat (TAISM), where he was the US ambassador’s representative as Treasurer and Chairman, Finance Committee. He has also served on the Board of Governors of the Indian Schools in Oman as the Indian Ambassador’s representative.
The Board of Directors of Paradise Valley Private School represents a cross-section of the shareholders, who belong to some very well-known families of Oman. Some of the Directors include Abdulhameed al Hamdani, Khalid al Qassabi and Suresh Kumar Virmani.