Parents are not charged extra for the Classes

At the two schools, a total of around 2,500 children from grade one to six are taking daily classes in vocals, dance or instrumental music, taught by teachers from Malhaar. Parents are not charged extra for the classes, Sikidar said.

‘Make it compulsory’

“You have to make it a compulsory subject otherwise it will never happen; people will always treat it an as option or hobby,” he added.

Sikidar said besides the cultural value, the performing arts help children use the brain’s “creative half”, build confidence and communication skills, increase their university admission prospects and even improve behaviour by teaching them anger management.

“With the way the world is moving, how Artificial Intelligence is taking over, these qualities will be most important when children grow up. Performing arts are no less important than, say, maths and science.”

According to Sikidar, this is the first time a movement has begun to make Indian performing arts a mandatory school subject.

Approved classes

The classes are approved by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), he said.

Malhaar, in association with the schools, organises “internal exams” and certificates for grades one to three. Grades four and above take “external exams” and certificates from visiting examiners from “widely recognised” performing arts accrediting bodies in India and London.

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