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Testimonials from students in the GEMS Honours Programme

“In the past few years, the phrase 'critical thinking' has been advocated by many. As a student, I have been advised to 'think critically' several times. The GEMS Honours Programme is unique because it takes students out of the monotonous classroom environment, and transports them to a place in which they can think critically and communicate their thoughts without the fear of being wrong. The programme incorporates enjoyable and engaging activities into our lessons, so that the process of learning and having fun becomes simultaneous!”

Bahar Ferdosi (The Winchester School, Jebel Ali)


“A convivial, edifying experience… with no exams!

It’s an honour for me to be part of the Honours Programme. I love how It utilizes a  unique educational model that should be integrated into all school systems – we learn through books, banjos, biscuits and bean bags!  I particularly like how the programme nurtures free thought in a supportive environment. We should be hailing humanity’s heroes; allowing students the agency to explore the past and future without hindrance. This program is evidence of what can be achieved when we students are allowed to satiate our curiosity.”

Taher Kathawala (Student, Wellington Silicon Oasis)



“Apart from discovering how some astonishing figures from our past and present contributed to the development of human understanding, the knowledge I’m gaining from this program allows me to think deeper, to question extensively, and most importantly to understand how things worked in the past and how it connects with the present and future. Moreover, conversing with new peers and observing scenarios from their point of view has aided with broadening my  perspectives The best of it all is that it doesn’t feel like school! It’s just a bunch of people in an open-minded state in an open-minded environment learning and talking about interesting events and discoveries. It is truly an honour to be part of something so innovative that it changes your outlook towards life!”

Chirag Mohnani (Student, The Winchester School, Jebel Ali)



“The Gems Honours Program provides cross-curricular links between science, history, philosophy, art, and literature. So far, the program has allowed me to evaluate historical events and judge the impact on the world as we know it today, drawing parallels between past civilizations and our modern society. In sessions, I especially enjoy debating with my peers since it allows me to explore different views. I also love completing the analytical and reflective writing tasks set after each session. Moreover, the program is an incredibly unique and exciting opportunity that I am so thrilled to be a part of.”

Sasha Nanda (Student, Jumeirah College)



“How many opportunities do you get in life which allow you to become cosmic citizens? Perhaps, not many I suppose. However, I got one and I grabbed it in the hope of being a part of something exceptionally novel. My first experience told me why I shouldn't have missed this and the fact that this program is way superior, worthier and far beyond my expectations, it really makes me want to say that it's an honor to be a part of the Gems Honors Program. Every session is so well crafted, innovative and  inspirationally wide that it keeps me thinking about how there is so much more out there in the world than what we just see in our day to day life. Learning from the past, comparing it to our present and stepping towards a future where knowledge is not just textbooks and our stage is not just the earth! I’m loving the experience and looking forward to my next session this Thursday.”

Akshita Dewan (Student, The Winchester School, Jebel Ali)



“The GHP is an amazing opportunity for students to think laterally - no books, no exams, just an hour and half every week learning about history, culture and all that defines the fabric of our society. Whenever I enter the enormous hall I feel as if I’m somehow part of this stunning cohort of students, ready to explore the depths of our minds to find answers to our burning questions. This program is paving the way for a new type of student; one with a plethora of life skills to contribute to their communities in a way that very few can.”

Babur Ahsin (Wellington International School, Dubai)



“The Gems Honours program has helped me learn about how the human race has excelled to where we are today in an interesting fashion. Moreover, it has moulded my critical thinking skills and improved my decision making process to a great extent. Thanks to this unique course, I am more confident about going off to university and going into the workforce in the future as it has honed my skills regarding learning and working in a team. I am ecstatic to have met other like-minded people of my age group and could only wish that such a program had existed earlier!”

Behshid Behrouzi (Student, The Winchester School, Jebel Ali)



Being a part of the GHP is a great honor. It truly is a wonderful way of learning where we as students are more involved in the learning in informal environment. GHP allows us to explore our capabilities and showcase our talents, I mean, it isn’t everyday while studying that you get to create a song to learn about a historic figure, eat during class, sit anywhere you like (even on the floor!) and facilitate your own learning.  And exams at the end of it? They’re non-existent; just discussions and writings for expressions of thoughts! I’ve been to only two sessions so far and I love it already, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the year!

Ritam Anand (Student, Jumeirah College)



“The Gems Honours Program has been exactly that: an absolute Honour. Having being grouped with students of my age, with some of the most creative , intelligent minds I have come across and being given an opportunity to discuss matters of historical culture in an informal setting with them has been a brain-stimulating privilege. Each session begins with a fun-filled, thought-provoking energiser allowing us to become comfortable with the other members. The rest of the session consists of a range of discussions and group activities. All in all, it is impossible to walk out of the honours program session without being mind-blown.”

Aashni Ujra (Student, The Winchester School)



“The GHP is an exciting, thought-provoking educational experience which stresses on something other educational sessions ignore - learning purely for the sake of learning. Celebrating a holistic approach towards intriguing, often ignored, topics of knowledge, GHP has given me a colourful and revolutionary experience. No longer do I associate stress and monotony with knowledge. By connecting with other brilliant minds, I have started perceiving reality through a diverse lens. GHP is the halo and silver-lining for today's educational system as it encourages students to tether their inner creativity and to break away from the monochromatic, orthodox framework of the past.”   

Zainab Lilak (Student, The Winchester School)

Click here to read all feedback and evaluation. 

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