The new part-time schooling scheme in Dubai seems to be really paying off for students as they choose a career over the classroom. One pupil has become the youngest under-19 double-centurion in Kerala, with his Dubai-based school allowing him to take months off at a time to train for his career in cricket.
Varun Nayanar is a 16-year-old student at GEMS Modern Academy and he is one of the many students who've become part of the Rahhal project.
Launched by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the initiative offers students the option of part-time, home-based and virtual schooling.
"I travel a lot throughout the year and I miss two to three months of school at a stretch. When I come back, my teachers help me in catching up," Nayanar told Khaleej Times.
"I've been interested in playing cricket since I was six years old and I knew I wanted to play professionally when I turned 11."
Nayanar achieved his U-19 double centurion status in December during the Cooch Behar Trophy match against Saurashtra.
His success in his chosen field follows heavy practice sessions that he has to complete - all while keeping up with homework. ?He said his school asks him to focus on his matches while he is away, however, he takes his ? homework with him to keep up with studies.
"When I come back, my teachers sit with me until 4pm and help me study. Then, I proceed with daily training sessions. I take my books with me and I try to study as much as I can. It can be difficult to study while I'm travelling, so I do more when I come back," he said. "My school has been really supportive and it's motivating me to do better."