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Our Team

Our team at Jumeirah International Nurseries is made up of experienced Early Years professionals who bring teaching excellence from across the globe, and who are passionately dedicated to each and every child we care for.

Our Centre Managers and their dynamic teams of highly qualified practitioners – work together to develop an innovative, enriched and balanced curriculum.

Mrs. Shakuntala Mankani

Mrs. Mankani is the Founder of Jumeriah International Nurseries (JINS) and has also been instrumental in setting up Fortes Education’s various schools.

An educator at heart, Mrs. Mankani’s career has spanned teaching positions in the classroom to headship posts. Her guiding principle as an educator has always been to provide children the means to achieve excellence and to realise their full potential. Mrs. Mankani’s wealth of experience has enabled JINS to provide practical solutions to the challenges of delivering, assessing, monitoring, and evaluating early years’ curricula in all our Centres.

Mrs. Mankani works closely with a range of stakeholders (Nursery Managers, Early Years Educators & Practitioners, as well as children and parents) at each nursery and school to craft and implement both development and strategic plans. Mrs. Mankani ensures high standards of student conduct and academic achievement, as well as excellence in curriculum delivery, administration, governance and operations.

Read more about Mrs. Mankani’s inspiring life and work in this Gulf News interview here.

Mrs. Katrina Mankani
Director of Positive Education & Innovation, Managing Director Jumeirah International Nurseries

Katrina Mankani is the Managing Director of Jumeirah International Nurseries (JINS) and is responsible for strategic, marketing, and human resources development at JINS.

Mrs. Katrina Mankani’s heart remains with young children, which led her to develop a career in early childhood education and childcare. Mrs. Katrina Mankani found her calling in the classroom, spending several years teaching in JINS before moving to Regent International School – a leading British National Curriculum school – where she spearheaded the embedding of the Education in Human Values programme across the school with a team of teachers. With her first love always being early childhood education, Mrs. Katrina Mankani then returned to JINS to pursue her first love.

Mrs. Katrina Mankani is a committed educationist with over a decade of teaching experience. She brings passion, innovation and an indefatigable spirit to developing JINS, as well as an intellectually deep fascination of how the minds of young children develop.

Mrs. Katrina Mankani graduated from Russia’s leading university, Moscow State University, with a Master’s in Public Administration, and also holds a PGCE and CACHE Level 3 certifications from the UK.

Since 2016 Mrs. Katrina Mankani has also led the Positive Education initiative across all Fortes Institutions to ensure that students of all ages develop their emotional intelligence.

Read Katrina’s ‘Inspiring Women in Education’ interview with Which School Advisor here.

Mrs. Samina Khanyari
General Manager

Samina Khanyari is the General Manager at Jumeirah International Nurseries (JINS).

Mrs. Khanyari’s core belief is that “every child deserves the best start in life”, which has helped guide her into developing an accomplished career in early years education. Mrs. Khanyari is an educator par excellence who has a wealth of over 18 years in Early Years Education. Her strong leadership skills and remarkable determination supports the vision of the group.

Mrs. Khanyari is an inspiring leader who is extremely solution-focused and energetic in running the academic and operations of the nurseries for the group. She manages a large team of senior leaders and teachers. Working with international educators across the Fortes group. Mrs. Khanyari ensures that our understanding of early childhood education is continually connected to the most up-to-date research and thinking worldwide.

Mrs. Khanyari has been at the forefront of developing JINS into one of the best nursery brands across the U.A.E. She has a hands-on approach with children, parents and staff, motivating everyone to continuously deliver an outstanding education and the very best childcare to the children. Through her passion, determination and strategic outlook not only does Mrs. Khanyari strive for the very best for the families of JINS, but she works tirelessly within the group to improve the outcomes for the Early Years.

Mrs. Khanyari holds a double master’s degree; One in Educational Leadership (MSc EdL) from the University of Leicester UK and the other in Business Administration (MBA) with the core focus on Management.

Read Samina’s expert advice on school-readiness in a Which School Advisor feature here.

Mrs. Carol Oliveira
Head of Curriculum

Carol Oliveira is the Head of Curriculum at JINS.

With over 16 years of experience working within the education sector in Dubai and overseas, Mrs. Oliveira is passionate about providing young children with high-quality early education and care. She advocates that the Early Years are one of the most important stages in a child’s development and she is committed to working in partnership with parents to ensure that each child receives the support their need, from an early age, to reach their full potential.

In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies, Mrs. Oliveira has completed her CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator and CACHE Level 5 Diploma in Childcare Leadership. Her diverse cultural background and experience living in different parts of the world – including the UK, Italy, Brazil, and Vietnam – have enhanced her ability to support children and parents from various cultures and backgrounds too.

She is committed to creating a learning environment where all families feel welcome and valued.

Nami-Final-21Mrs. Namrata Nayar
Head of Early Years at JINS Downtown

Namrata Nayar is Head of Early Years at JINS Downtown.

Mrs. Nayar has over 18 years of experience in Early Years education and has been part of the JINS Family for 9 years. Mrs. Nayar has a Bachelors’s and Master’s Degree (M.A) in International Politics and a Degree in Education (B Ed).

Teaching is her passion and true calling. Mrs. Nayar is a big believer in the power of Nurseries – as they lay the best foundations for each child, allowing them to have every opportunity to meet their potential in life. She also advocates the need for a strong partnership between the home and the nursery environment.

Mrs. Nayar opines that the focus in early education should be on providing a stimulating and motivating environment for the children, where safety is paramount. Her goal is to make sure that the learning and working environment is extremely positive, where her team knows what the children and their families need, and where their needs are met.

Mrs. Nayar’s motto is, “Challenging to achieve”, which is brought to life every single day in the classroom.

Mrs. Philippa Wallace
Head of Early Years at JINS Sunmarke JVT

Philippa Wallace is the Head of Early Years at Jumeirah International Nursery, JVT.

Mrs. Wallace has over 16 years experience with Early Years Education and has been part of the Fortes Education Leadership team as well as a Curriculum Coordinator for 6 years.

She has a CACHE Level 3 in Early Years and a CACHE Level 5 in Leadership and uses her in-depth knowledge and understanding of Educational Best Practice to ensure the Curriculum is delivered with excellence. Teaching has always been a strong passion of hers and she lives by the quote, ‘Tell me and I forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.’ – Benjamin Franklin

She loves watching children grow holistically in experiential environments and believes that building strong partnerships with parents is an essential part of a child’s learning journey.

Mrs. Wallace is a keen singer, dancer, and reader and enjoys spending her free time with her three wonderful children.

Mrs. Amira Salem
Head of Early Years at JINS Ghoroob, Mirdif

Amira Salem is the Head of Early Years at Jumeirah International Nursery, Ghoroob, Mirdif.

Mrs. Salem has over 12 years work experience in Early Years education, locally and internationally.

She has a Bachelors Degree in English Litrerature, a Master’s degree in TESOL, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

Mrs Salem has been in Dubai for 9 wonderful years with her two beautiful girls who are her inspiration. Working with children has always motivated her and she thrives in providing them with a positive learning environment and opportunities that enable children to become independent and confident global citizens.

In her free time she enjoys being in nature, visiting the beach, and camping/ hiking with her family. She is also a fan of attending ballet shows, reading and travelling.

She is looking forward to meeting new children and their parents and starting an exciting journey together – full of adventures, learning and fun.

Mrs. Poppy Loughran
Head of Early Years at JINS Ibn Battuta

Poppy Loughran is the Head of Early Years at JINS Ibn Battuta.

Poppy brings with her over 15 years of Early Years’ Experience within both the UK and in Dubai. Poppy has been with Jumeirah International Nurseries for 4 years and has over 8 years of Leadership and Management experience within Dubai. Poppy has qualified with her CACHE Level 3 & Level 5 in Leadership and Management in early years.

Poppy is a strong believer in providing every child with outstanding early years education, that promotes awe and wonder in each child. One of the reasons Poppy is extremely passionate towards early years is because not one day is the same. Every child will bring excitement, joy and happiness to the nursery, and being able to work within early years is a wonderful privilege.

Mrs. Laura Partanen
Head of Early Years at JINS JBR

Laura Partanen is the Head of Early Years at JINS JBR.

Mrs. Partanen is proud to have devoted over 13 years to supporting children internationally, ensuring that they achieve their fullest potential in each and every way. Mrs. Partanen understands that the learning journey of a child begins from birth, with parents as a child’s first teacher.

Mrs. Partanen has a Bachelor’s degree in Education with extensive knowledge of the EYFS. She has led educational teams within the UAE and in Finland and uses her outstanding knowledge and understanding of educational best practice to ensure that the EYFS Curriculum is delivered with excellence.