Q8india.com, The well-known news portal in Kuwait recently had the pleasure of having a chat with Mr. K. Gangadhar Shirsath, Principal of ICSK Khaitan Branch who spoke at length about ACCA & their partnership with ICSK to bring skill based education in accounting field to Kuwait.
Q. Tell us something about ACCA and how ICSK is part of it?
A. Firstly, I welcome you and thank Q8India.com for your services. This is a great platform for us to talk about our activities since a lot of people admire your portal. ACCA is an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants from the UK. Like we have CA in India, ACCA is globally recognised as a degree in finance and accounting field.
Three years ago, our Hon. Chairman and the management members decided to start ACCA education in school since most of them come from the finance background and hence, they know the value of skill based education in accounting field. Since affordable higher education is not available for expats in Kuwait easily, having already 11th and 12th Commerce, we thought why not to combine it with ACCA program which will be a great opportunity in Kuwait for our students, without a need for going to India. Then, we contacted the British Council, the ACCA Head Office in Dubai, they provided us all the support to start ACCA. We luckily found excellent faculties Mr Aqeel Khan and Ms Shafqat Hussain, who are name for ACCA education in Kuwait and that gave us tremendous confidence in running this venture. We became then a Silver Learning Partner with ACCA and are now a Computer Based Examination Centre as well to conduct the ACCA examinations online. Thus, we successfully integrated ACCA with our 11th – 12th Commerce stream and we are very happy for its excellent journey so far.
Q. What has been the main passion in running program like this, especially in school in Kuwait?
A. As I told you, in the context of Indian parents, especially for girls, they feel quite insecure to send them to India for higher studies, away from them. For boys too, there are limited options. So, we thought that ACCA was the best option for commerce students to continue their higher education here. Being a professional and a skill based qualification, ACCA has got world wide scope and good demand in accounting and business industries in Kuwait. The exam pattern is flexible as the students can take the exam whenever prepared or ready. Unlike other exams, they don’t have to wait for any public exam to be scheduled in common for all. Syllabus is updated on regular basis as per the current industrial trends compared to other conventional studies and it gives ACCA an edge over the other traditional qualifications. ACCA curriculum also includes international formats and concepts of accounting which makes our children globally acceptable with updated knowledge. When we talk about globalization for the whole world becoming one village where large number of people now migrate for jobs, businesses becoming inter-dependent, and in the time of outbreak of e-commerce, global qualifications are naturally on high demand. As a result, multinational Co. prefer ACCA over other local degrees. Students can start appearing for exams from class 11th itself and can complete the levels as per their pace. We have seen students here completing it in 3 years after their 10th class i.e. by the age of 20! Thus, their degree education is also achieved during their progress of studies. Seeing such vast scope, flexibility and advantage for career, we immediately attached it to our school.
Q. How do you share your thoughts on training programs for those working in finance?
A. This is a very good question because, since the time we started this for our students, we are getting a lot of enquiries from adults in finance field, housewives, students who have completed their graduation are the job seekers. Now they are getting to know that if they can do ACCA, either they can get a promotion in their present job or the job seekers can get jobs easily. Therefore, ACCA is very essential for people in this field. I would also like to inform you that, we are planning to start a special batch from April for working people, and graduates too. Apart from our regular students, there will also be opportunity for those who want to train and enhance their skills.
Q. What are different stages of ACCA and their durations?
A. Actually, ACCA is a single qualification. Like I told you earlier, there are different levels. Once you complete the foundation papers, you get a certificate in Business and Financial Accounting. Once you complete 3 papers, you get a Diploma. And then advanced diploma, after 9 papers you get B.Sc. and after completing all 13 papers you get M.SC. degree, both from London University as well as Oxford Brooks University. The point here is, even if you couldn’t complete your professional level, you still have a graduation degree of B.SC. in Finance and Applied Accountancy on completion of 9 papers. And on the basis of graduation, you can do any other suitable PG like M.B.A. etc. On completion of all 13 papers, i.e. professional level, you get the ACCA qualification and become a member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the UK. There are certain exemptions of papers if you already have certain qualifications. For example, if you are a B.Com graduate, you are exempted from first 3 papers. Now, our students who have already finished 3 papers before completing their 12th Std and finished Diploma, their eligibility level is equivalent to B.Com.!!! This way, you can start the levels based on your educational background. This is a beauty of this education.
Q. What surprises people with ACCA here in Kuwait?
A. An interesting question, but more than surprising people, I would rather say that they really find it unbelievable. The most unbelievable thing for people is that they feel one cannot complete the entire ACCA qualification in 3 to 4 years. In fact, before finishing your degree education in conventional pattern, you can do your ACCA with PG degree. This way, ACCA qualification gives you a lot of time and options to study further on finishing your education early. But, people still don’t believe it, unfortunately. Isn’t it unbelievable that our students completed their ACCA diploma before they even wrote their class XII CBSE board exam! This is indeed a magic we could do with their support and efforts.
Q. What is the scope for ACCA graduates who want to work in India?
A. India is largely inviting global companies to invest in India as the Indian government is trying to popularise Make in India slogan. A lot of multi-national companies are already exist there and some new ones are setting up there. ACCA being a global qualification, it has got a lot of scope in these MNCs in India. I am happy to inform you that, off late, lot of ACCA institutes are opening in India. This shows the growing popularity of ACCA in India and that of course should have relation with its demand! You can easily make out that the scope for ACCA is increasing in India.
It’s quite natural that the multinational companies might prefer ACCA candidates over Indian qualification, whom they can place all over the world in their businesses. Good thing is that ACCA is well recognized now by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India.
Q. What is the vision of your management in continuing ACCA?
A. Our management is highly concerned about the future of our students. Because, they have not limited their vision to providing basic schooling alone to our children, which is actually limited to class 12th. This is the most appreciable thing that we envision to provide career avenues to the students after they finish their schooling. The management wants to promote skill based education as the need of hour as it can only make our students stand on their own feet. We want to open the doors of desired universities and thereby suitable careers to our students. As our management put it, our job is not just to finish their schooling and give them class 12th mark sheets. Rather, we wish to ensure that our children get into desired university courses, and they get full support for their career development. That’s why, we have attached ACCA to our school program and we shall continue pursue our passion as we are involved in this noble task of education in service of our community. Thank you.1