In the recent round of school inspections conducted by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), a total of 199 schools were assessed. Out of these, 20 schools in Dubai were rated as ‘outstanding’. The KHDA released these findings on Monday afternoon
Additionally, 25 schools showed an improvement in their performance since their last inspection in 2019.
Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, the director-general of KHDA, applauded the private schools in Dubai for their commitment to quality and constant development.
He further added that the positive results of this year’s inspections indicate that more students are receiving quality teaching and learning opportunities, which highlights the hard work and expertise of the teachers and school leaders.
Dr. Al Karam thanked the entire education community for their support in making Dubai’s schools some of the best in the world.
The report also brought to light the favorable influence of school ratings on Emirati students
As per the latest report, the percentage of students attending private schools rated ‘good’ or above in Dubai has increased to 77%, as compared to the previous inspection cycle in the academic year 2018/19, where the percentage was 70%.
Fatma Belrehif, the CEO of the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, expressed her contentment with the brilliant progress report of schools in Dubai.
She further stated that her team would continue to collaborate with parents and the school community to guarantee that all students receive an excellent education.
The latest report has shown that the percentage of students attending private schools rated ‘good’ or above has increased to 76%, with a total of 22,876 students falling under this category. This marks an impressive growth from the previous report, where the percentage stood at 70%.
The principal of Hartland International School, Fiona Cottam, emphasized the significance of school inspections as they provide an important snapshot of a school’s way of working.
She further stated during the inspection, the school community including staff, students, parents, and governors, demonstrated that the school excels in delivering exceptional academic, social, and moral outcomes daily.
According to a spokesperson from the Nad Al Sheba School, the exponential growth in the school’s size since the last inspection posed the main challenge for the recent inspection. The school has doubled its student cohort size since 2020, and about 70% of the staff had not been through an inspection before.
Despite these challenges, the school was able to maintain its high standards and drive improvements post-pandemic, making the journey a rewarding but unconventional one.
The Nad Al Sheba School currently has an enrolment of 1,440 students ranging from three to 18 years of age and managed to maintain its ‘Very Good’ rating.
Nargish Khambatta, principal of Gems Modern Academy and senior vice president of education for Gems, shared that post-pandemic, some issues needed to be addressed to ensure a smooth transition for students returning to the classrooms.
She highlighted that socio-emotional learning was prioritized by training school counselors in restorative practices and effectively utilizing ‘circle time’ to address social and emotional upheavals among the children, as well as their reluctance to engage in extended writing.
Khambatta also acknowledged the challenges ahead to maintain the school’s high rating in the report. She emphasized the need to focus on the well-being of the teachers, just as much as the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of the students.
Dubai College, another school that received an outstanding rating, was also delighted with the results. Headmaster Michael Lambert expressed his appreciation for the recognition of the efforts, outcomes, and support of parents, students, and staff.
He welcomed the return of the KHDA inspection team to provide critical insights and expertise to further improve the school culture.
KHDA has been evaluating schools in Dubai since 2008, and annual inspections were conducted until they were halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, 176 schools were inspected, and private school tuition fees in the emirate were frozen for three academic years.
Recently, KHDA announced that some private schools could increase tuition fees by up to six percent in the 2023-2024 academic year due to operational costs and the economic situation.
Only schools that maintain or improve their inspection ratings will be allowed to increase fees. Schools that improve their ratings can increase fees by up to six percent, and the increasing percentage decreases with the improvement of the rating. Enrollment in Dubai private schools has risen by 4.5% since the last academic year.
Although the government granted permission for the Indian High Group of Schools to hike in tuition fees by up to 3%, even after getting the permission school has decided not to do so for the coming academic year.
The school, which has three campuses in the emirate, believes in providing an affordable education system and supporting parents to give them easy access to provide affordable education for their children.