Dubai Schools Report Card: 12 outstanding; 13 unsatisfactory; where does your kid study?

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Nine of 12 outstanding schools offer UK curriculum; half of Dubai’s students receive outstanding/good education

The much-anticipated Dubai School Inspection Bureau’s (DSIB) report card for the year 2012-13 was announced by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) today.

“Twelve schools were rated ‘outstanding’, of which nine are UK-curriculum schools, two offer Indian curriculum and one offers a curriculum based on US standards,” reads the report card.

The percentage of students attending ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools has increased by 19 per cent since 2008, according to the latest results.

A total of 108,098 children are now enrolled at these schools, accounting for 49 per cent of Dubai’s private school students.

“In the past five years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of students attending good and outstanding schools,” said DSIB chief Jameela Al Muhairi.

“We’ve witnessed improvements within the schools, which shows education professionals are taking our recommendations seriously. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment remains high across the board, particularly in UK and IB curriculum schools.”

These are Kings Dubai, GEMS Wellington International School, Jumeirah College, Jumeirah English Speaking School, Dubai College, GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, Jumeirah English Speaking School – Arabian Ranches, GEMS Dubai American Academy, Dubai Modern High School, The Indian High School, Dubai English Speaking College and Horizon School.

Of the 143 schools inspected between October, 2012 and April 2013, 51 schools have been rated ‘good’ and 67 schools were graded ‘acceptable’.

There are 13 schools marked ‘unsatisfactory’.

The findings suggest that 63 Dubai private schools are offering “good or better quality education”. This means that half of the student population in Dubai’s private schools benefit from it.

However, 80 schools have shown little or no improvement and provide a quality of education below the expected ‘good’ level.

The numbers of ‘outstanding’ schools have increased from 10 last year to 12 this year.

Dubai English Speaking College and Horizon School, have moved up the ranks from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ this year.

There has been much reason to celebrate in this year’s report card, with 10 schools improving their overall rating from 2011-12 to 2012-13. Four schools progressed from ‘unsatisfactory’ to ‘acceptable’; four from ‘acceptable’ to ‘good’; and two from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’.

Eight schools, however, have performed badly. One school’s grading dipped from ‘outstanding’ to ‘good’, two from ‘good’ to ‘acceptable’, and five from ‘acceptable’ to ‘unsatisfactory’.

The five schools, whose rating dipped to ‘unsatisfactory’, are now included in the Follow-Through Inspection cycle.

A detailed study of past year’s inspection reports reveals that the number of ‘outstanding’ schools have increased over the years, ever since the inspections were conducted in 2008.

The first year (2008-09) saw 4 schools in the top ranks, the second (2009-10) was the only year that the numbers dipped to 2, but the following year (2010-11), 6 schools were rated ‘outstanding’.

According to the education regulatory statistics there are “currently 225,099 students attending private schools that are inspected in Dubai. This represents an increase of approximately eight per cent over the previous year”.

The grading for Indian and Pakistani-curriculum schools were announced earlier this year as their school year begins in April.

The DSIB report card is based on “the overall quality of schools, their performance in certain key aspects of their work, and the performance of private schools offering different curricula. It concludes with some recommendations for improvement”.

There are currently more than 225,000 students attending private schools in Dubai. The schools offer 15 different curricula in total.

All new schools are inspected from the second year of operation.

According to Fatma Belherif, acting DSIB director, the results reflect positive growth in Dubai’s education sector.

“Since the launch of inspections we’ve seen the percentage of Dubai’s private school students attending these schools jump from 30 per cent to almost half. Whilst there are clearly areas for improvement, the overall results show continued improvement in the quality of education in Dubai.”

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