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Dubai Overhauls School Inspection Process as 26 Institutions Show Improvement

Dubai’s private education sector is undergoing significant changes in its school assessment process following the release of inspection results for the 2023-2024 academic year. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai’s private education regulator, reported that 23 schools achieved an "outstanding" rating, while 48 schools were rated "very good". This represents an improvement compared to the previous academic year, where 20 schools were rated outstanding and 39 were rated very good.

Starting from the 2024-2025 academic year, there will be a shift in the inspection regime. Existing schools will not undergo full inspections unless they are completing their third year of operation. This change aims to streamline the inspection process and focus resources on schools in their early years of establishment or those identified for targeted quality assurance.

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During the 2023-2024 academic year, the KHDA conducted inspections across 209 private schools in Dubai, which collectively enroll over 360,000 students. Among these schools, 10 were inspected for the first time, reflecting ongoing efforts to expand regulatory oversight. The results showed that 81% of students attended schools rated "good" or higher, marking an improvement from 77% in the previous year.

Highlighting the achievements, the KHDA added Safa Community School, Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, and Lycee Francais International to the list of outstanding schools in Dubai. Aisha Abdulla Miran, Director General of KHDA, underscored Dubai's stature in global education, citing the emirate's high rankings in international assessments such as literacy, mathematics, science, and reading.

Several schools demonstrated notable improvements in their ratings. For instance, Gems Founders School in Al Barsha and Swiss International Scientific School upgraded from a "good" rating last year to "very good" this year. The KHDA's assessment also emphasized the strong provision of wellbeing services, with 83% of schools rated "good" or higher in this category, underscoring a holistic approach to student welfare.

Looking at the broader trend, the KHDA’s report indicated a positive trajectory in Dubai's education standards. Over the years, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of schools rated "outstanding" and "very good". This improvement reflects Dubai's commitment to enhancing educational quality and outcomes across its private school sector.

In terms of financial implications, the KHDA announced that some schools would be permitted to increase tuition fees based on their inspection ratings for the upcoming academic year. Schools that maintained or improved their inspection ratings may apply for fee increases ranging from 2.6% to 5.2%, guided by the Education Cost Index issued by the KHDA. This measure aims to support schools in maintaining educational excellence while managing operational costs effectively.

Overall, Dubai’s education sector continues to evolve with a focus on enhancing quality, expanding regulatory oversight, and promoting excellence in educational outcomes. The KHDA remains committed to fostering a conducive environment for educational growth and innovation, ensuring that Dubai maintains its position as a leading global destination for education.

June 22, 2024 4:18 p.m. 452

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