Num­ber of fail­ing schools in the UAE con­tin­ues to fall


No pri­vate school in Abu Dhabi earned a rank­ing of “out­stand­ing” in the past aca­demic year, but the num­ber of fail­ing schools con­tin­ues to shrink.

The Abu Dhabi Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Knowl­edge said yes­ter­day that pri­vate schools had shown “tremen­dous progress” in the lat­est round of in­spec­tions.

“Re­sults from the in­spec­tion round four are promis­ing and just go to show the tremen­dous ef­fort ex­erted by most of the schools, who have part­nered with the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Knowl­edge to achieve over­all im­prove­ment in ed­u­ca­tion,” said Ha­mad Al Dha­heri, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the reg­u­la­tor’s pri­vate schools di­vi­sion.

Un­der the school in­spec­tion frame­work, which was stan­dard­ised for the coun­try in 2015 by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, pri­vate schools are judged on six per­for­mance stan­dards.

They are pupils’ achieve­ment; their per­sonal and so­cial devel­op­ment and in­no­va­tion skills; teach­ing and as­sess­ment; cur­ricu­lum; the pro­tec­tion, care, guid­ance and sup­port of pupils; and lead­er­ship and man­age­ment.

Schools in Dubai are as­sessed an­nu­ally but in Abu Dhabi the in­spec­tions are held about once every two years.

Schools are ranked on a six­point scale from out­stand­ing to very weak. Out­stand­ing, very good and good schools are grouped as “high per­form­ing,” also known as Band A schools.

Schools rated as “ac­cept­able” are grouped in Band B, or sat­is­fac­tory. Fail­ing schools fall into Band C, mean­ing “weak” or “very weak” and in need of sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment.

Of the 86 pri­vate schools the Govern­ment in­spected in the cap­i­tal re­gion dur­ing the 2016-2017 aca­demic year, none was “out­stand­ing”, but 31 were judged to be “high per­form­ing”.

The high­est-rated schools last year in­cluded: the Amer­i­can Com­mu­nity School of Abu Dhabi; Brighton Col­lege, Abu Dhabi; the Bri­tish School Al Khubairat; Lycee Louis Mas­signon School; and Cran­leigh School Abu Dhabi, which all earned a very good rank­ing.

An­other 26 schools were as­sessed as good.

Seven­teen pri­vate schools were in need of sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment, and only one of these – the min­istry-cur­ricu­lum Al Tharawat Na­tional

Pri­vate School – scored the low­est rank­ing of very weak.

The reg­u­la­tor has said that it had in­spected 110 pri­vate schools in the 2015-2016 aca­demic year. Five of these – Brighton School Al Ain, Al Muna Pri­mary School, Al Ba­teen Sec­ondary, Al Mushrif Pri­mary School and Raha In­ter­na­tional School – were deemed out­stand­ing, 12 were very good, 27 were good, 38 were ac­cept­able, 23 were weak and six were very weak.

But when the reg­u­la­tor first started in­spect­ing pri­vate schools in the 2009-2011 aca­demic years, it said 72 per cent of schools were “in need of sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment”.

It dropped to 66 per cent of all pri­vate schools op­er­at­ing in the emi­rate in 2011-2013; 46 per cent in 2013-2015, and about 22 per cent in 2015-2017, the fourth and lat­est round.

Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, chair­man of the reg­u­la­tor, com­mended pri­vate schools for their ef­forts.

“But this is not the end of the road,” he said. “Our re­spon­si­bil­ity will con­tinue to be di­rected to­wards our chil­dren and youth to pro­vide them with ed­u­ca­tion and learn­ing that will en­able them to ac­quire the knowl­edge and life skills nec­es­sary to em­bark on their suc­cess­ful work­ing lives, while ben­e­fit­ing the na­tion.”

Usu­ally, the higher a school is ranked, the more it can in­crease its tuition fees. But poor per­form­ing schools also run the risk of fac­ing sanc­tions.

Last year, 26 pri­vate schools ranked as weak or very weak in Abu Dhabi were barred by the reg­u­la­tor from reg­is­ter­ing new pupils un­til they im­proved.

Yes­ter­day, the au­thor­ity an­nounced a new in­cen­tive for schools to do well.

Out­stand­ing and very good schools that man­age to main­tain their high qual­ity over a pe­riod of three in­spec­tion cy­cles will be ex­empt from in­spec­tions for four years.

Source: The Na­tional re­search, Adek

* Al Marfa’a In­ter­na­tional School re­port was not avail­able on Adek web­site

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