It’s a given that every school in Dubai aims to ace annual school inspections undertaken by the education regulatory body.
But, some educational institutions reportedly ‘cheat’ to ensure they get good grades in their report card, sprucing up the school just in time for the inspections.
Now, thanks to the social media explosion, school students are exposing the ‘cover-ups’ with cheeky observation on Twitter.
“It’s KHDA week... we would be treated like how they'd treat royalty ;)” tweets one student, while his friend adds, “Since it's KHDA week, this week, am I still allowed to nap on the benches outside the science block?”
“#KHDA #TheMomentWhen Your school starts painting the walls weird colors to 'brighten' up the place and pass the inspection,” tweets another student.
“KHDA week is the most peaceful week of the entire year. No tests, hardly any homework and classes that are so simple you almost want to cry,” reads another tweet.
“KHDA inspections from tomorrow. It's time to choose the best actress :P I mean best teacher. #KHDA”
The tweets do not go unnoticed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), whose Dubai School Inspection Bureau’s (DSIB) wing conducts the inspections.
“Throughout the year, we check Twitter and other sources, apart from our student surveys, to get a sense of what’s going on,” an inspector tells Emirates 24|7.
It’s not just the students, even teachers disclose these sneaky tactics that schools indulge in to walk away with flying colours.
“It’s the most dreaded time of the year. We end up reaching home late in the night,” complains a teacher, requesting anonymity.
The DSIB inspectors do accept that some tidying up is acceptable, but being dishonest isn’t.
The cracks, if any, appear on the third or fourth day.
“They can’t put up an act for five days. It shows. They are actually doing themselves a disservice,” the inspector says.
While some parents are of the opinion that conducting surprise checks is the only way to solve this problem, the DSIB inspectors claim they do not have the manpower to back it.
Some schools also claim that they would need more time to collect all the data that is required for the inspectors.
Andy Homden of Jumeira Baccalaureate School admits that surprise checks might be better.
He feels scheduling an inspection under short notice will do the work.
“If DSIB gives the school a week’s notice then I doubt they would have enough time to dress-up.
“And, it will also give them enough time to collect enough data that needs to be provided to the inspectors.”