Sharjah school revamp: private tuitions affected

Revision will begin in 2013 and be completed in three phases

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has ordered all schools in the emirate to emulate the model schools in Sharjah, according to Dr Abdullah Al Sawaijy, chairman of the Sharjah Education Board.

Dr Sawaijy said revamping of Sharjah schools will begin in 2013 and will be completed in three phases of five years each.

Primary education will be revised in the first phase. The second and third phases will cover the preparatory and secondary stages respectively. The three-phase plan will be completed in 2028.

This was decided by the Sharjah Executive Council during a discussion about plans of the Sharjah Education Board.

Dr Sawaijy stressed the importance of eliminating private tuition which he said would happen only by localising the teaching profession.

Ali Al Hawsani, director of the department of model schools in the emirate, said Sharjah had pioneered the spread of model schools since 1998 when there were only six model schools, making up seven per cent of the total number of schools, in the emirate.

Aisha Saif, Secretary-General of the Sharjah Education Board, said Dh4,000 will be the tuition fee for enrollment in the primary stage. The fees for the preparatory and secondary stages will be Dh5,000 and Dh6,000 respectively.

Only 2 'outstanding' Indian schools in Dubai

Results of the latest inspections for Indian and Pakistani curriculum schools have been released by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and, for the first time, it has put two Indian schools in the outstanding category.

The third year of inspections in Dubai’s Indian and Pakistani schools has found that 16,230 pupils are getting a better quality of education than when the inspections began. Of the 21 Indian schools inspected, two are now rated as 'Outstanding' for the first time; seven are 'Good'; 10 are 'Acceptable' while two remain 'Unsatisfactory'. All three Pakistani schools were found to be 'Unsatisfactory'.

Jameela Al Muhairi, Chief of DSIB, said: “We were delighted to give two Indian schools our Outstanding rating, and believe that we can all learn from the steps these schools have taken over the past three years to improve. In our other categories, the progress in schools has slowed down a little, and we are saddened by the situation in the Pakistani schools."

Dubai Modern High School and The Indian High School have been ranked as outstanding in the report. This is the first time that Indian schools have received the top ranking ever since the KHDA inspections began in Dubai three years ago.

“Unsatisfactory schools will be taken out of the regular inspection cycle and will be visited every three months. We will give them our full support to help them improve. However, we know from our high-performing schools that partnership is at the heart of making progress," said Al Muhairi.

The seven 'good' schools included Delhi Private School Dubai, Our Own English High School, Our Own High School, Our Own Indian School, Rajagiri International School, The Indian High School-Branch and The Millennium School.

[Click here to read what KHDA says about fee hikes]

Overall, the KHDA reports that most schools lacked ample technology in place when it came to teaching subjects like English, Arabic, Maths and Science.

“We encourage all of our schools to form partnerships with each other so that they can learn, to reach out to their communities to become involved in education, and to build strong links with their parents as they are key to a child’s attainment in the classroom. If a parent is kept informed about their child’s school, and supports their child’s learning in the home, we know this has an effect on the child’s performance,” said Al Muhairi.

Lack of practical application in lessons was another problem that the inspectors highlighted. Indian students don’t score very high on languages as well.

The report mentions that 57 per cent of Indian students have acquired only an acceptable level of the English language.

The results, in a report called Key Findings Indian and Pakistani School Inspection Results 2011-2012, mean that 35,428 Indian pupils (58.5 per cemt) now attend Good or Outstanding schools in Dubai. Among the key subjects taught, inspectors found that attainment in Islamic Education had improved “significantly”.

Inspectors found that much needs to be done to improve understanding of children with special educational needs. On the other hand, school leadership has made strong progress; in 2009-2010, half of the Indian schools were found to have good or better leadership. In this cycle, three-quarters of schools achieved these levels.

This year, inspectors have included an overview of the steps taken by The Indian High School and Dubai Modern High School to achieve their new Outstanding status. They include responding to recommendations made from previous inspections, high levels of student engagement, and focusing on improving teaching in line with international best practice.

The report also draws on comments from questionnaires carried out with parents, teachers and students during the inspection process. Among parents a total of 17,317 responded; teachers, 1,399; and students, 3,456.

Pakistani schools

There are 3,211 students at the three schools offering the Pakistan National Curriculum. All the schools have been rated as Unsatisfactory. The inspectors concluded: “There are fundamental weaknesses in these schools in relation to basic resources, teaching quality and leadership. School owners need to invest significant amounts of time, resources and expertise to improve the education for these students.”

Dubai allows private schools to hike fees between 3 to 6%

Dubai schools rated “outstanding” will be allowed to hike fee by six per cent this year, said Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the education regulatory authority.

The new school fee framework for Dubai’s private school is based on a fresh framework based on quality of education (as per Dubai Schools Inspection results) and an Educational Cost Index (ECI) calculated by the Dubai Statistics Centre.  The framework was developed in cooperation with Department of Economic Development, Department of Finance, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Real Estate Corporation, Dubai Statistics Centre, the Dubai Executive Council and KHDA, the statement said.

KHDA said in a statement that schools achieving a “good” ranking will be allowed to raise fees by 4.5 per cent and three per cent to schools rated “acceptable” and “unsatisfactory” for the academic year 2012-2013.

Mohammed Darwish, chief of Regulations and Compliance Commission said: “The framework prioritises the interests of students and parents and encourages investment in the education sector by allowing schools to develop long term growth plans, as well as motivating existing schools to improve the quality of education they offer. The framework is evidence-based work and relies on data about the education landscape in Dubai. It is in line with KHDA’s remit to support schools in providing quality education.”

The framework also regulates registration and admission deposits as well refund policies for new and current students.

“While all of Dubai’s private schools will fall under generic conditions of the framework, non-profit schools and those schools planning to invest in their infrastructure that would lead to improvements in quality and directly benefit students academically will be considered for exceptions. The specific conditions for this have been identified in the framework. Individual applications from schools will be reviewed by KHDA, as will the cases for students with special needs,” KHDA said in a statement today.

Those schools who’re allowed to hike fee will not able be permitted for another hike over the next three years. However, those schools who opened after 2008 cannot hike the fee either.





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