UAE | Education

Dubai schools plan to expel bullies

KHDA’s parent-student contract first phase will involve 9,632 students from six schools

  • By Noor Nazzal, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 18:09 June 23, 2013
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The new parent-school contract announced by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) will impose a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying to offer all students an emotionally safe environment.

According to the contract bullies will be expelled from the school if it is proved they have bullied a fellow student.

The new legally binding contract between parents and private schools in Dubai was announced by the KHDA last week to reduce disputes between parents and schools by outlining each party’s rights and responsibilities.

“Throughout our weekly visit to schools, we found that a number of the same concerns were being raised by different schools. It was clear that the reason behind it was the lack of a binding agreement between both schools and parents. Schools which had clearly outlined agreements with parents experienced fewer grievances,” said Amal Bel Hasa, Chief of the Compliance and Resolution Commission at the KHDA.

The contract will be mandatory for students upon registration and will first be implemented on a total of 9,632 students from six schools at the start of the 2013/14 academic year.

The exact responsibilities and policies that each party must abide by was highlighted and among these policies is the contract’s Attitudes and Behaviour article.

According to the article the school should have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in all its forms, including emotional, physical, psychological and cyber. Instances of proven and intentional bullying will result in immediate expulsion of the aggressor from school and the matter will be referred to the KHDA for approval.

Other responsibilities of parents include attending all meetings, conferences and reviews related to their child’s performance and understanding that continued tardiness and absenteeism can affect the child’s enrolment for the next academic year.

The school’s responsibilities include informing parents of their child’s progress through regular reports and meetings, providing students with appropriate medical care and treating cases with confidentiality and promoting and reinforcing awareness about healthy lifestyle habits.

Appeal process

According to the contract every school must set up an appeal process and parents are expected to refer to the process for any conflict resolution within the school.

The process should allow parents/students to question the decision made by the school at any level and meet the person directly involved in the decision (teacher or supervisor).

If the parent is not satisfied then he can meet the head of section. If the issue is still not resolved the parent can meet the principal. If the parent is still not pleased he can write an official letter to the board of governors who can then set up a committee to study the matter and within ten working days issue a written report to the principal and parent.

The first phase of the contract will involve 9,632 students from six schools — Dubai Modern Education School, Al Ittihad Private School-Al Mamzar, Al Ittihad Private School- Jumeirah, School of Modern Skills, Greenwood International School and American Academy in Al Mizhar.

Bel Hasa said that plans to implement the contract in all Dubai private schools will be determined when evaluation of the first phase is completed.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 15:53 June 24, 2013

    Excellent idea after all why should the rest of the kids suffer at the hands of bullies? Next, the focus should shift to senior staff members and management who exploit the employees. This is very common. After all why should an employee be harassed by superiors of the management?

    CP, DUbai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:31 June 24, 2013

    I think it's somewhat childish itself, expelling a child from the institution as it's not the best idea. I think suspension for a few days or detention is better than expelling. If such a case is highlighted there should be a strict procedure to be followed for both the children (accused and victim). Psychiatric analysis should be conducted for both and proper care should be taken.

    zarafshah khan, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:23 June 24, 2013

    Dear Gulf News, Readers, Parents, Children and Schools, My wish is that all stakeholders get trained in "non-violent, peaceful, constructive communication". Tiger Training is a program which stimulates one common language for management, school, teachers, staff, children and parents. Training and coaching people instead of correcting is way more efficient and empowering. Let's go for this route!

    Cindy van de Kreke-Freens, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:58 June 24, 2013

    wallahi..good decision

    sarah, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 13:28 June 24, 2013

    Denying a child the basic right to education, is this the best solution authorities could come up with? I believe KHDA can find a better way to stop bullying at schools.

    Waseem, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:19 June 24, 2013

    True, when it is the principal and the school management bullying the kid and supporting the other kids who bully, what action can be taken? Recently our son was bullied by other kids and he was victimized. After several occasions where we even have photos as proof, we approached the principal of this well known school. The principal kept us waiting for more than three hours when she knew that we had come with some complaint. She might have thought that we might return if we were made to wait so long. She called the boy who had bullied our son and scolded him in front of us and then told the child 'please come and meet me before you leave school.' We understood the reason. She spoke in a consoling way to the child so that next day she will not have to deal with the other boy's parent. The message that the bully gets is that bullying is ok -n o strict action will be taken. The bully went home that day happy and satisfied and ready to repeat his bullying the next day. Who is at fault here? The management who is actually encouraging such incidents because they cannot lose a customer (a student). Some days our son comes with scratch marks with blood on his body. It looks like he has been inside a cage with some fierce animals. The kids are learning bullying at an age when they should be learning discipline and other moral values.

    ANONYMOUS, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:29 June 24, 2013

    What about principals and administration bullying teachers.

    Fernadia, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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