Dubai: Dubai needs a continuous supply of schools to meet increasing demand, according to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
Mohammad Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Permits Commission, KHDA, said the student population continues to grow at a rate of seven per cent a year, if this trend — which has occurred over the past ten years — continues the student population will double over the next ten years.
KHDA has announced that nine new schools have opened for the academic year 2013-14 out of which four offer an Indian curriculum, four offer a British curriculum and one offers a French/IB curriculum, bringing the total number of private schools in Dubai to 159.
The number of students enrolled for the academic year 2013/14 has still not been determined, however, according to the KHDA’s “Private school landscape 2012/13” the number of students in the last academic year was 225,099.
“The KHDA encourages investment by the private sector to meet the demand for growth in the Dubai student population. The two areas of highest demand based on our analysis of waiting list data are for places at Indian and UK curriculum schools.”
Darwish added that although there are nine new schools in Dubai, it is not sufficient as Dubai needs a continuous supply of new private schools to meet growth in its student population.
“Dubai’s student population has increased at a long-term growth rate of seven per cent average per year over the past ten years. If this trend continues, then the student population in Dubai will double over the next ten years.”
The new Indian curriculum schools opened in April, while the remaining new schools opened their doors this September and the immediate intake capacity of the nine schools is 20,000 students.
The schools are located in different areas in Dubai to cater to students living in Al Quoz, Al Khail, Al Wuheida, Dubai Sports City, Dubiotec, Al Safa and Meydan.
As for the fee increase Darwish said that the KHDA received 31 applications for fee increases after the results of the fifth school inspections were announced by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB).
“Out of the schools that applied for fee increases, 14 were not considered as they were not in line with the fee framework, 12 fee increase requests from non-profit/embassy schools were approved — seven of whom got initial approval in the last academic year 2012-13 with their increase spread over three or four years.”
Darwish added that five for-profit schools also received fee increase approvals to be implemented in the academic year 2013-14 — three of which were approved last year (with their increase spread over a couple of years).