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Inspectors find Indian schools in Dubai doing better

Schools largely meeting National Agenda expectations and ‘embracing’ students of determination

Image Credit: KHDA
Fatma Bel Rehif, executive director of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau and Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director-general of KHDA, unveil the 2017-18 school inspection results in Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Indian schools have improved in annual Dubai government inspections, with more students than ever in ‘good’ or higher rated Indian schools, officials said on Wednesday.

The inspection results show 69 per cent of pupils are now in schools rated ‘good’ or higher, compared to 65 per cent last year. The latest figure stands in sharp contrast when compared to 45 per cent in 2009-2010, the first academic year of inspecting Indian schools.

The inspections — now in their ninth cycle — are carried out by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the education regulator in Dubai.


69% in good or better schools compared to 65% last year

In the latest round, 31 of the 34 Indian schools in Dubai were inspected. Five improved their overall ratings, one slipped, and the rest stayed the same.

Three Indian schools will be inspected later as they are still considered new, having completed less than three academic cycles.

In total, the inspected schools serve 78,575 students. Around seven in 10 of them are now receiving quality education. Around three in 10 students in Dubai are those in Indian and Pakistani schools.

Overall, five Indian schools are very good, 12 good, 10 acceptable and three were found to be weak. None of the Indian curriculum schools are rated very weak this year.

of schools meet or exceed National Agenda targets
are well-developed in moral education
Are generating good or better progress for special needs students

Sole outstanding school

Following a six-year ‘outstanding’ streak, Indian High School has this year slid to ‘very good’.

This leaves only one outstanding Indian school for this year — GEMS Modern Academy — rated so for seven years in a row.

Nargish Khambatta, principal of GEMS Modern Academy, said: “Stringent inspection processes tend to endorse our work and reinforce the belief that we are delivering quality education across all performance standards.”

Fees framework

After learning about their school’s latest ratings, parents will be awaiting the Education Cost Index (ECI) for the next academic year, announced by Dubai Statistics Centre usually in February.

Together, the ratings and ECI determine how much a school can raise fees in Dubai, with higher-rated schools allowed higher increases, in multiples of ECI.

For this school year, the ECI was 2.4 per cent, with schools allowed fee increases from 2.4 to 4.8 per cent, in line with their ratings.

National agenda

Highlights from the inspections were shared with the press on Wednesday during a briefing at the KHDA head office in Dubai. Individual school inspection reports will be available on Thursday.

The highlights show that 77 per cent of the inspected schools are meeting or exceeding National Agenda expectations, compared to 58 per cent in the previous round. The National Agenda for schools aims to place UAE schools in the top performing countries in TIMSS and PISA — standardised international benchmark exams in reading, science and maths.

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director-general of KHDA, said: “We are continuing to see year-on-year progress by Indian curriculum schools and more students than ever are attending good or better rated schools in Dubai. Indian schools have shown a strong improving trend in TIMSS and PISA assessments and this correlates with the overall inspection findings.”

He added: “Their improvement in the performance maths, science, reading and other related skills reflects our emphasis on achieving National Agenda goals leading to UAE Vision 2021. By improving provisioning for National Agenda targets, Indian curriculum schools are directly contributing to the development of a first-rate education system.”


18 schools are good or better this year compared to 15 last year

Students of determination

Also, for the first time, the majority (58 per cent) of Indian schools have been judged demonstrating “good or better” progress for children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND), also referred to as “students with determination”.

Fatma Bel Rehif, executive director of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB), said inspectors specialised in inclusive education assessed schools’ efforts in employing experts such as educational psychologists, physiotherapists, parental engagement, provisions for sports, individualised learning plans and much more.

For the first time, the majority (58%) of Indian schools are judged as generating good or better progress for students with determination.

Last November, the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework was launched by the Inclusive Education Task Force, headed by KHDA, to transform all Dubai private schools to be fully inclusive by 2020.

Bel Rehif said inspectors found schools to have an “embracing culture” for students of determination. “I don’t have any school that really denies the admission or saying ‘these are not the student types that I will accept in my school’. That sort of culture, I don’t see any more,” she added.

School inspectors also evaluated the provision for Moral Education, a new mandatory subject, based on the schools’ curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment. The inspections report noted: “Schools are fully committed to implementing moral education, but are not yet formally assessing student outcomes.”

No improvement

However, there was no improvement in the only two Pakistani schools in Dubai, which were also inspected. Both schools — HH Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School (‘weak’) and Pakistan Educational Academy (‘acceptable’) retained their ratings from last year.

The Pakistani schools teach a total of 2,830 pupils.

2 PAKISTANI SCHOOLS ...serving 2,830 students were rated weak and acceptable.


School NameMain Curriculum2017-2018
GEMS Modern AcademyIndian(CISCE)OutstandingOutstanding
The Indian High SchoolIndian(CBSE)Very goodOutstanding
Delhi Private SchoolIndian(CBSE)Very goodVery good
GEMS Our Own English High SchoolIndian(CBSE)Very goodVery good
The Millenium SchoolIndian(CBSE)Very goodVery good
Ambassador Kindergarten LLCIndian(ICSE)Very goodGood
Primus Private School LLCIndian(CBSE)GoodGood
The Indian High School-BranchIndian(CBSE)GoodGood
Our Own High SchoolIndian(CBSE)GoodGood
JSS International School LLCIndian(CISCE)GoodGood
GEMS Our Own Indian SchoolIndian(CBSE)GoodGood
The Kindergarten StartersIndian(CBSE)GoodGood
Ambassador School L.L.CIndian(CISCE)GoodGood
GEMS New Millennium School L.L.CIndian(CBSE)GoodGood
Springdales School LLCIndian(CBSE)GoodAcceptable
The Indian AcademyIndian(CBSE)GoodAcceptable
Elite English SchoolIndian(CBSE)AcceptableAcceptable
Gulf Indian High SchoolIndian(CBSE)AcceptableAcceptable
New Indian Model SchoolIndian(CBSE/KSB)AcceptableAcceptable
The Central SchoolIndian(CBSE)AcceptableAcceptable
Buds Public SchoolIndian(CBSE)AcceptableAcceptable
Little Flowers English schoolIndian(CBSE)AcceptableAcceptable
Pakistan Educational AcademyPakistaniAcceptableAcceptable
The Indian International School (DSO Branch)Indian(CBSE)AcceptableAcceptable
Sabari Indian School LLCIndian(CBSE)AcceptableAcceptable
Bilva Indian SchoolIndian(CBSE)AcceptableWeak
AMLED SCHOOLIndian(CBSE)AcceptableNot Inspected
Emirates English Speaking SchoolIndian(CBSE)WeakWeak
Crescent English SchoolIndian(CBSE)WeakWeak
Gulf Model SchoolIndian(CBSE/KSB)WeakWeak
H. H. Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School-Dubai ( English Lang)PakistaniWeakWeak