Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili Image Credit: AHMED KUTTY/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: After two rigorous inspection and quality assurance checks conducted among private schools over the course of a year, an alarming 68 per cent of the institutions were found to be unsatisfactory when measured against school efficiency and teaching standards set by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec).

This is the second annual inspection conducted across the 185 private schools in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The 2009-10 inspection process, referred to as the Deep Inspection by the Adec, was conducted by third-party inspectors from Europe, who based their report on nine inspection standards and criteria instituted by Adec.


The inspection benchmarks included: school efficiency; standards and progress achieved by pupils; students personal achievement; quality of teaching; curriculum to meet pupils' needs; their well-being; quality of school facilities and buildings; school resources and their efficiency to achieve teaching and learning goals and objectives; and efficiency of school management and leadership, and its ability to achieve the set goals.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Adec's director general, refused to divulge details of schools that had received scathing reviews.

"We have conducted this inspection to encourage schools, parents and even students to cooperate in improving the quality of their school, and a report will be submitted to each school on areas that need improvement once inspection results are final," he said.

Intake growing

Despite the fact that only 12 per cent of private schools had received ‘above average' ratings and only 20 per cent had been adjudged ‘satisfactory', Al Khaili confirmed that the average rate of intake of students across private schools in the emirate continued to grow at a rate of five per cent yearly. Expatriates made up 69 per cent of the pupil numbers at private schools with Emiratis making up the rest, he said.

"It took the third party inspectors four to five days to conduct their Deep Inspection, depending on the size of each school. We will repeat the same process among public schools in two years from now [2012]," he added.

In his speech during the first three-day international conference on school inspection and quality assurance, Dr Rafik Makki, executive director, office of planning and strategic affairs, Adec, said both long- and short-term strategic plans had been devised by Adec to improve performance of schools.

"Measuring our education system was somewhat disappointing. We found that nine of 10 of our students are not ready for higher education, and required a bridging programme."

There are currently 1,500 senior Adec advisors working with teachers and school principals to implement various plans of the council with the end objective of providing every child the right to receive affordable access to quality education in both private and public schools, while also promoting and preserving the UAE culture and heritage.


  • Private Schools - 185
  • Abu Dhabi has 120 private schools with 112,000 pupils on their rolls
  • Al Ain has 58 private schools accommodating 48,400 pupils
  • The Western Region has seven private schools with 4,554 pupils
  • Public Schools - 305