School cleaning COVID-19
93 per cent of all Dubai private schools, 92 per cent of universities, and 100 per cent of early learning centres were found to be compliant with health and safety protocols. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Surprise checks of Dubai private schools since May 2020 have revealed 93 per cent of them are compliant with health and safety protocols, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The findings are part of the updated data released by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Wednesday.

Its latest report ‘All Seasons Education — Spring Edition 2021’ includes data on the surprise visits conducted by the KHDA team to help schools, universities and early learning centres comply with Dubai government rules for health and safety. Since May 2020, the team has made more than 20 visits to schools each day. During these visits, 93 per cent of all Dubai private schools, 92 per cent of universities, and 100 per cent of early learning centres were found to be compliant with health and safety protocols.

Rise in enrolment

The latest “landscape report” also shows student enrolment in Dubai’s private schools has increased by 7,300 students in the last three months, a rise of 2.6 per cent.

Distance versus direct learning

KHDA said a total of 286,588 students are currently enrolled in Dubai schools, which includes 138,917 girls and 147,671 boys. Parents continue to exercise their choice on how their children learn, with 50 per cent of students doing full time distance learning and 50 per cent of students doing blended learning (a combination of distance and face-to-face learning).

Going to university

Meanwhile, a total of 28,166 students are enrolled in 36 higher education institutions in Dubai in the 2020-21 academic year. New data also shows that 25 per cent of university students have come to Dubai specifically to undergo education.

Student well-being

Key indicators of student well-being in Dubai continue to be positive. A sneak peek of the results of the ‘Dubai Students Wellbeing Census’, to be released next month, shows a five to six per cent increase in the proportion of students getting a good night’s sleep.

‘Resilient’ sector

Dr Abdulla Al Karam

KHDA director-general Dr Abdulla Al Karam said: “Dubai’s private education sector has remained resilient despite the current global circumstances. Families continue to move to Dubai knowing they can choose between distance and face-to-face learning for their children, and that they will have access to high-quality education for both modes. Dubai remains an education destination for international students, particularly as universities focus their efforts on graduating young professionals who are ready to thrive in the world of the future.”

He added: “What’s important about these numbers is also what lies beyond them. Over the last year, we’ve seen great courage, positivity and love from our community of teachers, leaders, parents and students. We are grateful for their trust, and for their determination to create a kinder, happier and even more resilient education community in Dubai.”

Wide variety

Dubai is home to 210 schools offering 17 different curricula. With nearly 110,000 students, UK-curriculum schools account for 38 per cent of all student enrolments. Indian curriculum schools were the second most popular in Dubai, with over 75,000 students enrolled.

Popular programmes

Business studies continues to remain the most popular choice for higher education programmes, followed by courses in engineering, information technology, media and design.

The ‘All Seasons Education — Spring Edition 2021’ is the second of three landscape reports scheduled to be issued by KHDA this academic year. Updated data will be announced again in summer.