Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 January 2020

Only one Indian school rated outstanding in Dubai, report finds

Headteachers say more teacher training and a sharper focus on the needs of learners is required

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School

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, ratified amendments by the Dubai International Financial Centre to its employment law that looks to institute a new savings scheme by February 1, 2020.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain severed relations with fellow GCC member Qatar in June 2017 because of Doha's interference in their internal affairs and its support for terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt also joined the boycott.

"There are ongoing efforts that we hope will succeed,” Mr El Sisi said at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh.

Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said talks with Saudi Arabia had broken the stalemate and that Doha would "study the demands”.

After the GCC's 40th annual summit last week, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said Gulf leaders agree that “long-term, genuine grievances” must be addressed to resolve the crisis.

Joining the Al-Kitab writer and the Celestial Bodies author on the bill is Egypt’s Ahdaf Soueif, who penned 1999’s Man Booker-shortlisted The Map of Love, this year’s International prize for Arabic fiction winner, Lebanese novelist Hoda Barakat, and Iraqi author Ahmed Saadawi, who won the same award in 2014 for Frankenstein in Baghdad.

A creative economy driven by artificial intelligence will allow the UAE to be a global leader in the field, says the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Noura Al Kaabi.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was considered second most prominent leader, receiving almost 16 per cent of the vote, and Jordan’s King Abdullah third with 12 per cent.

The UAE's Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has been voted the most prominent Arab leader of 2019 in a readers' poll by Russian state outlet RT.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi was fourth. The new presidents of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and Tunisia, Kais Saied, also make the list.

Abe conveyed Emperor of Japan's greetings and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He lauded the attendance of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, at the official ceremony of the inauguration of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito, New Emperor of Japan, in October.

He also expressed appreciation for granting Japanese companies concessions for oil exploration and the UAE's continuous oil supplies to Japan.

The Japanese Prime Minister wrote a note on the VIP Book at Al Watan Palace, expressing his happiness to visit the UAE, while highlighting the strong ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries as well as his best wishes of more progress and growth for the UAE.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shinzo Abe met with a group of Emirati students who are studying at the Japanese universities and engaged in cordial talks with them about their specialisations and academic life.

Sheikh Mohamed hosted a dinner banquet in honour of the Japanese Prime Minister and his accompanying delegation.

In attendance were H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Member of the Executive Council; and H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court.

Attending from the Japanese side were Naoki Okada, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Minoru Kihara, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister; Shigeru Kitamura, Secretary-General of the National Security Secretariat; Takaya Imai, Special Adviser and Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister; Hiroshi Suzuki, Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister; Akihiko Nakajima, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the UAE; Takeo Mori, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs; Katsuhiko Takahashi, Director-General, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Makoto Osawa, Vice Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Yasunori Nishida, Vice-Minister of Defense for International Affairs; Naoki Fujii, Vice-Minister for Transport, Tourism and International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and Shigehiro Tanaka, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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"We can clearly see an improvement in the quality of education on offer in the Indian-curriculum schools and this will further improve student outcomes and achievements in the years to come.”

"We can clearly see an improvement in the quality of education on offer in the Indian-curriculum schools and this will further improve student outcomes and achievements in the years to come”.

Only one out of 31 Indian schools in Dubai was rated outstanding in classroom inspections as calls were made for teachers to be more “pupil-orientated”

Gems Modern Academy retained its title as the only outstanding school in the 2018-19 term assessments carried out by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the emirate’s regulator of private schools.

Five schools were rated “very good”, 15 “good”, nine “acceptable” and one, Gulf Model School, “weak”.

Ashok Kumar, principal at Indian High School, which was rated very good, said that Indian schools in Dubai “have to improve in teaching and learning”.

Ashok Kumar, principal at Indian High School, says more teacher training is required to raise standards at Indian schools in Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

“The CBSE curriculum, followed by the majority of Indian schools in UAE, is content heavy and the style of teaching the curriculum requires is different,” he said.

“Training of teachers is essential and we need them to be more pupil-orientated.

“There also needs to be more work on inclusion in all Indian schools. We have been rated outstanding in many areas of inclusion and teaching. There are some areas to improve on.”

The principal believes a new initiative that gives Grade 11 and 12 pupils a day-and-a-half off every week to pursue hobbies, will help boost ratings in future inspections.

Michael Guzder, vice president of education at Gems Education, said schools were working hard to improve their results, with a focus on special-needs teaching and Arabic reaping rewards.

“Two of the Gems schools are rated as very good with outstanding features, but the outstanding is still elusive,” Mr Guzder said. “Inspectors want to see clear indication of progress in the class, and they see pockets of progress but not overall progress.”

For a school to be rated outstanding there must be consistently outstanding teaching, learning and progress, he said.

He said new teachers joining schools and who need time to get up to speed may have an impact on inspections.

“A number of new teachers join every year and if an inspector goes to the class of a new teacher, that’s where he points the fingers and says that’s not good enough,” he said.

Unfortunately, new teachers coming from India don’t know the framework and it takes up to six months to train them.

Michael Guzder, vice president of education at Gems Education

“Unfortunately, new teachers coming from India don’t know the framework and it takes up to six months to train them.”

Fatma Belrehif, chief executive of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, said standards at Indian schools have been raised significantly in the decade since the assessments were introduced.

"Since Dubai school inspection bureau inspections were introduced 10 years ago the percentage of students attending Indian curriculum schools rated good or better has increased from 45 per cent in 2009 to 73 per cent in 2018," she said.

"We can clearly see an improvement in the quality of education on offer in the Indian-curriculum schools and this will further improve student outcomes and achievements in the years to come.”

Results have improved in mathematics, English and science over the past 10 years.

Three schools improved in the school ratings this year, with two schools advancing from ‘acceptable’ to ‘good’ and one school improving from ‘weak’ to ‘acceptable’.

This year 21 schools were rated ‘good’ or better, compared to 18 schools last year.

The inspections found that 64 per cent of Indian curriculum schools rated good or better in provision for students with disabilities, as new KHDA guidelines launched last week call for all school to be fully inclusive by 2020.

The Dubai School Inspection Bureau inspected schools for 115 days and spent 3,636 hours in class observing 3,331 lessons.

Schools are judged on the leadership and management of the institution, teaching and assessment, pupils’ achievement, pupils’ personal and social development, innovation skills, curriculum and support given to pupils.

Updated: January 16, 2020 10:52 AM

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