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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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: September 19, 2019 02:59 PM