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KHDA Dubai school inspections

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KHDA DSIB school inspections in Dubai

The Dubai School Inspections Bureau (DSIB) is the school inspection department of the KHDA. The first batch of Dubai school inspections for 2008-2009 started in October 2008 and covered private and government schools, with schools put into one of 4 categories. The second batch of school inspections for 2009-2010 started October 2009 and included Indian, Pakistani, and Iranian curriculum schools (which were skipped for the first inspections). From 2011-2012 the KHDA will only inspect private schools in Dubai, not government schools.

KHDA inspections

Full reports on each school are available on the KHDA website as PDF downloads, or ask the school for a copy of the report (although they might tell you to get it from the KHDA website).

KHDA school inspections - a different perspective

On 03 October 2012, the Gulf News Express had a rather dramatic report about the KHDA school inspections, headed "The shocking truth about school inspections" which went on to say "As KHDA inspections begin, profit-driven schools are back to their dirty tricks. XPRESS cuts through the deception to expose the annual drama they stage to up their ratings ... Our investigations found that Dubai’s profit-obsessed schools have made a mockery of KHDA inspections. In a bid to please inspectors they put up a well-orchestrated sham year after year. The show is complete with stage, props and artists where everyone from the teacher to the parent, student and even the school bus staff has a specific role that’s meticulously rehearsed – in some cases – for weeks ... A good performance wins a good rating. A good rating means a licence to increase fees. And if it involves subterfuge and deception, so be it."

The GN Express had an additional report headlined "KHDA mulls surprise school inspections" based on a comment from Fatima Belrehif, Acting Director of Dubai Schools Inspections Bureau (DSIB) at the KHDA, who responded to the question "Any plans by DSIB to launch surprise inspections? Will short-notice inspections help improve the system?" with the comment "... Many parents have asked for no-notice or short-notice inspections and we are keen to listen to them. We regularly review our methods and such an approach may be beneficial to Dubai in the future." Whether that's mulling or not is probably debatable.


British school inspections in Dubai

DSIB school inspections 2011-2012

DSIB school inspections 2010-2011

DSIB school inspections 2009-2010

KHDA number of schools for each rating, 2010
Number of schools unsatisfactory acceptable good outstanding
17 February 2010 5 11 7 0
10 May 2010 21 95 66 5
Total as of 10 May 2010 26 (22) 106 (97) 73 (66) 5 (4)

Dubai schools ratings 2009-2010

DSIB school inspections October 2009

The second year of inspections started in October 2009 for all schools in Dubai for the 2009-2010 academic year, including Indian, Iranian, and Pakistani curriclum schools (they missed out the first time around). New initiatives for round 2 included:

Total number of schools to be surveyed is 82, made up of 36 government schools, and 46 private schools including 24 Indian and Pakistani schools.

DSIB school inspections for Dubai - April-May 2009

The results of the first batch of inspections, conducted in 69 schools in Dubai (24 public schools and 45 private schools) from October to December 2008, were released on 02 April 2009. The second batch of 120 results were released 16 May 2009, and another 31 Indian, Pakistani, and Iranian schools will be inspected during the 2009-2010 academic year (April to March for these schools). There are about 220 schools in Dubai - both private and government). Results for Indian and Pakistani schools were released 17 February 2010.

KHDA number of schools for each rating, 2009-2010
Number of schools unsatisfactory acceptable good outstanding
02 Apr 2009 6 34 25 4
16 May 2009 14 63 41 0
Total 16 May 2009 22 97 66 4
Add 17 Feb 2010 ratings 5 11 7 0
Total 17 Feb 2010 27 108 73 4
Public (government schools) 5 43 32 0
Private schools 17 54 34 4
Total 16 May 2009 22 97 66 4
KHDA Outstanding ratings for Dubai schools for 2009-2010
Schools rated outstanding 2009-2010
School KHDA rating DubaiFAQs satisfaction rating
        10 May 2010
    Students Parents Teachers   Students Parents Teachers
Al Manhal Kindergarten Outstanding              
Al Nokhbah Model School Outstanding              
Childhood Development Center Outstanding              
GEMS Wellington International School Outstanding        
Kings School Dubai Outstanding        
KHDA Outstanding rankings for Dubai schools for 2008-2009
Schools rated outstanding 2008-2009
School KHDA rating DubaiFAQs satisfaction rating
    02 April 2009   16 May 2009
    Students Parents Teachers   Students Parents Teachers
JESS Arabian Ranches Outstanding  
Jumeirah College Outstanding  
Jumeirah English Speaking School Outstanding  
Kings Dubai* Outstanding  

*Kings Dubai ratings for 02 April 2009 from very few votes on DubaiFAQs and should not be assumed to be very representative.

Dubai school inspections background

The Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) is the inspections division of the Knowledge & Human Development Authority Dubai (KHDA) and inspects all schools in Dubai to rate them on whether or not they provide a satisfactory education. Usually schools are inspected by a group of inspectors, some of whom are imported from overseas for the job. These inspectors conduct interviews and surveys with parents, students, and staff, observe teachers, and write reports. As you'd expect with an inspecting body or ratings agency, there is some degree of variability introduced depending on the whim of the inspector in attendance, so the results could be more subjective than one might hope or expect. Each school should be inspected by more than one inspector so any bias should be diluted by the other inspectors.

KHDA inspections put Dubai schools into one of 4 categories: outstanding, good, acceptable and unsatisfactory. The significance of those categories is not just as an information rating for parents and students, but financial and career oriented also. School fee increases are limited by different amounts depending on the KHDA rating, and some teachers who had less than satisfactory ratings resulting in an overall lower rating for the school, have found their teaching careers in Dubai to be somewhat shorter than they expected.

Some would argue that the KHDA inspection results reflect how well the school prepared for the review (schools knew beforehand when inspectors would visit) rather than the quality of education offered. Schools and sacked teachers disgruntled with the KHDA verdicts are more likely to have this point of view, and to say that it doesn't represent what the school is really like. Residents in the UAE who have more than a passing familiarity with schools in Dubai will spot a few apparent anomalies in the list also.

It is not unusual to see large discrepancies between the KHDA ratings, and the Dubai school ratings on the information pages here. For example, half of the KHDA "unsatisfactory" schools were rated by students, parents and teachers as better than the KHDA "outstanding" Jumeirah College for 2008-2009. The KHDA ratings are determined by inspectors, while the DubaiFAQs ratings are hopefully determined by students, parents and teachers but in reality could be anyone. All 4 groups have different measurement criteria and influences. What conclusions can you draw from the disparity between DubaiFAQs satisfaction ratings and the KHDA ratings? Well, for one, bear in mind that voting on DubaiFAQs is a bit of a free for all, so any ratings that just don't look right, probably aren't. It also might be quite reasonable to conclude that the KHDA ratings indicate that the DubaiFAQs ratings are nonsense and should be ignored. Tell us what you think. Add a comment to the KHDA school inspection forum topic.

Individual school rating brief summary reports are available on the KHDA website, 3-4 pages as a pdf download for 2008-2009, and the full 20 page report for 2009-2010.

KHDA and school fee increases in Dubai

KHDA permitted fee increases
Rating unsatisfactory acceptable good outstanding
Annual fees increase 7% 9% 12% 15%

Parent satisfaction survey Dubai Schools

[Update needed]

Last update Friday 05-Oct-2012
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