MoE move for private schools accreditation

DUBAI — All private schools in the UAE will soon have to be accredited to raise the standard of education in the UAE, Ministry of Education (MoE) officials said yesterday, after announcing the new bylaws approved by the ministerial cabinet.

By Preeti Kannan (Our staff reporter)

Published: Sat 12 Jul 2008, 1:30 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:09 PM

The ministry is also studying the possibility of linking tuition fee increases applied by private schools to the salaries they pay to the teachers.

Dr Maryam Al Ali, Director of Commission for Private Schools, told reporters that as per the new bylaws, effective immediately, a Private School Accreditation Commission would be established in the next three years. However, standards and guidelines will be developed during the course of the next one year after which, schools would be expected to accredit or should be in the process of accrediting within the next six years.

Dr Ali said, "We are encouraging private schools to be accredited and we hope to develop the standards during the course of the next 12 months. Every school in the UAE has to maintain minimum standards and we link accreditation to licensure."

Once the standards are developed, schools are expected to begin their accreditation process in accordance with ministry guidelines. Authorities said while the specific details are being worked out, they emphasised that licensure of schools would be linked to their accreditation.

Officials said the ministry had the authority to revoke or suspend the operations of the school or take any other action which may be reasonable and necessary upon failure to obtain accreditation in that period.

Mark A Stapleton, education consultant in the ministry's Office of Policy and Planning, said, "The schools which already have international accreditation may not have to undergo the ministry's accreditation if they meet minimum standards set by the ministry."

He added that these issues would be decided upon formulation of standards, which would look into important aspects of health and safety of children in the school.

"We are in the process of developing safety and security standards for children in schools," said Stapleton adding that the school's ability to provide first aid and safe environment could be linked to it being accredited by the new ministerial body.

The ministry is in talks with various educational boards, including the India system of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Referring to the several bus accidents resulting in deaths of children in UAE schools, the education consultant said, "We want to minimise the possibility of such incidents."

An amended ministerial decree issued recently has given the nod for all private schools in the country to increase tuition fees between 5 and 30 per cent subject to the previous increase.

Rashid Salem Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Director-General in the Ministry of Education, said the ministry was studying linking teachers' salaries to the fee increases by each school. Private schools would have to justify the need for fee increases before being given the nod by educational authorities.

He said, "With the new bylaws, the Ministry of Education would have launched a new phase in the education field and enhanced the development of human resources in the country. The ministry hopes that these bylaws would play an important role in creating high standards of education and outstanding learning outcomes in line with the achievements, development and progress of all other fields in this nation."

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