Most Schools in N. Emirates Pass the Muster

A majority of the public schools evaluated in the Northern Emirates have met the Ministry of Education (MOE) accreditation criteria, the ministry announced on Thursday.

By Afshan Ahmed

Published: Fri 29 Jan 2010, 8:58 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:41 PM

Evaluators will be spending about 60minutes in classrooms observing student attentiveness and the teaching methodology. Picture used for illustrative purpose only.—KT photo

Sixty-three public and two private schools of a total of 71 schools surveyed in Ajman, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah have received accreditations since the process began in October 2008.

The accreditation process is set in motion every three years. Another set of schools will be evaluated this year. The evaluation framework was developed by the MOE in association with the Centre for British Teachers Education Trust (CfBT).

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“The accreditation process adds value to our education system” Education Minister Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qattami said. “It ensures schools apply the best international education practices and meet the minimum requirement for success, quality and excellence.”

Schools must achieve ‘Highly Effective’ or ‘Effective’ scores in six areas: school leadership; community links; classroom environment; approach to student learning; motivation and involvement in the education process; and student results.

Those falling behind will be given three months to improve. Qattami said schools that do not receive accreditation will be supported by the ministry in taking corrective steps. “They must prepare themselves according to the recommendations,” he said.

Shaikha Al Shamsi, Director, Licensure and Accreditation, said most schools in the Northern Emirates performed well, but did not say how well. “We will not release the rankings as our main point is to work on the framework and improve the system,” she said.

The MoE says most of the sample public schools are of international standards, but the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), responsible for inspections in Dubai, says more UAE nationals are opting for private schools due to the slower pace of reform in public schools. Dubai follows a different process.

Eileen Owens, Senior Consultant at CfBT said the accreditation framework followed international norms. “These public schools are accredited, which means they are performing to international standards,” she said.

However, Natasha Ridge, a researcher at the Dubai School of Government, who has studied the public education system in the UAE, said to gauge the true quality of public schools in the Northern Emirates, more private schools need to be involved.

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