Dubai students getting more sleep, enjoy closer relationships with teachers

Dubai - KHDA well-being survey reveals how resilient kids are despite months of distance and blended learning

By Staff Report

Published: Thu 29 Apr 2021, 12:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Apr 2021, 12:40 PM

Students in Dubai are more rested and enjoy closer relationships with their teachers, fourth Dubai Student Wellbeing Census has revealed.

They are getting more sleep and having breakfast more regularly as compared to previous years.

Nearly 60 per cent of students in Grades six to nine and 41.5 per cent of students in Grades 10 to 12 said they got a good night’s sleep at least five times a week - compared to 54.2 per cent and 37.1 per cent, respectively, the previous year.

Three out of four students also reported waking up later in the day.

Similarly, nearly 78 per cent of students in Grades six to nine and 69 per cent of students in Grades 10 to 12 said they ate breakfast five times a week - up from 69.7 per cent and 61.5 per cent, respectively, from the year before.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said, “The past year has shown us the importance of wellbeing in education. After weeks and months of distance and blended learning, we’ve seen how resilient our children are. The results of this fourth Census show that our children are getting better sleep, and building better relationships with their friends and their teachers. They’re feeling more confident in their school work and they are optimistic about their future.

“Adults at schools in Dubai have had a different experience. While they reported improved physical health, they also worked longer hours. As adults, we have more responsibilities and pressure in our lives, yet it’s important to remember if we want to thrive, we must look after our wellbeing.”

About 70 per cent of students in grades six to nine reported having better relationships with their teachers - an increase of 11 percentage points compared to the year before. Similarly, about 65 per cent of all students in Grades 10 to 12 reported having better relationships with adults at school.

Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness & Innovation at KHDA, said: “We’re in the fourth year of a five-year journey looking at the wellbeing of our school community and this year has given us a lot of interesting data. We’re seeing students report better sleeping and eating habits, coupled with higher engagement with their teachers. There are a lot of insights and our schools will have to look at what’s working for them and continue to build on the positives.”

Each school in Dubai receives a detailed wellbeing report outlining important aspects of the quality of life of students, highlighting key indicators and areas of improvement. The census data provides schools with an in-depth understanding of how students feel about their school life, home life, themselves and their relationships with others. The data also provides insight into student attitudes towards their experiences both within and away from school.

Over 10,000 staff from Dubai schools participated in the third year of the Adults@School Wellbeing Survey, which measures the wellbeing of school leaders, teachers, teaching assistants and staff.

Fifty-eight per cent of adults at school felt “highly able” to manage their wellbeing and were motivated to take steps to improve their wellbeing. School teachers also reported getting less sleep last year and felt they worked longer hours than the previous year.

The Dubai Student Wellbeing Census is run by Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai in partnership with the Government of South Australia. The Adults@School Wellbeing Survey is conducted with The Wellbeing Lab.

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