Dubai halts school inspections for next year; move will enhance stability, reduce workload

Schools must regularly update the self-evaluation form and the online profile throughout the next academic year


Nandini Sircar

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File Photo. Image used for illustrative purposes
File Photo. Image used for illustrative purposes

Published: Mon 24 Jun 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 24 Jun 2024, 9:58 PM

School heads in the UAE commended the Dubai education regulator’s decision to temporarily halt inspections, citing benefits like enhanced stability, reduced administrative workload, and better data collection quality for achieving teaching-learning targets.

This decision means that private schools in Dubai will not undergo full inspections during the 2024-25 academic year except for new schools in their third year of operation.

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Additionally, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has released the complete report of its most recent inspection.

Adequate time to implement areas ‘for improvement’

“The school teams will get adequate time to implement areas identified ‘for improvement’ during the previous inspection and are better positioned to focus more intently on innovative teaching-learning, teachers’ professional development, and holistic student achievement. This move also highlights the KHDA's trust in the schools' ability to self-regulate and maintain high standards of education," said Sangita Chima, Amity School Dubai Principal.

However, the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) will conduct additional visits focused on specific areas and include continuous monitoring activities.

Schools will be informed in advance about the focus areas and priorities for the upcoming academic year.

Additionally, schools must regularly update the self-evaluation form and the online school profile throughout the next academic year.

“Director General Aisha Miran’s decision to halt school inspection this academic year is a visionary, strategic and a highly impactful decision. It is a game changer that will empower Dubai’s dynamic learning organisations with futuristic and progressive high-quality standards,” added Chima.

Schools continue to innovate

Meanwhile, schools can request a full inspection from the DSIB, which will be reviewed and approved at the KHDA's discretion.

Institutions should submit their requests by July 5, 2024. Those with approved requests will be notified during Term 2 of the 2024-25 academic year.

Dr Saima Rana, Group Chief Education Officer at GEMS education said: "We have acknowledged the announcement from KHDA regarding school inspections in academic year 2024-25. We welcome this opportunity to continue to innovate our practices to enable our children to have the best possible educational experiences while supporting the regulator's strategic plan."

"Our total focus remains to provide the best possible education to our students in a safe, secure, and successful environment, as it has been for the past 65 years," Dr Rana added.

School heads also highlighted that it is a mere perception that the DSIB inspections alone are tied to school ratings, which then impact the fee structure.

“The DSIB is just one division within the KHDA. Alongside it, there are approximately 16 other departments dedicated to supporting schools, ensuring accountability remains intact,” said Zubair Ahmad, COO of Springdales School, Dubai.

Developmental move

Calling the announcement ‘developmental,’ Ahmad hailed the need for change.

“The rhythm, process, and zeal of teaching-learning targets are ongoing. This is a well-evaluated, analysed, and well-informed decision where every stakeholder has been involved. This provides ‘breathing space’ to everyone and supports the teaching-learning process, aiming to make things more efficient, and productive and allowing schools to diversify,” he said.

“This move will help in skill development rather than just capacity development. So, it is a welcome move that I believe allows time for everybody to upgrade,” Ahmad added.


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