Emirati students enjoy better access to quality education in DubaiMay 17, 2017, 6:15 am GMT
The percentage of Emirati students attending schools rated Good or better has doubled since school inspections first began in 2008/09.
During the 2008/09 inspection cycle, 26% of Emirati students enrolled in private schools in Dubai attended a school that was rated Good or better. The number has now increased to 54% according to the the 2016/17 Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) report.
DSIB executive director Fatma Belrehif noted: "Back in the early days of inspections, only 5000 Emirati students would have had Good or better quality of education; now 54% of Emiratis – more than half – enjoy the opportunity of having Good or better quality of education, which means that their achievement will be in parallel to the achievement of their peers in regards to personal wellbeing as well as academic achievement."
KHDA director general Dr Abdulla Al Karam attributed the increase to more informed decisions by Emirati families, as well as an increase in the number of schools that cater to UAE nations.
He explained: "In my opinion, it has to do with the choices that the Emirati parents have made - Emirati parents are reading the cumulative data that we have from nine years. This is a decisive nine-year trend and you can't ignore that. The second reason for the increase is the additional schools that have come online over the last few years that have catered to nationals. Unlike any segment of society, nationals don't grow largely in population. So if you add more schools, what tends to happen is that schools will compete heavily because this is a finite number of the community. So they tend to be more competitive when attracting UAE nationals. So adding new schools that cater to nationals and Arabs has created more incentive for them to compete.
The majority of Emirati students (20,197) are enrolled in American curriculum schools, followed by British curriculum (21%), Ministry of Education (2141), IB (1717), and others (1150).
Access to better education has also led to an improvement in TIMSS scores for Emirati students.
In 2015, Emirati students in Grade 4 performed better in mathematics than in 2011. They scored 49 points above their previous score in 2011. In Grade 4 science, they performed significantly better with 62 points higher than their previous score in 2011.
Also in 2015, Emirati students in Grade 8 performed better in mathematics. They scored 33 points above their previous score in 2011. In Grade 8 science, they performed significantly better with 43 points higher than their
previous score in 2011.
While this shows that Emirati students have improved across the board, mirroring the improvement seen in Dubai students as a whole, Emirati students still performed below the international average of 500.
The skills-based PISA assessment data, however, does not show any improvements overall in the performance of Emirati students in private schools, at 15 years old.
Top performing Emirati students will also receive scholarships to study in Dubai private schools that have been rated Very Good and Outstanding, as part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Distinguished Students Programme.
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