Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Adecís director general, and Hamad Al Dhahiri, the councilís executive director of private schools and quality assurance, discussed the evaluation results of the capitalís private schools. Delores Johnson / The National
Delores Johnson Staff Photographer
Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Adecís director general, and Hamad Al Dhahiri, the councilís executive director of private schools and quality assurance, discussed the evaluation results of the capitalís private schools. Delores Johnson / The National

Abu Dhabi inspectors place 100 schools in lowest grade

After four years of inspections, detailed reports for each school have been made public for the first time. The reports are posted in Arabic and English on the website of the Abu Dhabi Education Council.

ABU DHABI // Inspectors have rated two thirds of the emirate's private schools unsatisfactory or worse.

None of the 146 schools they visited achieved the top score of "outstanding" and 100 were found to be "in need of significant improvement" Ė the lowest of three grades.

Inspection teams from Adec, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), have been rating private schools for four years but made their findings public for the first time yesterday.

"We started this process long ago, but we did not announce the results at that time to give private schools the chance to enhance and develop their standards," said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Adec's director general.

More than 20 schools were rated "high-performing", and more than 90 had improved since they were last inspected. "There is development which is remarkable," said Hamad Al Dhahiri, Adec's executive director of private schools and quality assurance.

Some schools were praised for addressing problems but others were criticised for neglecting child safety, overcrowding classrooms and hiring unqualified teachers.

Inspectors found no link between a school's fees and its rating. "There are schools that have very low fees, not high fees, and the performance was excellent," Dr Al Khaili said.

Detailed inspection reports for each school are available in English and Arabic on Adec's website, adec.ac.ae. "For students and parents, transparency is very important," Mr Al Dhahiri said.

Inspectors spent about four days at each school and evaluated them on eight standards including student attainment, quality of teaching, protection and care of students and school leadership.

The inspectors gave each school an overall score from 1 (outstanding) to 8 (poor). No schools scored 1, but 4 per cent of schools scored 2 (very good) and 11 per cent scored 3 (good). Nineteen per cent of the schools achieved scores of 4 or 5.

The most common score was 6 (unsatisfactory), given to 38 per cent of the schools.

The scores were further divided into "bands" or grades: schools scoring 1 to 3 were graded A or "high-performing", schools scoring 4 or 5 were graded B or "satisfactory" and schools scoring 6 to 8 were graded C, or "in need of significant improvement".

Asked where schools needed to improve the most, Mr Al Dhahiri said: "Teaching".

"Schools must concentrate on professional development and they should also invest in teachers," he said.

Failing schools will receive additional support from the Government and will be inspected more often.

"Schools in band C, the inspectors visit three to five visits a year and there is follow-up continuously," Mr Al Dhahiri said.

Abu Dhabi will not connect the scores to future requests to raise school fees, as the Knowledge and Human Development Authority does in Dubai, Dr Al Khaili said.

"The process of increasing the fees will not change in the coming phase," he said.

The most recent inspections were carried out between 2011 and June this year. Despite low scores overall, many schools showed significant improvement from a previous round of inspections between 2009 and 2011.

For example, 43 schools improved their scores by one point and 18 improved by a full three points. Only 12 schools fell backwards, receiving worse scores than in previous inspections.

Inspectors found that the scores were only weakly linked to the type of curriculum offered.

"Many of the schools who apply the British curriculum in the right way have achieved satisfactory or high ratings but many schools in American, Indian and Ministry of Education curriculum received good ratings as well," Mr Al Dhahiri said. "The curriculum is not a main factor but it's an important one."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National