x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

30,000 parents took part in annual Dubai school inspections

This year's school inspections included a survey of parents to find out if they were satisfied with the standard of education.

DUBAI // One in eight parents in the emirate are not satisfied with the range of extra curricular activities offered at private schools, according to new survey results.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) surveyed 30,000 parents and found 90 per cent were content with the teaching standards at the school but still wanted more in terms of activities outside academics.

About one in eight parents also feel the schools does not have sufficient equipment and resources to support learning.

Parents had to fill out a questionnaire before their child's school was inspected as part of the annual Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau rounds. Their feedback was taken into account by inspectors to rank the schools into outstanding, good, acceptable and unsatisfactory.

Teresa Pergher, a parent whose daughter attends an American school in Dubai agrees with the findings of the survey.

"Education at the school is quite rigorous and what is taught here is much more advanced than what is taught back home in the same grade," she said. However, she added that there is a scope for improvement in programmes apart from the main lessons.

"Extra activities have increased but I would want the school to introduce more computer courses. Workshops on different software and IT skills would really help them," said the mother whose daughter is in Grade 7.

Moaz Kaymi, a parent whose children attend a British school, said he would like to see teachers using more technology in the classroom.

"I think there is still a lot of reliance on textbooks, which needs to change because students are now doing everything on the internet."

He is not alone in his thinking: 30 per cent of parents surveyed said teaching methods needed to be improved in schools.

Meanwhile, 80 per cent thought the school communicated with them regularly and effectively.

Norm Dean, director of the Deira International School said the school has made strides to address the issues raised in the Dubai School Inspection Bureau's report but will continue to build on their extra curricular activities profile in the coming year.

"A majority of parents recognise the progress the school has made," he said. "Moving forward, we will place greater emphasis on coaching and sports for our students."