x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Help for Dubai's public schools

More than 100 teaching professionals from public schools in Dubai received instruction yesterday on how to improve their classrooms.

ABU DHABI // More than 100 teaching professionals from public schools in Dubai received instruction yesterday on how to improve their classrooms. The first workshops to help raise standards at the schools are being held in response to inspections that found weaknesses in the emirate's 80 public schools. Of those, 32 were rated good, 43 as acceptable and five as unsatisfactory.

None was rated as outstanding. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), which oversees education in Dubai, inspected 189 schools, both public and private, from October 2008 to April 2009. The KHDA found that about 20,000 students attended schools that failed health, safety or education requirements. Twenty-two schools, including the five public institutions in the group, were rated unsatisfactory. Of those, inspectors said in July that 20 still were not meeting standards.

Inspectors found that pupils are rarely expected to write more than a paragraph during lessons. The KHDA said it had worked with the schools to draw up plans for improvement and designed the workshops around them. Around 105 principals and vice principals attended the first session, which focused on performance management and teaching. Later workshops will deal with student behaviour and assessments, as well as extended writing in Arabic and English.

Fatma al Marri, the chief executive of the Dubai Schools Agency, said: "We are pleased that our principals and teachers are supporting our workshops because it proves that we all share the same ambition: to improve our public schools so that our children benefit from a better quality of education." Administrators are encouraged to sign up for workshops that fit their schools' needs. School principals have also requested a workshop on how to form a board of trustees, a move recommended by the KHDA.

mchung@thenational.ae