x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Stop slander on social media or face expulsion, Dubai teachers and students told

A contract signed by parents and private schools in Dubai prevents either party from defaming the other via social media, or face consequences including expulsion.

Pupils, parents and all staff of Dubai’s private schools will be banned from slandering or causing harm to anyone on social media on threat of expulsion.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority is imposing the policy starting from next school year. Breaches will be met with penalties including dismissal from school.

The rule will be introduced as an addition to the partnership contract between parents and private schools, in the project’s second phase.

The pilot was launched last academic year and included six schools.

The contract sets the rights, obligations and responsibilities of each party, and introduced parents to factors including curriculums, fees, schedules and conflict resolution.

Amal Belhasa, head of compliance and resolution at KHDA, said the second phase of the project would include 24 schools.

Ms Belhasa said it would have two new additions – one for social-media use and one requiring all students aged over 15 to sign the contract.

She said KHDA was focusing on schools with a large percentage of Emirati students. The 24 schools had 38,624 students, of whom 22,885 were Emirati.

The authority’s plan to introduce the contract to all private schools will take between three and five years, Ms Belhasa said.