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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

'Weak' Dubai school closing down after 39 years

Emirates English Speaking School was rated weak in several areas by Dubai's education authority

Emirates English speaking school in Dubai is closing after 39 years. Ravindranath K / The National
Emirates English speaking school in Dubai is closing after 39 years. Ravindranath K / The National

A 39-year-old Indian school in Dubai is closing its doors after being rated weak by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority for two consecutive years.

Emirates English Speaking School will shut ahead of the start of the next academic year. At present, 1,654 children are enrolled in the school which follows CBSE curriculum, the most popular Indian curriculum in the UAE. The school, which opened in 1979, has 109 teachers.

Emirates English Speaking School is working to find pupils seats in other schools.

Khaleel Shubair, administration manager at Emirates English Speaking School, said: "The school fees have been very low historically - this puts a constraint on resources and attracting quality staff, which in turn has an impact on the provision of high-quality education. The school will remain fully functional until the end of the current academic year in March 2019.After this date, pupils will be joining other schools to continue their educational journey. We are discussing with several other neighbouring schools who will be able to accommodate the students."

"The staff – both teaching and admin – will look at gaining employment in other schools and companies and we will help and facilitate in this process to whatever extent possible."

Mohammed Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Permits Commission at KHDA, said: “The KHDA has approved the school management’s request to discontinue educational services at Emirates English Speaking School from the next academic year. The school has already put in place a plan to ensure students affected by the closure can be accommodated in other schools and it will help parents and pupils with a smooth transition.”

This year, six schools attended by more than 10,000 pupils in total were named 'weak' in the education regulator's annual report. Earlier this month, 47 poorly performing schools in the Northern Emirates were suspended from accepting Emirati pupils after being rated "weak" or "very weak" by government education chiefs.

A school's rating is linked to the amount it can raise fees by every year - last year it was 2.4 per cent for the lowest ranked, which would be below the current inflation level.

At Emirates English Speaking School, pupils in KG1 pay Dh3,568 annually, whereas pupils in Grade 12 pay Dh5,414 every year. Schools in Dubai vary widely when it comes to fees. Repton School, for example, charges Dh95,000 for year 12 while Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School-Dubai charges Dh6,259 for year 12.

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Read more:

Dubai's failing schools find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle

Northern emirates schools branded 'weak' by Ministry of Education say they are in the dark over failings

Dubai school fees fall by up to 15 per cent

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Parents were informed of the school’s closure before the summer holidays at the end of June.

The school was rated acceptable in annual inspections by the KHDA between 2009 and 2016. In 2017, however, the school was rated weak and the ranking remained the same in in 2018.

KHDA’s inspection this year found the leadership and governance of the school to be weak.

“Inaccurate self-evaluation and underdeveloped school improvement plans constrain developments. Parental partnerships and community links are good, with more scope to explore parental views particularly about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The quality of school premises, facilities and resources limit the effectiveness of teaching and learning,” mentioned the inspection report on the school.

Pupil’s achievement in Kindergarten (KG) science and in Arabic as an additional language was deemed weak.

Curriculum adaptation across KG, primary and middle phases were graded weak “because teachers do not make sufficient use of information on students’ progress to meet their different needs.”