Dubai schools told to 'evaluate themselves'

New framework requires schools to evaluate their own performance.

DUBAI // Schools in the emirate have received guidelines for self-evaluation, a new requirement for inspections in the coming academic year.

Authorities say they will also be tough on schools that do not admit and support children with special needs.

Schools will be required to submit their self-evaluation to inspectors two weeks before their visit, the inspection handbook says.

A document has been produced to assist schools in their self-analysis based on six steps: review, evidence, vision, planning, action and monitoring.

Jameela Al Muhairi, the chief of the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB), said successful international education systems had strong internal evaluations to measure their strengths and weaknesses, letting them plan their reforms.

"We noticed that even good schools were missing action plans and they were only planning on a day-to-day basis," Ms Al Muhairi said. "With this document, the inspectors will be able to compare and see how well the school knows itself."

Schools are required to specifically evaluate Emirati pupils' attainment and progress. In good and outstanding schools, the self-evaluation will be used for validation.

Abraham Prakash, the principal of the boys section at Indian High School, which was rated good in the last inspection, said the self-evaluation system would define strengths and identify gaps that needed to be addressed.

"As part of the new system we have to compare our progress based on our set benchmark, international standards, as well as national guidelines," Mr Prakash said.

"So it will be more of an audit process with a comparative study in areas - like boys versus girls, and special needs."

The authority, which monitors education standards at more than 136 private schools in Dubai, began its inspections in 2008.

Its report this year highlighted a gap in special needs education in many private schools.

Parents are unable to find places in high-performing schools particularly if their child's needs are complex or behavioural in nature because of the selection process they follow.

Ms Al Muhairi said the system must ensure the successful inclusion and acceptance of all children.

"Inspectors will evaluate the quality of a school's provision for pupils with special educational needs and comment on the progress they make across all key subjects," she said.

A copy of the inspection handbook is available on the Knowledge and Human Development Authority website at khda.gov.ae.

 

aahmed@thenational.ae

Published: August 15, 2011 04:00 AM

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