Sharjah authorities bar failing schools from taking on new pupils

Education officials will spend four days in each school as part of a new evaluation process from October

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 16, 2014.  School busses ply their routes on a busy afternoon when kids have finished their school duties.  ( Jeffrey E Biteng / The National )  Editor's Note;  Stocks photos.
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Private schools in Sharjah that are ranked weak or very weak will no longer be allowed to register new pupils.

Schools will receive their rankings after Sharjah Private Education Authority carries out inspections that will start on October 16 and continue until March.

They will be assessed on their performance in categories such as pupils' achievements, well-being and protection as well as teaching assessments, curriculum, and leadership.

In 2018, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, ordered the setting up of SPEA after a ministry of education assessment revealed that 47 private schools in the Northern Emirates received weak or very weak evaluations.

Experts from SPEA will spend four days in each school as part of the evaluation process.

We certainly agree on the goal of the evaluation process but we have reservations about the method and assessment tools
Ibrahim Barakeh, director of Al Shola Schools Group

They will be provided with detailed reports outlining the schools' strengths and weaknesses.

SPEA said schools could also face administrative penalties if they fail to improve.

These include not being able to increase fees and being prohibited from implementing expansion plans until they improve their performance and ranking.

The assessment will happen once every two years for schools that are rated good and once every four years for schools that get an excellent or very good ranking.

Ali Al Hosani, director of SPEA, said results will be made available to parents to help them make better decisions when choosing schools for their children.

“A transparent, detailed and comprehensive assessment of the performance and quality of education in the emirate's private schools will be provided to help parents make appropriate decisions when choosing their children's schools,” he said.

“Ten new private schools that opened last year in Sharjah will not be subjected to the assessment process.”

He said the assessment will be conducted in two phases ― the first between October 16 and the end of November and the second in February and March next year.

“We certainly agree on the goal of the evaluation process, which is to raise the quality of education,” said Ibrahim Barakeh, director of Al Shola Schools Group, which runs five schools in Sharjah and Ajman.

“But we have reservations about the method and assessment tools."

He said private schools in Sharjah vary in terms of curriculum, fees, educational methods, and cultural backgrounds of staff, pupils and parents.

“Assessment tools must be applied after taking into account all these differences otherwise the results can't be accurate,” he said.

Updated: October 05, 2022, 8:21 AM