Dubai's Indian and Pakistani schools improve rankings in latest inspection report

For the first time, no school rated 'weak'

Dubai, 2nd March 2009.  Students from Our Own English High School reacts after the Central Board Secondary Education exams, held at the Indian High School.  (Jeffrey E Biteng / The National)  Editor's Note; Praveen M reports. *** Local Caption ***  JB07-CBSEexams.jpg
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One school ranked 'outstanding' while 10 were ranked 'very good' in the first in-person inspection of 32 Indian and two Pakistani private schools in Dubai.

The last time in-person inspections were held was in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, 10 schools were rated 'good' and 13 'acceptable'.

Gems Modern Academy is the only Indian school to have been ranked outstanding consistently since 2011.

More than three-quarters of schools were found to have high well-being provision. It speaks of the importance that schools and parents place on giving students a well-rounded education
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of education regulator KHDA

Nargish Khambatta, principal at the school said: “It's because I think we focus on wellbeing and have been doing it for a number of years.

"I think when you take care of your people and their wellbeing, everything else falls in place."

Ms Khambatta said the school, which follows the Indian and the IB curriculum, had just received their middle years' programme authorisation from the International Baccalaureate.

“For the entire leadership team, I think what we're excited about is we've managed that change successfully,” she said.

“Now, we have started getting a lot more inquiries from international students. It's gratifying. We're not sitting on our laurels. We're constantly pushing the envelope, but doing it in a very mindful way.

"Earlier, people would leave us if they wanted the British curriculum, or they wanted an international curriculum. But, now we're getting inquiries."


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The percentage of pupils attending schools ranked 'very good' increased from 37 per cent in 2019-20 to 42 per cent this year, according to results released by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority.

Seven schools in Dubai improved their rating compared to the 2019-20 inspection cycle.

Gems Our Own Indian School and Credence High School, improved from 'good' to 'very good'.

Deepika Thapar Singh, principal at Credence High School said: "Right from the time we started the school, we have been very clear about our journey ahead and we've been systematically and consistently working towards it.

“In 2016 we had our first inspection in which we were acceptable.

"Our goals were very clear, the focus has always been on health and safety, teaching, learning, personal and social development. Because if teaching and learning are strong, then everything else will work."

She said the school had improved in 51 indicators this year.

Ms Singh said the school laid great emphasis on continuous professional development for teachers.

“The curriculum was planned with a lot of thought and care, and we focused on learning skills.

"We’ve always ensured that the learning skills of the pupils should be developed and we've continued to focus on giving the best opportunities to pupils to demonstrate their skills whether it's critical thinking or problem-solving."

Amity School, Sabari Indian School and The Indian International School in Dubai Silicon Oasis improved from 'acceptable' to 'good'; while two schools offering the Pakistani curriculum — Gulf Model School and Pakistan Educational Academy moved from 'weak' to 'acceptable'.

Fatma Belrehif, chief executive of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau said: “It’s great news that the quality of education provided by schools has continued to improve since the last full inspection cycle.

“We look forward to seeing further improvement across all Indian and Pakistani curriculum schools as they enhance the ways they collect and use well-being data; develop the quality of teaching and learning for early years and for Arabic as an additional language; and refine their self-evaluation and improvement planning processes.”

In Dubai, 85,588 pupils attend Indian schools and KHDA observed 3,042 lessons during 128 inspection days.

KHDA focused on well-being in the current inspection and more than 78 per cent of schools were rated 'high' or 'very high' in this category.

Parents will receive summary reports on well-being provisions at the school and the quality of teaching.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA said: “More than three-quarters of schools were found to have high well-being provision. [It] speaks of the importance that schools and parents place on giving students a well-rounded education that prepares them for a healthy and prosperous future.”

Indian curriculum schools improved in English language attainment, with 84 per cent of schools rated 'good' or 'better' compared to 75 per cent in 2019. They also improved their offerings for pupils with special education needs.

This year 5,254 pupils with learning difficulties attended Indian schools in Dubai, and 85 per cent of these pupils are enrolled in schools which provide a good or better quality of education, compared to 74 per cent in 2019-20.

Updated: March 10, 2023, 7:04 AM