Worst schools still failing, inspectors say

Little progress has been made by most of Dubai's worst schools, according to a report released yesterday.

DUBAI // Little progress has been made by most of Dubai's worst schools, according to a report released yesterday. In the last round of visits by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, 25 schools were judged to be "unsatisfactory". That put them on a three-monthly inspection cycle, as opposed to once a year for most schools. Just four of the 25 were yesterday deemed to have improved enough to move back to a regular inspection cycle. They were the Apple International School, Al Hudaibiah Primary School, Al Khulafaa Al Rashideen School and Al Maktoum School.

Of the 25 schools, eight are public, five offer the British curriculum, three are American, two are Pakistani, three are Indian, and one offers the Filipino curriculum. The follow-through reports, posted yesterday on the regulator's website, reveal a number of troubling trends. The Mohammad Noor Boys School, a boys' public middle school, was instructed a year ago to "immediately" stop using force on pupils. A year later, corporal punishment is still used.

"The school did not provide acceptable quality in many important aspects," the report reads. "The recommendation to cease all forms of physical abuse had still not been met more than one year later. Boys at the school still did not enjoy a safe environment in classrooms or on buses. "The teaching in one-third of the lessons observed during this inspection was judged as unsatisfactory." The Grammar School, a private British curriculum school that was also criticised for its use of corporal punishment, has stopped the practice.

In spite of the bureau's recommendations, the Pakistan Education Academy has not cleaned up its bathrooms. "The school had taken some practical measures to raise the levels of health and safety," the report reads. "However, these have not had a significant impact. "In the science laboratories chemicals were not stored appropriately. "The school canteen continued to serve unhealthy food and some parts of the school grounds and toilets were poorly maintained and unhygienic."