Forty-seven poorly performing private schools in the northern emirates have been prevented from accepting Emirati pupils after receiving 'weak' or 'very weak' evaluations.
A list of these schools has been sent to Emirati parents who may be affected.
“We have informed parents that they can’t admit their children to these schools," said Rabaa Al Sumaiti, assistant under-secretary for quality and development at the Ministry of Education.
"In the very weak category there are only two schools that have Emirati pupils, which make up less than 1 per cent of attendees. All Emirati pupils will have to leave these schools."
Weak schools are not allowed to accept new Emirati pupils, but existing pupils will not have to leave.
“This is not new. This has been in place since 2016, when there was a ministerial decree from the Cabinet saying private schools across the UAE that are evaluated as weak or very weak are not allowed to admit Emirati pupils,” said Dr Al Sumaiti.
In July 2016, the Ministry of Education introduced a resolution that prohibits UAE nationals from registering or funding private schools with low rankings.
Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, went on local radio to reassure the schools that did not perform well that they will receive the support they need to improve.
"We want Sharjah school owners and parents to rest assured that they will be dealing with me and not the Ministry [of Education] on this matter, and that they need not be upset because things will be all right if God wills it.“
He mentioned that work is under way to form a committee of international experts to reform Sharjah's private schools.
Each school will also receive a report with recommendations on its strengths and weaknesses.
“These will provide information on what they can do to improve. We met with all the schools before the evaluation and told them what to prepare for,” said Ms Al Sumaiti.