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‘Emiratis in private schools perform better’

Dubai: Emirati students who attend private schools do better than their public school counterparts, according to a report conducted by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and CfBT Education Trust. CfBT Education Trust is the Centre for British Teachers.

This comes after KHDA’s previous study, that found 56 per cent of Emirati students choose private schools over public schools due to a belief among parents that private schools provide better quality education, KHDA’s second report, released yesterday(Sunday) on Emirati private education titled “In Search of Good Education Volume 2” confirmed these beliefs.

The report found the performance of 15-year-old Emirati students in private schools was better in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2009, than their peers in public school, especially those who studied in UK curriculum schools.
PISA is an international assessment conducted every three years by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
It evaluates education systems in OECD participating countries by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, science and mathematics.
The KHDA report also found that around 77 per cent of Emirati students are enrolled in just 24 of Dubai’s 148 private schools because parents believe those schools satisfy the educational and social needs of their children.
Emirati mother of two Khawla Al Sulamaiti’s believes that private schools are better than public schools. Khawla’s daughter Fatima attends a private school while her son Essa attends a public school.
When asked to compare the two, Khawla stated “Private schools are much better, they give the child more attention and they take education much more seriously.
“When comparing my son’s education to my daughter’s I find that although my son’s education is relatively good. There is still no comparison, my daughter’s school is more organised and structured.”
Emirati mother Mona Al Muhari has also tried both private and public schools and believes that private schools are better.
“My daughters go to a public school while my son Suhail attends a private school. The private school is better in terms of communication about how my son is doing in school. His school is also better in English as it is an American curriculum and so the subjects are taught in English.
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA, said: “This research is designed to inform education policy, as well as provide educators, academics and the wider community with insight into the development of the 56 per cent of Emirati students in Dubai’s private education sector.”
The report took data from Dubai’s private schools, higher education institutions, school inspections and international assessments to shed light on Emirati parents’ school choices, the performance of schools in international assessments, the attainment and progress of Emiratis in key subjects and their transition to higher education.