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80 new private schools in Dubai by 2020

The number of private schools in Dubai will increase from 169 to 250 by 2020, to cope with a surge in pupil numbers from 243,000 to nearly 400,000.

Eleven new schools have opened in Dubai this year already, the highest number in one year. More schools means increased competition and therefore greater choice for parents, Dr A bdulla Al Karam, director general of Dubai’s private education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority told an education conference in the city yesterday.

“These new openings help Dubai to meet its goal of providing places for the increasing population of schoolchildren,” Dr Al Karam said. “Nearly all new schools are opening across the newer parts of Dubai, consistent with the areas of highest population growth.”

Dubai’s success in winning the right to host Expo 2020, together with the emirate’s continued ability to attract skilled professionals, many of whom have families, meant high-quality education was essential, he said.

“Schools offering high-quality teaching and learning, good value and convenient locations will attract a greater number of families, achieve their growth targets and emerge as market leaders,” said Dr Al Karam.

The KHDA says more than half the new schools that have opened since 2007, and 15 of the 21 that have opened in the past two years, are international schools with pupils from many countries.

International private schools are also the fastest-growing sector in the market, far outstripping schools with pupils from a single nationality or ethnic background, said Dr Al Karam.

The highest growth in pupil numbers in the past five years took place at 60 international schools, with an increase of 73 per cent compared with 34 per cent at other schools. Many offer English, US, French or International Baccalaureate curriculums.

KHDA welcomes these new international schools as they consistently provide a good standard of education, Dr Al Karam said. Of the 43 high-growth schools inspected by Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, 40 were rated as good or outstanding.

“As well as the quality they offer, these schools are in demand because of the opportunity they give students to mix with others from around the world,” said Dr Al Karam.

“With international schools leading the race for student enrolments in Dubai schools’ new era of competitiveness, it is clear that the improved quality of education will emerge as the winner.”

A consultants’ report last month found that more international schools were opening in Dubai than anywhere else in the world, and that they generated more than Dh9 billion a year in fees, 7 per cent of global tuition fee income.

The report found that, of the seven emirates, Dubai had the highest proportion of international pupils, with 98,000 per million population.

Read more, The National: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/education/80-new-private-schools-in-dubai-...