Only 2% think Gulf schools are on par with world's best

Arabian Business poll results reveal widespread dismay of parents.
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 08 Sep 2008 10:51 AM

The education system in the Gulf region has a long way to go before its standards with other parts of the world, according to the results of an Arabian Business poll.

Just two percent of people who took part in our online survey believed the local system was as good as more established education industries such as the UK and US.

At the same time, Gulf-based parents believed urgent action needed to be taken to increase the number of school places available and control the soaring costs being charged by many private schools.

Our poll ran following news that parents in the UAE were facing a major struggle to get their children into the school of their choice.

Children across the region are being turned away from schools because waiting lists are too long.

As many as 10 pupils in the UAE are competing for one place at nursery and private schools, forcing parents to look beyond their nearest schools.

And tuition fees for some grades at private schools in the UAE have rocketed by up to 50 percent amid the national shortage of spaces.

School administrators say the increases have been unavoidable, and are tied to the same inflationary spiral that has driven up the cost of everything, in particular housing and food.

The situation has left Arabian Business readers far from impressed with 23 percent saying urgent measures are needed to increase the number of school places available.

Their call came on the same day that Aldar Academies announced plans to build an extra 20 schools in Abu Dhabi with a capacity to cater for 20,000 pupils.

More than 60 percent of respondents were angry about the rises in tuition fees and believed education chiefs were more interested in making money than educating children.

Another 15 percent of respondents said while they thought the UAE education had improved, more still needed to be done to raise the standards.

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Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

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