Abu Dhabi to inspect all schools to assess quality

Move follows inspections in Dubai that unearthed poor quality teaching and physical abuse.
Abu Dhabi to inspect all schools to assess quality
By Joanna Hartley
Sat 23 May 2009 02:29 PM

School inspections of all educational organisations in Abu Dhabi are to take place this year in a bid to improve standards, it was reported on Saturday.The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has said that it plans to follow Dubai’s lead in conducting inspections of all schools and will shut any that fail to make improvements to meet set standards within a three year time frame.

Team of inspectors will scrutinize administrators, teachers and the curriculum against a set of criteria and graded along nine levels from “poor” to “outstanding”, according to a report in UAE daily The National.

Full inspections will begin in September, each school will be assessed over a period of four days and the results will be published.

The plan is to conduct inspections every two years, though struggling schools will be inspected more frequently. results will be made public.

“We are serious about standards in all schools for all kids. We do care about the businesses, but unless they are taking students as a priority, we have to take action,” said Mugheer Al Khaili, director general of Adec, which oversees state and private schools in the capital.

Last week Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority published its first ever report into the quality and safety of 189 schools in the emirate.

Overall 22 schools were rated “unsatisfactory”, 97 that are just “acceptable”, 66 “good”, and four were scored in the “outstanding” category, according to inspectors who visited the schools between October 2008 and April 2009.

Paul Coackley, principal at the British School, Al Khubairat, in Abu Dhabi, welcomed the emirate's move.

“I think it is important and I think certainly coming from the UK, parents are very used to inspections and expect to have them,” he said.

“There are downsides to it; I don’t think it’s perfect, but it is a process that you have to accept and should be encouraged,” he said.

Adnec’s plan will see inspections conducted every two years, although struggling schools will be inspected more frequently.

Schools will be given 10 to 30 days’ advance notice of inspection visits. They will be required to complete self-evaluation forms and provide inspectors with examination results and other relevant information to aid in the assessment.

Full reports will be available to the public on Adnec’s website.

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