One of the more established education markets in the area, the UAE continues to be attractive to investors, service providers, and students. What is the reality on the ground, given its scope and ambition? What do historical trends tell us about the various segments of the education sector? And you might wonder if Dubai offers good education?
The UAE has advanced significantly in education despite being a relatively young nation. Only in metropolitan regions were there many official schools in the middle of the previous century. Adult illiteracy rates were 54 percent for women and 31 percent for males by the middle of the 1970s. Surprisingly, there are thousands of schools now, and rates for both genders are close to 95%.
The UAE’s Educational System
The educational system in the UAE is divided into three broad categories:
- Public schools
- Private schools
- Institutions for higher education
Although there are some excellent educational alternatives available in the Emirates at every level, quality can vary significantly.
In a 2015 list of the top global schools, UAE students were placed first among Gulf nations and 45th overall.
In general, state schools have four levels:
- Ages 3-5 Early Childhood Education
- Elementary (ages 6-10)
- Advanced level (ages 11-13)
- Secondary level (14–18 years old)
In the United Arab Emirates, secondary-level education is universal, and it’s free (in public schools) and compulsory for every Emirati child. It’s also crucial to know that gender is segregated in state schools.
The language of instruction in public schools is Arabic, and many ex-pats opt to enroll their children in private schools even though recent developments have made it possible for them to pay to attend. After schooling, students can enroll themself in the best universities in UAE for higher education.
Schooling Options In Dubai Public Schooling
For all Emirati citizens, primary and secondary education is free and requires from five to fifteen. Students receive a Secondary School Leaving Certificate or a Technical Secondary Diploma upon secondary education.
Arabic is the primary language of instruction in public schools, with English being stressed as a second language. Co-educational schools don’t exist.
English is used to teach the American, British, and International Baccalaureate curricula.
Arabic studies are required for all students who are not of Arab descent. Islamic studies are required of all Muslim and Arab students.
Quality Of Education In UAE
The UAE’s primary and higher education systems are among the top 20 in the world for quality.
According to the Global Competitiveness Index, the UAE is still the most competitive nation in the Arab World. But in 2017–18, its position fell back to where it was in 2015–16.
This mainly was caused by the relative progress of other nations, which showed the necessity of accelerating reform. The competition was emphasized as being significantly influenced by education.
PISA rankings for the UAE from 2012 to 2015 indicated an improvement in mathematics but a decline in reading and science. TIMSS data from 2011 to 2015 revealed that Dubai performed higher in mathematics and science than Abu Dhabi.
The UAE’s macroeconomic climate was classified among the top 30 globally in the 2017–18 Global Competitiveness Report, and the nation is the region’s top FDI destination.
With the education sector in the Middle East ranked second among all sectors in private equity transactions, more and more private equity firms are expanding their education portfolios in response to the current environment.
Government Institutions That Oversee Education In The UAE
A variety of organizations handle the regulation of education in the UAE. The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority are two examples of the individual regulatory bodies that operate within each Emirate.
On a federal level, the Ministry of Education (MOE) establishes admissions criteria, graduation standards, and curricula (KHDA).
As a result, there may be significant educational gaps between various emirates. Instead of the Ministry of Education, ADEK and KHDA oversee educational institutions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Despite not being directly supervised by the government, private schools across the nation adhere to the MOE’s regulations.
International Schools In UAE
There are several private international best schools In Dubai, although Abu Dhabi and Dubai have the most.
They adhere to several international school systems, such as the French, German, Indian, Irish, Canadian, and the US, and UK models.
Different institutions have different admission standards, and spots in more prestigious schools can be challenging to find.
Homeschooling In UAE
The Emirati government acknowledges the right of Emirati parents to homeschool their children. Parents must register with their Emirate’s educational department. Each semester/year, the schools provide the families with books and study materials. In contrast, the pupils must pass the exams at the end of the year or each semester.
Parents who live abroad are not subject to any laws. Some parents choose to homeschool their kids due to high tuition costs or issues with bullying. While other people like its more individualized style and the ability to combine academic studies with family free time.