UAE: KHDA ensures schools get top-grade principals

uae khda ensures schools get topgrade principals UAE: KHDA ensures schools get top grade principalsDubai, UAE: Principals of private schools in Dubai are being handpicked by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), which is particular that each selected candidate should be capable of actively enhancing the quality of education.

The KHDA is involved in the recruitment process of all principals in private schools in Dubai. Candidates for the post have to go through an interview by the KHDA after being nominated by schools.

The process aims to make sure principals understand the UAE National Agenda targets and have the capacity to achieve them.

In 2014, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, set forth the National Agenda in the form of guidelines that will help in the implementation of the UAE vision for 2021.

The National Agenda has two main objectives in relation to the UAE’s ranking in international assessments in 2021: to be among the 20 highest performing countries in Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) and to be among the 15 highest performing countries in TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study).

Dubai is currently ranked below the international average of 500. For this reason, the KHDA evaluates all prospective candidates for their knowledge of these international assessments and plans to successfully integrate the expectations in the schools’ curriculum and its delivery.

Jameela Al Muhairi, Chief of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, which is in charge of implementing KHDA inspections, said inspections have shown that in improving schools there was a good correlation between the quality of leadership and the improving overall performance of the school.

“The most successful schools in inspections had highly skilled and professionally qualified specialist staff who held senior leadership positions. They were responsible for training and developing teachers and ensuring that students received appropriate support,” she said.

The KHDA considers principals (who can also be called director, superintendent, head teacher, headmaster and CEO) the person accountable for schools’ performance and standards.

All private schools in Dubai must have a principal, whose appointment is considered legally valid only after obtaining the appointment letter from the KHDA.

Interview/evaluation process

After receiving all the needed documents from the school (CV, valid passport, copy of attested qualification, etc), the KHDA validates the hiring of the principal after the candidate goes through an evaluation process in the form of an interview.

The KHDA’s involvement in the recruitment process includes reviewing the candidate’s qualifications and experience, evaluating the candidate’s attitude towards improving the quality of education in Dubai, assessing whether the candidate can set strategic goals for the school, and evaluating the candidate’s ability to lead different phases of such a programme.

The KHDA also ensures the candidate is well aware of the recommendations set out in inspection reports and that she/he is aware of the content of the KHDA-approved academic plan for that school. Finally, the school will validate the KHDA-approved candidate’s sensitivity to Dubai’s cosmopolitan nature, Emirati culture and traditions, and the cultural diversity of the school’s student population.

Only after the school provides the needed documents of the principal and he/she undergoes and passes the evaluation process will the KHDA issue an appointment letter to the school owners.

If the candidate is not found suitable, a written feedback of the interview outcome will be communicated to the school owners within 15 working days.

The school should then present a new candidate who will fulfil KHDA requirements.

The entire recruitment process for principals is detailed in the KHDA’s ‘Principal appointment guide for private schools in Dubai 2014-15’.

© Gulf News

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