No shortage of seats in Dubai schools anytime soon

no shortage of seats in dubai schools anytime soon No shortage of seats in Dubai schools anytime soonDubai, UAE: The Director of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) says there will be no shortage of seats in Dubai private schools any time soon.

He made the statement while commenting on a new KHDA report, to be launched on Sunday, which revealed that private schools in Dubai earned Dh5.35 billion in fees in 2014.

The KHDA report found that 87 per cent of the existing 292,301 available seats in Dubai private schools have already been utilised.

Despite there being only 13 per cent of seats available left, Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Director-General of the KHDA, said there will not be any shortage of seats in Dubai private schools any time soon.

“Previous reports that said there were not enough school places in Dubai to meet demand are no longer true, and will not be true again in the future. More and more schools are opening each year, meaning that there will consistently be enough school places to meet demand. By 2020 we expect there will be a total of 250 schools in Dubai, with capacity for 366,000 students,” he said.

Dr Al Karam said more schools will open this year, adding that their details will be revealed later. He also said KHDA report findings — like this one — showed that the number of new schools opening and existing schools expanding is now meeting the demands of Dubai’s growing economy.

“This means that for every student in Dubai, there is now a school place. And for every parent in Dubai, there are more choices than ever before.”

More schools are in fact opening as the report said, during the academic year 2014/15, 11 new schools opened that made space for 37,093 students and in the last three years 26 new schools opened with 11,789 enrolled students.

Growth in enrolment
The report titled ‘A place in the sun: more seats for students, more choices for parents,” found that there has been a growth in enrolment since 2013/14 by 4.7 per cent, totalling the number of schools to 169 schools, that cater to 255,208 students.

When it comes to quality, the report, which broke down the statistics of private schools and universities for 2014/15 found that schools with the rating ‘outstanding’ are the fullest, with 98.5 per cent.

Schools with a ‘good’ rating came in second with 95.3 per cent. Schools with the rating ‘acceptable’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ followed respectively with 90.9 per cent and 79.5 per cent.

Not-for-profit schools have the least available seats as 93.5 per cents of their seats already occupied, while for-profit schools are 86.2 per cent utilised.

Dr Al Karam said this shows that the new schools, which are opening are mostly for-profit, and so the demand for not-for-profit schools is not met.

Schools that follow the IB curriculum have high demand, as 93.3 per cent of their seats are already utilised, next come schools that follow the Indian (88.6 per cent), British (87.5 per cent), American (86.1 per cent) and Ministry of Education (84.2 per cent) curriculum.

Seats in the middle school phase were almost fully occupied with 91 per cent of their seats already occupied. The kindergarten (90 per cent), primary (88 per cent) and high school (85 per cent) followed.

The report also revealed that Dubai private schools earned Dh5.35 billion from annual school fees in the last academic year. This is possible as the report also revealed that 61 per cent of parents pay more than Dh10,000 in fees a year per child and in some private schools, fees can be as high as Dh98,649 per year.

The report found that there are a total of 186 different nationalities in Dubai’s private schools. The top 10 include India, the UAE, Pakistan, the UK, Egypt, the Philippines, Jordan, Syria, the USA and Iran respectively.

The majority of the 255,208 students in Dubai private schools are in the primary phase (107,528). The middle school phase has 64,347 students, KG schools have 46,726 students. The high school phase has the least number of students with 36,607 students. British schools have the highest enrolment rate (33 per cent) and the highest number of schools (65) in Dubai. Indian, American, Ministry of Education and IB curriculum schools followed respectively.

© Gulf News

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