There are so many schools in UAE that offer quality education and the best facilities along with a multifactorial curriculum. It can be very tough at first to find out where to start from when it comes to the quest for schools that are right for your child. However, if you do a little bit of research and preparation then you will not have a stressful experience necessarily.
The rank of the School
The first step is to know the rating of the school by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) or The Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC). All of these ratings are available online and Robyn Stromsoe, who is a resident of Dubai and has two kids said,
“The school had to have a good KHDA rating. This was a very important aspect of my choice. Having said that, my school of choice is only rated as good and not outstanding. However, not many schools have outstanding ratings.”
Location of the School
Obviously, one of the key factors is the location when you are looking for a home that is suitable for you. Just so you do not get stuck in traffic or have to drive for hours before getting to the location of your child’s school.
“The school had to be in close proximity to the place we lived — nothing further than 10 kilometres or having to cross major highways to get to school,”
The geographical consideration is a must, indeed. She says that parents should be asking the following. “Will I send my child on a school bus or do I want something closer? Will all your children attend the same school? Is there affordable accommodation close to the school?”
Facilities Provided to the Students
Although there isn’t a shortage of schools that are exceptional, it mainly depends on the interest of your child. Stromsoe influenced her decision by quoting as such,
“The facilities need to be modern, to be of a large enough scale to accommodate school tournaments and host various competitions. The facilities need to be well maintained with well-educated staff teaching various sports and/or extra activities. I also inspected the library to ensure that it was well stocked and had a large variety of books accommodating all ages.”
Standards of Teaching
This is the topmost priority when choosing a school for your child.
Luke Osborne, Head of Secondary School says,
“Dubai, offers a diverse and mature educational landscape, with schools catering to different aspirations,”
“The framework for assessing teaching standards in Dubai is robust, so families should afford as much importance to the personal touch — strong home-school relations underpin high-quality learning. Is it easy to talk to teachers and school leaders? Do they listen? What do parents say?”
Development of the Child
It does not matter how the campus is or how qualified the teachers are. What matters is the development of your child.
“Providing children with opportunities beyond the academic curriculum is also an important consideration for parents,” says Hilda Tabrizi, Parent Relations Executive, GEMS Dubai American Academy. “A school that encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and which provides students with leadership opportunities and extension of learning beyond the classroom walls will serve students best for success in the 21st-century world.”
Along with the requirement of a good education, a counsellor is also a must. Parents should be able to examine whether the school has an academic or educational counsellor. These two will be responsible for advising the students when the course selection will be considered and so on. The team of Hale Education Group suggests that you should be asking the advisor who is responsible whether they are helping the students in developing their academic profile and career.
Look at the previous results and then make a decision.
A mother, Kristina Hammond said,
“We chose the IB because it is widely accepted, offers to learn at a high level, and has a good variety of subjects and activities,”
“We looked at schools with high scores in recent years, which showed that students were well prepared for the final exams.”
Taking a tour of the school is also a must.
“One of the most helpful ways of understanding more about a particular school is to take a tour,”
“This way, parents are able to see first-hand the learning environment of students and really get a feel of the student experience. As parents, we all want to see our kids succeed and we are looking for a school that will nurture their strengths.”
According to Lumby’s final words,
“Ask to see the student work — look around the classroom and in the corridors at the displays. Look at the school culture — do you feel comfortable and welcome in the school building? Does the school meet your written and spoken language needs? Is it warm and inviting, is student work displayed in the corridors, is there a parent café, etc. Parents should be asking themselves if they can see their children in this school.”