Dubai has an advanced education system that is extremely well-regulated to meet the needs of the growing population. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is the leading quality assurance and regulatory body of the Government of Dubai that oversees private schools in the emirate. Read on to find more about the role of this educational quality assurance authority in Dubai.
About the KHDA Dubai
Established under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai) in 2006, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) evaluates the quality of education in the city. The authority also set safety protocols for schools in Dubai. KHDA works to maintain high standards in the city’s private educational sector, including pre-schools, schools, universities and vocational training institutes.
DUBAI SCHOOL INSPECTION BUREAU (DSIB)
Established in 2007 by The Executive Council of the Government of Dubai, the Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) conducts surveys to gain comprehensive information about Dubai’s quality of private education.
It carries out school inspections, meetings with parents and students and education providers and rates each school based on these educational standards.
Inspectors at DSIB use a six-point scale to assess schools and rate them as Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Weak and Very Weak.
DUBAI SCHOOL AGENCY (DSA)
Established to review educational services in the UAE, Dubai School Agency (DSA) is another key entity of KHDA. It regulates the partnership between government organisations and private institutes and encourages new programs to offer academic support to Emirati students.
EMIRATES NATIONALS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (ENDP)
A regulatory arm of KHDA, the Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) aims to support and train UAE citizens to kickstart their careers in the private sector. It connects job seekers with potential employers, offering them viable career prospects.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (NIVE)
Established under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the National Institute for Vocational Education (NIVE) is another significant entity of KHDA. It not only encourages vocational education but also ensures students gain competencies that increase their chances of employment.
Operating under KHDA, Tamkeen was established to facilitate employment opportunities for people of determination. It offers continuous training programs, braille printing services and even counsels people with special needs.
KHDA offers a wide range of services to schools, parents and education providers in Dubai.
E-SERVICES FOR SCHOOLS
To assist education providers in the UAE, KHDA offers a wide range of online services as well that includes:
- Issuance, cancellation, renewal and amendment of educational services permit
- Advertisement approvals
- School Feels Regulation
- Staff registration and appointment
- Attestation of employment contract
- Issuance of End of Service Certificate
To avail of these services, you will need to use their e-Services portal, log in or sign up, and register your educational institute to be added to the large inventory of KHDA schools.
KHDA has an online feedback system where you can send your inquiries or file a complaint against a school or university if a particular institute has been unfair to your child in any way.
SELECTING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE
KHDA has a large directory of schools available on the website. While selecting a school for their child, parents can search for schools based on the curriculum, annual tuition fees and KHDA rating from the KHDA website.
PARENTS AND SCHOOL CONTRACT
To ensure clarity and transparency between schools and students’ families, there are contracts created when a child is enrolled in the school. KHDA stipulates the terms and conditions of the contract. Parents have to sign the contract at the beginning of each academic year. There is also a KHDA parent portal known as Happy Home, where parents can log in using their Emirates ID or UAE Pass to sign a contract.
WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT
KHDA offers a week-long experience programme for students to gain first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be a part of the workforce. Students can also download the KHDA Connect app and create their profiles there. The app doesn’t require you to upload your CV or cover letter. Instead, it will enable you to send a text, video or audio.
WHAT WORKS EVENT
What Works is an event that occurs six times each year. In these events, educational leaders from all across Dubai share their insight about a particular theme. Students can volunteer to be a part of this event.
In addition to these services, KHDA also offers more facilities to students via schools such as:
- Student registration
- Student transfer
- Issuance of Student leaving certificate
- Replacement of Educational Certificate
- Education Continuation Certificate
- Student certificate replacement
- Student Good Conduct Certificate
- Student Education Continuation
- Certificate equivalence
FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
The KHDA trains people of determination to be job-ready so that they can lead fulfilling, independent lives. For visually impaired people, KHDA’s regulatory body, Tamkeen, organises Braille training sessions as well.
FOR EMIRATI WORKFORCE
Through the Emirates Nationals Development Programme, KHDA offers employment opportunities in the private sector to Emiratis. It connects job-seekers to business owners and employers looking for prospective candidates to hire in their respective companies.
With the help of The National Institute for Vocational Education (NIVE), KHDA offers employment prospects to those who have gained vocational education in Dubai.
KHDA started an innovative project for private schools in Dubai – Lighthouse Project – to achieve the national agenda for education. Schools from across the city collaborate on this programme to share their ideas about different learning practices. The key emphasis of the project is to reinforce positive education to promote learning among students.
STUDENT WELLBEING CENSUS
To improve students’ well-being, the KHDA has also collaborated with the Government of South Australia to conduct the first Dubai Student Wellbeing Census (DSWC). KHDA invited students from Grade 1 to 9 in the census to offer their feedback. In 2018, the census involved students from Grade 10, 11 and 12. KHDA organised DSWC in 2019 as well; the results are still pending.
RAHHAL – A DUBAI 10X INITIATIVE
Rahhal is a part of the 10X programme, which stands for “traveller” in Arabic. Rahhal is a fully customisable platform that can help anyone, including businesses, become a learning provider. It functions as a conduit, channelling the community’s knowledge and skills to each student.
The program is presently offered only to full-time students enrolled in Dubai Private Schools. On KHDA’s website, you can find a list of schools participating in the Rahhal project.
MOHAMMED BIN RASHID DISTINGUISHED STUDENTS PROGRAMME
On March 20, 2017, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, launched this program as part of Dubai Plan 2021.
The goal of the MBRS Programme is to provide exceptional Emirati students with the option to attend the best private schools in Dubai that are rated as “good” or above. Visit KHDA’s website to find out the terms and conditions and documents required.
To facilitate students, teachers, parents and the school management, KHDA has also launched an app that allows you to search for private schools and universities by names, curriculums, locations or rating. Parents can even sign the Parent/School contract via the app.
The app also features KHDA publications, education news, social media feeds and KHDA ‘Happy Family Home’ that allows parents to keep track of their child’s progress from time to time. The app is available in both Arabic and English.
The KHDA Safari offers an opportunity to gain insight into the working mechanisms of KHDA. If you want to know how the authority works, sign up for KHDA Safari online. The process requires you to click through the Safari registration link and enter your credentials.
KHDA LOCATION AND TIMINGS
KHDA is located in Academic City and is open five days a week.
- KHDA Address: Block 8, Academic City, Dubai
- KHDA Timings: Mon-Wed: 07:30 am – 04:30 pm, Thu: 07:30 am – 02:30 pm
There are multiple ways to contact KHDA. You can call either on the KHDA main number: +971-4-364-0000, or their toll-free number: 800 5432.
KHDA’s complaint and inquiry system is also pretty effective. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the e-feedback system on the KHDA website.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How to get the KHDA approval for teachers?
After selecting a candidate for a teaching position, the school submits an application for the teacher’s ‘Initial Appointment’, which is required for the teacher to receive a work permit in the UAE.
After the Initial Appointment, the teacher needs to register on KHDA’s Educator Permit System. A relevant degree, language proficiency, a valid UAE residence visa and a UAE police clearance certificate are amongst the documentation required for the permit.
What are the options for homeschooling in Dubai?
Parents interested in alternative schooling can participate in KHDA’s Rahhal programme. Students need to be enrolled full-time in a Dubai private school to be eligible.
The other option is the Ministry of Education’s homeschooling programme eligible for public school students from grade 7 to 12. Students are not required to attend regular lessons and the books are provided by the education zone of their emirate of residence. The students obtain their certificate by taking the ministry’s exams at the end of the course.
What is the age criteria for schools in Dubai?
KHDA has announced a new ruling for age requirements. Schools that start the academic year in September 2021, the age limit for the new students will be:
- Pre-KG or Foundation Stage 1: 3 years old by Aug 31
- KG1 or Foundation Stage 2: 4 years old by Aug 31
- KG2 or Year 1: 5 years old by Aug 31
- Year 2 or Grade 1: 6 years old by Aug 31
For schools that start the academic year in April 2022, the age requirement will be:
- Pre-KG: 3 years old by March 31
- KG1: 4 years old by March 31
- KG2: 5 years old by March 31
- Grade 1: 6 years old by March 31
And that’s all we have for you on the KHDA, the authoritative body that oversees the management and educational practices of all these top schools in Dubai. While many of these are British curriculum schools, some also follow other popular curricula, including the CBSE and IB programmes in Dubai. If you are looking for pocket-friendly options, luckily, there are many affordable schools in Dubai.
For more education-related information and updates, stay tuned to MyBayut.
(Cover Image Credits: KHDA)