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 private educational sector. It includes pre-schools, schools, universities and vocational training institutes.
KHDA DUBAI RESOURCES
KHDA RATING SYSTEM
KHDA issues school inspection reports every year, in which the educational institutes are given a rating: Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable or Weak. The reports have detailed information about the quality of education provided by a school, helping parents to make informed decisions.
RATING OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN DUBAI
Rating of International Higher Education Institutions in Dubai is another publication by KHDA. It is intended to assist parents and students in selecting the optimal higher education option for each individual. Teaching, employability, research, programme strength, arts and culture, happiness, and well-being were some of the factors used to evaluate the universities. Instead of using the star system that was in place in past years, KHDA has now released the real score of each school.
THE SCHOOL FEES FACT SHEET
This new tool is created to provide parents in Dubai with comprehensive and trustworthy information on their children’s school expenses. It is a one-page guide that lists every charge that a school may levy throughout the academic year.
BRITISH SCHOOLS OVERSEAS INSPECTIONS
Schools in Dubai that provide the National Curriculum of England and Wales can now submit an application to take part in inspections by British Schools Abroad. Parents who send their kids to BSO-inspected schools know that the education they’re getting is on par with what they’d get in an independent school in the UK. Ask the school if they are BSO-certified if you are contemplating the British curriculum for your child.
KHDA DUBAI ENTITIES
Dubai School Inspection Bureau
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 gives the KHDA rating to each school based on these educational standards.
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. To avail of these services online, you will need to use their e-Services portal.
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.
FOR EDUCATION PROVIDERS
To assist education providers in the UAE, KHDA offers a wide range of online services that includes:
- Issuance, cancellation, renewal and amendment of educational services permit
- Advertisement approvals
- School Fees Regulation
- Staff registration and appointment
- Attestation of employment contract
- Issuance of End of Service Certificate
KHDA also offers these services to students:
- 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
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.
FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
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.
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.
Lighthouse Project and Mohammed Bin Rashid Distinguished Students Programme 2021-2022 are the previous programmes carried out till last year.
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.
KHDA LOCATION AND TIMINGS
Here is the address and information about the offive hours of the KHDA:
- KHDA Address: Block 8, Academic City, Dubai
- KHDA Timings: Monday to Thursday 07:30 am – 03:30 pm | Friday 07:30 am – 12:00 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 are also pretty effective. You can email email@example.com or use the e-feedback system on the KHDA website.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS KHDA SAFARI?
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.
How do 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?
For schools that start the academic year in September, the age limit for the new students will be:
- Pre-KG or Foundation Stage 1: 3-years-old by August 31st
- KG1 or Foundation Stage 2: 4-years-old by August 31st
- KG2 or Year 1: 5-years-old by August 31st
- Year 2 or Grade 1: 6-years-old by August 31st
For schools that start the academic year in April, the age requirement will be:
- Pre-KG: 3-years-old by March 31st
- KG1: 4-years-old by March 31st
- KG2: 5-years-old by March 31st
- Grade 1: 6-years-old by March 31st
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 as well.
For more education-related information and updates, stay tuned to MyBayut.
Cover Image Credits: KHDA