- Government-Supported Homeschooling in Dubai
- Private Homeschooling in Dubai
- Home Study Programs in Dubai
- Advantages of Homeschooling
Homeschooling, as a concept, has been embraced by a large number of parents across the world. As more and more people get on board, homeschooling in Dubai is slowly gaining attention as a viable option for parents with school-going children. Best practices are being developed in this regard, and the homeschooling process is also becoming simpler.
If you have been considering homeschooling in Dubai for your children, read on to learn more about the process involved, the advantages of Dubai homeschooling and more.
HOMESCHOOLING OPTIONS IN DUBAI
Homeschooling in Dubai can be divided into two subcategories.
GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED HOMESCHOOLING IN DUBAI
The government-supported homeschooling programme is for students from grades Seven to Twelve. This special programme is for children who have missed their early years of education.
No official classes are held as part of the government-run homeschooling programmes in Dubai. Instead, the educational zones in the respective emirate provide students with books and other learning materials. Moreover, the students also get support from supervisors appointed by the zones.
At the end of the semester, an exam is held by the Assessment and Examinations Department and the Continuous Learning Department in the Ministry of Education.
Graduation via this programme equals graduation from any regular public school. Education continuation certificates are issued at the end of the programme.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR THE HOME-SCHOOLING STREAM
To apply for the home-schooling stream, you must submit the following:
- A passing certificate for the last academic year. The certificates outside the country must be attested by the Ministry of Education in the UAE and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs your country of origin.
- A copy of a student’s passport, family book (for UAE nationals), residence visa (for expatriates) and Emirates ID
- 1 photo
- A certificate of equivalency (for certificates issued outside the Dubai/UAE)
- Proof of payment of registration fees
PRIVATE HOMESCHOOLING IN DUBAI
There was a time when homeschooling was an exception. Some parents never considered it as good as regular schooling. However, with greater awareness, this perception is changing. So, if you were thinking about this route for your child, read on.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING A DECISION
For every parent, the welfare and development of the child are of paramount importance. Hence, it is vital to recognise the potential merits and challenges of homeschooling.
If you opt for homeschooling, you will have to devote a lot of time to overseeing your children’s education. It is not a part-time job. You must be ready and committed to investing energy and time into learning. Hence, the first question is, do you and your spouse have that time?
If the answer is affirmative, then the second thing to consider is what curriculum you will follow. There are several options to choose from.
For example, you could opt for IGCSE, and your child must register with the British Council as a private candidate. Similarly, for GED (American curriculum), you can also appear as a private candidate.
Registration for a private candidate is straightforward and processes are outlined on the official websites of examination boards. The curriculum choice is pivotal as it will shape your child’s educational journey.
Another consideration is getting your child enrolled at a tuition centre in Dubai or acquiring the services of a homeschool teacher in Dubai. However, even a homeschool teacher in Dubai is not a substitute for a school. The vast majority of work would be done under your supervision at home.
HOME STUDY PROGRAMS IN DUBAI
Another popular option is to take support from international distance education institutes. Many well-known portals design a customised curriculum for individual students, along with learning and support programmes for homeschooling. Many of them are accredited programmes from various global educational bodies. You have a wide range to select from. Some popular ones include:
- iCademy Middle East
- Khan Academy
- Bridgeway Academy
- Enlightium Christian Academy
Parents can contact these institutes and request them to tailor their manuals according to the needs of their children. The challenge, however, is for parents to ensure they follow all the guidelines related to the curriculum.
CHILD WILL MISS THE SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND DISCIPLINE OF A FORMAL SCHOOL
These are the primary concerns of most parents. It is about creating a fulfiling environment at home and beyond to remedy gaps created by the lack of social opportunities. For example, you can replace school-based interaction with extended family members, including children. Moreover, some parents look towards religious and social circles to fill the gap.
Similarly, sports clubs are also a great place to ensure that your child gets the right kind of experience and develops healthy attitudes towards competition.
Another key factor is how strictly a parent follows a schedule. Homeschooling doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t follow a fixed schedule.
Waking up in the morning, having breakfast, scheduled classes, play breaks and well-defined lunch intervals help to create a sense of discipline in a student. Moreover, with a class-like format, students learn to finish their work in a given time frame. Parents have to replicate that kind of model at home.
Another option is to become a member of the Dubai and Northern Emirates Homeschool Association. This will give you invaluable insight into how other parents work in this regard. You can share experiences and improve each other. Moreover, the association organises group tours and other events to give the children a school-like atmosphere.
ADVANTAGES OF HOMESCHOOLING IN DUBAI
Homeschooling is an option taken by parents for multiple reasons.
Another aspect is flexibility. Sometimes children can struggle with the demands of a regular school. Hence, parents can design a timetable for their children. It could be divided into seven days a week. Alternatively, they can have more breaks during the day and extend the number of hours. Again, the idea is to make the timetable suit the child’s needs.
Another advantage is the amount of time you spend travelling to and from school can be invested in positive interactions. Rather than getting your child ready every morning for school, you can spend it having a nice and calm breakfast.
INTEREST AND ENGAGEMENT
Similarly, students sometimes have problems developing a consistent interest in a homogeneous curriculum. Homeschooling allows them to get used to the educational process. Parents can understand their children best. Hence, it will enable them to use tools and strategies to keep them engaged.
Last, but perhaps one of the most significant aspects is cost saving. With the hike in school fees, parents are often forced to turn to more affordable means of education. They feel that money could be spent elsewhere to create a more enriching environment for the child. Along with the school fee, other auxiliary expenses are also reduced.
LONG TERM ILLNESS
Some parents opt for homeschooling if their child is facing a long-term illness. It can allow them to potential causes of infection and reduce stress before they can go back to regular schooling.
Is expat homeschooling in Dubai an option?
Yes, as per the UAE Ministry of Education, homeschooling applies to expats and nationals from Grade 7 to Grade 12.
Is homeschooling legal in the UAE?
Yes, the UAE Ministry supports the home-schooling system. If the student has completed his home-school education, his qualifications will be considered equivalent to graduation from any government school in the UAE.
Will there be any issues due to homeschooling when it comes to gaining admission to higher educational institutes?
No. Homeschooling is recognised by the KHDA – Knowledge and Human Development Authority. So generally, your child should not face any issues. Private candidates appearing in school-leaving exams is fairly normal in other parts of the world too.
Following accredited programmes makes it even simpler for students to re-enter the formal educational setup. Sometimes individual universities require the candidate to submit SAT scores.
Before setting out on this journey with your child, consider the various factors. It’s a personal decision you would need to make as a family.
An alternative approach to homeschooling is a boarding school. There are quality boarding schools in Dubai. Similarly, Dubai residents are blessed with schools that offer a variety of teaching methods and curriculums.