Are you moving to UAE with your family? Finalizing a school for your child is one of the biggest decisions you would have to make. As a parent, you would know the importance of finding the most suitable educational institution for your child as that makes or breaks her foundation. But there's a big choice available in the UAE when it comes to schools, and that's what can be daunting as you wouldn't know where to begin and which factors to consider in your selection. Don't fret! This step-by-step guide on how to look for a school in Dubai and the rest of the UAE will help you choose the right school for your child.
Factors that you Should Check When Selecting a School:
While looking for the best school, one of the factors is that it should have the most impressive academic results. But parents also need to know about the fee structure very clearly and then make a selection. The school should have a reasonable fee and a manageable payment structure that suits them. They should consider the one-time admission or enrollment fee, annual charges, monthly or quarterly fee, and if there are any other deposits to be made.
Check KHDA ratings
The Knowledge and Human Development Agency (KHDA) is the educational authority in Dubai which is responsible for giving comprehensive yearly ratings (ranging from Weak to Outstanding) for every school in the Emirates. These ratings typically consider everything right from facilities, leadership, student attainment, and teaching quality. The ratings are accepted as the best benchmark for the school's performance. The KHDA information includes details like school fees and everything that can be relevant for parents while selecting schools. The website you should check is khda.gov.ae.
The location of a school is another important factor while choosing a school. You should also check if the school provides a transportation facility and what is the distance your child would need to travel every day. Many parents prefer a school which is closer to their home, so the child doesn't have to spend a lot of time traveling.
UAE has an array of choices available in terms of the school curriculum; hence this is one of the most difficult decisions to make. Indian public schools follow the CBSE curriculum and are rated highly globally due to the robust syllabus and various advantages of studying this curriculum. There are many other choices available as British, IB, and US curricula, but there is no single system that could be objectively the best. So, the parents should make this decision after seeing all curricula and deciding which one suits their child's needs the most.
Book a Tour and Then Go with Your Gut
After checking the ratings, you could talk to a few locals or if you have any friends in the UAE. Even better is to visit the school by booking a school tour where they take you around the place to show you all the facilities like sports, labs, auditorium, etc. However, trusting your gut feeling is also very important. Deciding a school is your personal choice as every child is different. So, focus on meeting your child's specific needs when you finalize a school.
Though you may find many exceptional school buildings in Dubai and UAE, depending on a child's interests, you must look at what the school is offering. Check if the facilities are modern and large enough to host various competitions and tournaments. The facilities should also be well maintained along with well-educated and experienced staff taking care of sports and extracurricular activities. Also, check the library to see how well-stocked it is.
You should also see the school leadership and what's the quality of education given. It's important to do your research, check ratings, and then see what are the school's strengths and weaknesses. Don't be hesitant to request a briefing on the leadership or what's the structure of the school, their vision, and philosophy as all this will provide you with important insights.
Holistic Child Development
The most important factor is how the school is working towards providing holistic and all-round development for your child. They might have a great campus or qualified teachers, but it's also important for the school to encourage critical thinking, teamwork, and other positive qualities in children which can hone their skills and enable them to develop their leadership and other skills. Most of the good schools encourage a lot of parent interaction and involve parents in various aspects of school life and school decisions.
So, if you keep these things in mind while choosing a school in the UAE, your search won't be as daunting as you thought.