KHDA and its role in the Educational System of UAE
Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was established by decree in 2006 to oversee the quality and growth of private education, from early learning to vocational education and training in Dubai. Their focus is on wellbeing and happiness, and they support parents, students, educators, universities, schools, investors and government partners in order to create high quality education.
KHDA is made up of six bodies:
- Dubai School Agency (DSA) – The role of this entity is to maintain partnerships between government organizations and educational institutions in Dubai, particularly for Emirati students in private education. DSA also promotes engagement of the community with schools.
- Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) – The Inspection Bureau is in place to ensure that the quality of education standards are maintained. DSIB provides independent, comprehensive assessments of school performance and educational standards for each private school in Dubai.
- Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) – Established to increase the participation and presence of UAE nationals in major areas of the economy, particularly the private sector.
- EDAAD – A scholarship program which provides opportunities to UAE nationals who demonstrate strong academic achievements and leadership potential. The scholarship helps students pursue post graduate education in top universities worldwide. The goal is to create “highly-qualified employees to take a lead in Dubai’s knowledge-driven economy.”
- National Institute for Vocational Education (NIVE) – This body focuses on current and future needs of the market as far as talent. Their objective is to develop a highly skilled, employable workforce who will be instrumental in regional and international innovation, competitiveness, and productivity.
- Tamkeen – This is a training program that empowers and prepares visually-impaired individuals for job placement. In addition to training, they also offer support and counseling.
Commitment to Education in UAE
KHDA staff is committed to and passionate about education in UAE. They research local and international successes, and bring innovative and fresh perspectives to education in UAE. They also meet regularly to share best practices that will benefit schools and universities in Dubai. KHDA staff at is diverse, with 300 people from more than 30 nationalities, led by Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chair of the Board of Directors and Director General.
The common goal at KHDA is to create a collaborative educational environment between educators, parents and students. A parent-school contract is one of the first steps in the collaboration process. The contract ensures that the school, as well as parents know what their responsibilities are to each other and to the children. Terms and conditions are clearly stated to avoid ambiguity. These contracts are distributed at the beginning of each school year, and the student’s registration cannot be completed unless the contract has been signed.
KHDA in Dubai
Dubai has the highest population in UAE, and Sharjah has the third largest and most populous. These two cities along with Ajman form a large metropolitan area in UAE. It is estimated that by the end of 2015-2016, there will be 63,000 seats in 27 new private schools and by 2017 there will be more than 196 private schools in Dubai and Sharjah combined. A number of these schools are already ranked as outstanding. KHDA is currently reviewing more than 60 applications for the establishment of new private schools in these areas.