Education is a crucial building block of child development. Because of this, parents must thoroughly consider which institution to entrust their children with.
Before deciding, you need to consider several things to make an informed choice that will benefit your child. Of course, this may be easier said than done, especially if you just moved into a new neighbourhood.
Every country has its own policies on education. For the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this involves compulsory primary and secondary education and a total of 15 different curricula, including those from the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), and other countries.
Need help looking for a new private school for your child in the Emirates? Here are five crucial factors you need to consider before enrolling your kids:
1. Education Program
First, you need to check the overall education program offered in the school you’re considering for your child. This should cover everything within the academic profile of the school, namely:
- Their educational philosophy
- The curricular standards
- The curricular program scope and sequence
- The strategies employed during instruction and assessment
- Readiness for college success
- The technology used in student learning
You must also determine whether the school requires teachers to learn and earn certifications continuously. The educators must also have the opportunity to collaborate and share their best practices with others in the field periodically.
Aside from that, you also need to consider the type of curriculum they follow. This will set the standard for your child’s education and ensure that the strategic intent and purpose are achieved through consistent and non-redundant units, classes, and lessons.
For example, the British curriculum followed in institutions like this Dubai Hills school entails a carefully balanced set of subjects that include the following:
- Design and Technology
- Art and Design
- Physical Education
- Ancient and Modern Foreign Languages
By studying in a school with this type of curriculum, your child can have a more robust education that will allow him to learn a second language as a primary student or have a solid background in technology, music, or art.
The key is to consider your child’s propensity as early as possible.
Plus, your student will gain a certification widely recognised in colleges and universities in the UAE and beyond.
2. Student Development
Student development covers all curricular and extracurricular activities outside the academic aspect of the school program.
For this, you need to check the available activities offered to students (e.g., athletic opportunities and art or music programs) and see whether they align with your child’s interests.
It also helps if you get more details about the philosophies behind these activities and how much time they require versus the academics. This way, you can ensure that your child can achieve a healthy balance of fun and learning during his school years.
3. School Culture
When you look for work, you always consider the company culture to see whether you’ll fit into the company perfectly. You can also do the same when choosing a private school for your child.
The school culture covers aspects of the environment that direct, support, or prevent learning and development. Like a curriculum, it affects what a student can accomplish.
As much as possible, interview the academic head, principal, or school administrator to assess whether the institution is a good fit for your child. Take this opportunity to get a good grasp of what school life will be like there.
Below are questions you can ask them to check whether a school has the right culture for your child:
- What are the school’s values that support student growth?
- What are the safety and security measures in place to ensure the students’ physical, emotional, and social well-being?
- Does the school allow student involvement in the community?
- How committed are the school’s faculty and staff to the education of its students?
After the interview, you can also request that they give you a quick tour of the premises. While this may not always be possible during school days, it should give you a first-hand feel of the environment.
4. Reviews and Feedback
To get a complete picture, you must also look into the reviews and feedback of parents and students with past experience with the school. This will be a source of unfiltered information you may not always receive from the school staff.
Check online for any testimonies and comments from students and their parents.
You can also speak with your neighbours and acquaintances about the schools you’re eyeing. They may even give you helpful information regarding tuition, transportation, and other things that can affect your child’s day-to-day routine should he enrol in a particular institution.
5. Tuition and Other Fees
Money is secondary to quality education, but it’s still essential in the school selection process.
When comparing private school tuition, ensure you don’t set a fixed standard. Instead, open your mind to what your child can gain if you pay for the amount charged by the school.
In most cases, comparing several schools with each other is like comparing apples with oranges. This is because each institution is unique. Even those that follow the same curriculum may have different sources of revenue and expenses.
Although most parents don’t concern themselves with how schools calculate tuition fees, it’s actually a critical part of the decision-making process.
So why do GEMS World Academy tuition fees differ from others? Below are the factors that they consider:
- Total expenses less the income generated from endowments, investments, and gifts
- The school’s student capacity (i.e., the maximum number of students the school’s physical space can accommodate)
Think of it like this: The tuition fee for an exclusive school with state-of-the-art facilities is higher because you’re paying for the quality of the learning experience your child is getting.
If you’re on a budget but still want to give your child the best education available, you can try the following tips:
- Scholarships and grants
- Multiple child discounts
- Flexible payment plans
- Financial assistance
Trust Your Instincts
After going through all the factors listed here, the last thing you need to do is to decide whether to trust a school with your child’s future. The decision can be a bit difficult, but if you trust your instincts as a parent, you can have a better chance of making the right choice.