The total annual tuition fees collected by all 148 private schools in Dubai this academic year is close to Dh 3.52 billion, with the average tuition fee paid by a pupil being Dh17,172 per year.
This comes as Dubai’s private school population, for the first time ever, has crossed 207,118 this academic year, double the number of pupils in private schools a decade ago, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said in a report released on Tuesday.
According to the report, tuition fees vary greatly in private schools ranging from six tuition-free schools, to very low-fee schools that charge Dh1,800 per year to the most expensive school charging an annual fee of Dh92,000 per year for a Grade 12 student.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of the pupils pay less than Dh10,000 per year in tuition fees, while about 15 per cent pay more than Dh35,000. The total revenue of schools has increased by 12 per cent from last year due to the jump in enrolment and an average 4.5 per cent increase in tuition fees.Titled Private Schools Landscape in Dubai 2011-2012, the report provides a snapshot of the sector, complete with statistics and historical trends, in order to equip policy makers, schools, researchers, investors, and parents with data to encourage continued private investment in the sector and improvements in the quality of education.
“In this academic year alone, schools registered a 7.1 per cent growth in enrolment compared to 2010-2011,” Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA said.Likewise, the number of Emirati students has also undergone significant growth, with more than half of Emirati students in Dubai attending private schools, making up 14.4 per cent (29,752) of the student population, he said.
The reasons for higher enrolment, the report says, include growth of the existing resident population and the influx of families (by which the city’s population surpassed the two million mark), students in other emirates attending Dubai schools (14 per cent), and an increased proportion of Emirati students choosing private education.
“The availability of high quality education has been instrumental in helping Dubai achieve its strategic goals,” Al Karam noted.
Strong growth of student enrolments, together with a consistent preference for
private schools amongst Emirati parents, are encouraging signs of the quality of Dubai’s private schools, according to the report.
There are more male than female students in private schools; 52.4 per cent of all student enrolments are boys.
With 88 per cent of its students enrolled in private schools, Dubai’s private school system is unique, the report says.
Of the 13 different curricula offered, the number of
students at UK curriculum schools is the highest with 65,093 students (31.4 per cent) at 54 schools, followed by Indian curriculum schools with 61,498 students (30 per cent) in 23 schools.
The private education sector employs 13,180 teachers, a figure set to grow in line with the increase in student numbers, Al Karam said.
The number of teachers too increased 7.6 per cent compared to last year, in line with the student enrolment growth of 7.1 per cent. Similar to last year, 80 per cent of teachers are female. Also, there are only very few female Emirati teachers in private schools and no male Emirati teachers.
The average student to teacher ratio is 16:1, which varies across the different curricula.
The average number of students in a class in Dubai’s private schools is 25, with more number of students per class in lower grades than higher grades.