The Schools Report UAE: What’s new in education this week?
THE SCHOOLS REPORT UAE:
KHDA: ALMOST HALF OF DUBAI PARENTS WANT ‘ALTERNATIVE’ SCHOOLING FOR THEIR CHILD
Almost half of the parents surveyed by the KHDA, Dubai’s school regulator, said that they are interested in exploring an alternative to traditional schooling for their child. The majority of the parents asked (44%) indicated that they would like to look into something other than traditional schooling, while 39% said they weren’t sure, and only 17% said they had no interest in an alternative to traditional schooling. This was just one of the findings in a new report released on 13 October by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). See the full story.
10 NEW UAE TEACHER SCAMS REVEALED
There are at least 10 new scams aimed at would-be teachers in the UAE, according to a report by our sister site Which School Advisor. The scammers create websites for fake schools that claim to be in the UAE, and invite candidates to apply for teaching roles at these purported schools. The alleged jobs and package on offer tend to be very attractive, and the scammers then make their money by asking ‘successful candidates’ to transfer funds to a ‘travel agency’ in order for employment and family visas to be processed. To find out the names of the ten fake schools in the latest scams and for tips on how not to fall victim to one, read the full article.
UK UNIVERSITY APPLICANTS FACE TOUGHEST COMPETITION FOR A DECADE
Students applying to study at UK universities are up against even more stiff competition than normal this year, after deferrals and grade inflation in 2021 mean fewer offers and tighter criteria for this year’s sixth-formers. Most decisions about whether to offer a place will be made on students’ performance at interviews, or in extra entrance exams, predict experts. The situation is particularly challenging for those wanting to study courses such as medicine. Applications for medical school reportedly rose by 20% last year, with one university admissions expert speculating: “They say when there is a war everyone wants to be a soldier. Well, when there is a pandemic everyone wants to be a doctor.” Read more.
DIRTY AIRCON BLAMED AS UAE STUDY FINDS ONE IN 10 CHILDREN HAS ASTHMA
One in ten children suffers from asthma, according to a study led by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, but schools can help in screening for the life-threatening condition. Asthma is the leading chronic childhood disease, with around 5.1 million children under 18 diagnosed with the condition worldwide. The main causes are spores from air conditioning fungus, dust mites in soft furnishings, pollen, high humidity, perfumes and air pollution. Temperature changes from warm to cool air, dust and sandstorms are all also contributing factors towards asthma attacks, Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, a pulmonologist at Medeor Hospital in Dubai, told The National. But screening within school populations can help with early diagnoses and effective treatments, he said. See the full report.
VIOLENT TIKTOK CRAZE ENCOURAGES KIDS TO ‘SMACK A SCHOOL TEACHER’ IN US
An antisocial trend on social media site Tiktok, called the “devious licks” challenge, has been encouraging students in the US to steal and vandalize school property. Teens across the country have been arrested as a result, reports USA Today. The latest challenge is reportedly to “smack a staff member.” Challenges for subsequent months range from “mess up school signs” and “flip off the front office” to “kiss your friend’s girlfriend at school” and “jab a breast.” Read the full story.
NEW UAE EXAM TO HELP STUDENTS WITH LOW GRADES JOIN UNIVERSITY
UAE public school students who miss out on places at university or other higher education institutions due to low grades can get a second chance without having to repeat a year of high school, thanks to a newly introduced exam. Students are now able to take the Emirates Standardised Test (EmSAT) in specific subjects relevant to their desired higher-education course – including maths, Arabic and English – in order to improve their scores enough to join university, according to the Commission for Academic Accreditation at the Ministry of Education (MoE). Students have the right to take the EmSAT test more than once to achieve the required grades, without the need to repeat high school. Read more.
FEMALE CAMBRIDGE STUDENTS TO BE WARNED: YOU RISK CHILDLESSNESS
Women at one of Cambridge University’s last single-sex colleges are to be taught that if they want a family, they should plan to start one by their mid-thirties or risk ending up childless. Asking a woman about plans to have children has become “almost forbidden”, said Dorothy Byrne, 69, the new president of Murray Edwards College Cambridge and a former head of news at the UK’s Channel 4. “We have swung too far one way.” The fertility seminars, which include teaching about childcare, have been brought in by Byrne as a way of “fully empowering” women. “We are teaching about consent, we are teaching about harassment but we are not teaching them the facts about their own fertility. It is a woman’s right to choose to have a baby.” See the full story.
NEW TEACHER-FREE SCHOOL OPENS IN ABU DHABI
A futuristic new coding school that offers tuition-free, peer-to-peer learning – 42 Abu Dhabi – has now opened in the UAE’s capital city. 42 Abu Dhabi is the first GCC campus of the internationally renowned 42 Network of coding schools, which launched its inaugural campus in Paris in 2013. The tuition-free model is rooted in a peer-to-peer learning methodology that creates flexible learning pathways via a project-based, gamified approach. Open 24 hours a day, and offering its programmes free of charge, the school aims to cultivate creativity, collaboration and self-discipline by giving students ownership of their learning without classrooms or teachers. Read more.
COVID-19 TEACHES FRESH LESSONS ABOUT LICE FOR PARENTS AND SCHOOLS
The treatment, and perception, of head lice may be changing as students return to classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Long the bane of parents and school health providers, head lice has typically been viewed as an undesirable, itchy insect that spreads like wildfire within schools.
DUBAI SCHOOLS ARE NEARLY BACK TO PRE-COVID NORMAL, SAY TEACHERS
It feels like ‘near-normal’ school again say UAE teachers, following the return of 100% of students to face-to-face school at the beginning of this month.
The pandemic-related distance-learning provision was largely discontinued for Dubai schools on October 3, apart from in exceptional circumstances. “The return of all students gives an optimistic outlook and allows everyone to benefit from what we know is crucial face- to-face learning with peers and the advantages that this brings to one’s well being and socio-emotional state,” Simon Herbert, CEO and head of school at GEMS International School, told The Khaleej Times. See what other teachers had to say.
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