Dubai Tops TIMSS target; Indian Schools Lead

The UAE is still falling short in TIMSS benchmarks, but Dubai private schools are shining a light for the emirates, with Indian curriculum schools, followed by UK schools, in Dubai leading the way.
Dubai Tops TIMSS target; Indian Schools Lead
By David Westley
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The latest TIMSS results for Science and Maths at Grade 4 and 8 show strong improvement for the United Arab Emirates, but only for the specific subset of private schools in the emirate of Dubai is the country a world leader. Elsewhere, scores fall below the dividing '500' line that demarcates above and below average performance.

The UAE as a whole scored 481 points for Grade 4 Maths, placing it in 43rd position out of 59, well below the 500 centre point. Dubai's private schools, however, scored 544 points, placing the emirate in the equivalent of 10th place overall, just behind Northern Ireland, and ahead of Latvia. Abu Dhabi schools, conversely, with a score of 441, would fall into 52nd place, equal with Chile. Singapore schools topped the list with a score of 625, and Hong Kong schools followed (602). Russia came 6th, Northern Ireland 7th and England 8th.

In Dubai UK schools fared the best with an average of 565 points, followed by Indian schools (562) and then IB schools (554). Only MoE schools fall below the 500 centre point for Grade 4 Maths, with a 495 average.

For Grade 4 Science again the UAE fell well below the centre point of 500, with a score of 473. Dubai's private schools however, fared very well with a score of 545, above Nordic powerhouse Latvia, and the likes of the USA (539, 9th) and England (537, 12th), taking the equivalent of 7th place. Abu Dhabi schools scored 418, placing them in the equivalent position of 53rd, just ahead of Kosovo. Singapore again topped the list, while the Republic of Korea came second. Nordic countries Finland, Latvia and Norway held positions 6th, 7th and 8th respectively.

In Dubai, Indian schools scored the highest at Grade 4 Science, with 568 points, followed by UK schools (564) and then IB schools (548). All curricula scored at or above the 500 centre point.

For Grade 8 science the UAE scored 473, placing it 26th overall (out of 40). Dubai's private schools again scored above the centre point with 548, putting them in the equivalent of a heady 5th position. Abu Dhabi schools scored 420, placing them in the equivalent of 36th. Singapore again topped the list (608 points), Taipei came second, and Japan third. The United States came 11th (522), while England came a disappointing (for it) 14th (517).

In the UAE, at Grade 8, Indian schools again scored the highest, with an almost world-beating 598 points, followed by UK schools (579) and then IB schools (560). All curricula scored at or above the 500 centre point.

Finally in Grade 8 maths, the UAE came 27th (out of 40) with a score of 473, but Dubai came the equivalent of 6th with 545. Abu Dhabi schools scored 418, that would place them in 35th, just ahead of Egypt, but behind Jordan. Singapore again headed the table with 616 points and Asian countries in general dominated: Taipei, Republic of Korea, Japan and Hong Kong taking positions 2 to 5.

In the UAE, Indian schools took over from UK schools in the top position for maths, with 588 points, followed by UK schools (566) and then IB (557). MoE schools again fell below the 500 centre point for maths.

TIMSS is an international science and mathematics test taken by Grades 4 and 8 students in 72 countries and regions across the world.

To meet UAE National Agenda targets, Dubai had to place in the top 15 TIMSS countries, a goal it says it has now exceeded.

2019 was the 4th time that the emirate has taken part, with 7265 Grade 4 students from 199 schools, and 5728 Grade 8 students from 163 schools participating. There are 210 private schools in total in the emirate.

Dubai's schools have now improved with every round of TIMSS in maths, while in science, the emirate had only one dip, for Grade 8 science in 2011. Probably the biggest improvement has been made in Grade 4 science, which has jumped from 452 points in 2007, well below the 500 centre point, to 550 today, a score well above the average. Over three-quarters of Dubai students now score above 500.

Interestingly there IS a correlation between the KHDA rating and performance. For Gr 4 Maths, for example Outstanding schools score 596, while Weak schools score 516. It is a similar story for science, and for maths at Grade 8.

The KHDA infographic



The full tables

Grade 4 Maths Average Scale Score  (Standard Error) Above / Below the average
Singapore 625 -3.9 up
Hong Kong SAR 602 -3.3 up
Korea, Rep. of 600 -2.2 up
Chinese Taipei 599 -1.9 up
Japan 593 -1.8 up
Russian Federation 567 -3.3 up
Northern Ireland 566 -2.7 up
England 556 -3 up
Ireland 548 -2.5 up
Latvia 546 -2.6 up
Norway (5) 543 -2.2 up
Lithuania 542 -2.8 up
Austria 539 -2 up
Netherlands 538 -2.2 up
United States 535 -2.5 up
Czech Republic 533 -2.5 up
Belgium (Flemish) 532 -1.9 up
Cyprus 532 -2.9 up
Finland 532 -2.3 up
Portugal 525 -2.6 up
Denmark 525 -1.9 up
Hungary 523 -2.6 up
Turkey (5) 523 -4.4 up
Sweden 521 -2.8 up
Germany 521 -2.3 up
Poland 520 -2.7 up
Australia 516 -2.8 up
Azerbaijan 515 -2.7 up
Bulgaria 515 -4.3 up
Italy 515 -2.4 up
Kazakhstan 512 -2.5 up
Canada 512 -1.9 up
Slovak Republic 510 -3.5 up
Croatia 509 -2.2 up
Malta 509 -1.4 up
Serbia 508 -3.2 up
Spain 502 -2.1  
TIMSS Scale Centerpoint 500    
Armenia 498 -2.5  
Albania 494 -3.4  
New Zealand 487 -2.6 below
France 485 -3 below
Georgia 482 -3.7 below
United Arab Emirates 481 -1.7 below
Bahrain 480 -2.6 below
North Macedonia 472 -5.3 below
Montenegro 453 -2 below
Bosnia and Herzegovina 452 -2.4 below
Qatar 449 -3.4 below
Kosovo 444 -3 below
Iran, Islamic Rep. of 443 -3.9 below
Chile 441 -2.7 below
Oman 431 -3.7 below
Saudi Arabia 398 -3.6 below
Morocco 383 -4.3 below
Kuwait 383 -4.7 below
South Africa (5) 374 -3.6 below
Pakistan 328 -12 below
Philippines 297 -6.4 below
       
Benchmark cities      
Moscow City, Russian Fed. 593 -2.2 up
Dubai, UAE 544 -1.6 up
Quebec, Canada 532 -2.3 above
Madrid, Spain 518 -2.2 above
Ontario, Canada 512 -3.3 above
Abu Dhabi, UAE 441 -2.2 below
       
Grade 4 Science      
Singapore 595 -3.4 above
Korea, Rep. of 588 -2.1 above
Russian Federation 567 -3 above
Japan 562 -1.8 above
Chinese Taipei 558 -1.8 above
Finland 555 -2.6 above
Latvia 542 -2.4 above
Norway (5) 539 -2.2 above
United States 539 -2.7 above
Lithuania 538 -2.5 above
Sweden 537 -3.3 above
England 537 -2.7 above
Czech Republic 534 -2.6 above
Australia 533 -2.4 above
Hong Kong SAR 531 -3.3 above
Poland 531 -2.6 above
Hungary 529 -2.7 above
Ireland 528 -3.2 above
Turkey (5) 526 -4.2 above
Croatia 524 -2.2 above
Canada 523 -1.9 above
Denmark 522 -2.4 above
Austria 522 -2.6 above
Bulgaria 521 -4.9 above
Slovak Republic 521 -3.7 above
Northern Ireland 518 -2.3 above
Netherlands 518 -2.9 above
Germany 518 -2.2 above
Serbia 517 -3.5 above
Cyprus 511 -3 above
Spain 511 -2 above
Italy 510 -3 above
Portugal 504 -2.6  
New Zealand 503 -2.3  
Belgium (Flemish) 501 -2.1  
TIMSS Scale Centerpoint 500    
Malta 496 -1.3 below
Kazakhstan 494 -3.1  
Bahrain 493 -3.4 below
Albania 489 -3.5 below
France 488 -3 below
United Arab Emirates 473 -2.1 below
Chile 469 -2.6 below
Armenia 466 -3.4 below
Bosnia and Herzegovina 459 -2.9 below
Georgia 454 -3.9 below
Montenegro 453 -2.5 below
Qatar 449 -3.9 below
Iran, Islamic Rep. of 441 -4.1 below
Oman 435 -4.1 below
Azerbaijan 427 -3.3 below
North Macedonia 426 -6.2 below
Kosovo 413 -3.7 below
Saudi Arabia 402 -4.1 below
Kuwait 392 -6.1 below
Morocco 374 -5.8 below
South Africa (5) 324 -4.9 below
Pakistan 290 -13.4 below
Philippines 249 -7.5 below
       
Benchmark cities      
Moscow City, Russian Fed. 595 -2.2 above
Dubai, UAE 545 -1.7 above
Ontario, Canada 524 -3.2 above
Madrid, Spain 523 -2 above
Quebec, Canada 522 -2.5 above
Abu Dhabi, UAE 418 -2.8 below
       
Grade 8 Maths      
Singapore 616 -4 above
Chinese Taipei 612 -2.7 above
Korea, Rep. of 607 -2.8 above
Japan 594 -2.7 above
Hong Kong SAR 578 -4.1 above
Russian Federation 543 -4.5 above
Ireland 524 -2.6 above
Lithuania 520 -2.9 above
Israel 519 -4.3 above
Australia 517 -3.8 above
Hungary 517 -2.9 above
United States 515 -4.8 above
England 515 -5.3 above
Finland 509 -2.6 above
Norway (9) 503 -2.4  
Sweden 503 -2.5  
Cyprus 501 -1.6  
Portugal 500 -3.2  
TIMSS Scale Centerpoint 500 0  
Italy 497 -2.7  
Turkey 496 -4.3  
Kazakhstan 488 -3.3 below
France 483 -2.5 below
New Zealand 482 -3.4 below
Bahrain 481 -1.7 below
Romania 479 -4.3 below
United Arab Emirates 473 -1.9 below
Georgia 461 -4.3 below
Malaysia 461 -3.2 below
Iran, Islamic Rep. of 446 -3.7 below
Qatar 443 -4 below
Chile 441 -2.8 below
Lebanon 429 -2.9 below
Jordan 420 -4.3 below
Egypt 413 -5.2 below
Oman 411 -2.8 below
Kuwait 403 -5 below
Saudi Arabia 394 -2.5 below
South Africa (9) 389 -2.3 below
Morocco 388 -2.3 below
       
Benchmark cities      
Moscow City, Russian Fed. 575 -4.2 above
Quebec, Canada 543 -3.7 above
Dubai, UAE 537 -2 above
Ontario, Canada 530 -4.3 above
Western Cape, RSA (9) 441 -4.4 below
Abu Dhabi, UAE 436 -2.9 below
Gauteng, RSA (9) 421 -3 below
       
Grade 8 Science      
Singapore 608 -3.9 above
Chinese Taipei 574 -1.9 above
Japan 570 -2.1 above
Korea, Rep. of 561 -2.1 above
Russian Federation 543 -4.2 above
Finland 543 -3.1 above
Lithuania 534 -3 above
Hungary 530 -2.6 above
Australia 528 -3.2 above
Ireland 523 -2.9 above
United States 522 -4.7 above
Sweden 521 -3.2 above
Portugal 519 -2.9 above
England 517 -4.8 above
Turkey 515 -3.7 above
Israel 513 -4.2 above
Hong Kong SAR 504 -5.2  
Italy 500 -2.6  
TIMSS Scale Centerpoint 500    
New Zealand 499 -3.5  
Norway (9) 495 -3.1  
France 489 -2.7 below
Bahrain 486 -1.9 below
Cyprus 484 -1.9 below
Kazakhstan 478 -3.1 below
Qatar 475 -4.4 below
United Arab Emirates 473 -2.2 below
Romania 470 -4.2 below
Chile 462 -2.9 below
Malaysia 460 -3.5 below
Oman 457 -2.9 below
Jordan 452 -4.7 below
Iran, Islamic Rep. of 449 -3.6 below
Georgia 447 -3.9 below
Kuwait 444 -5.7 below
Saudi Arabia 431 -2.6 below
Morocco 394 -2.7 below
Egypt 389 -5.4 below
Lebanon 377 -4.6 below
South Africa (9) 370 -3.1 below
       
Benchmark cities      
Moscow City, Russian Fed. 567 -2.9 above
Dubai, UAE 548 -2 above
Quebec, Canada 537 -3.6 above
Ontario, Canada 522 -3 above
Western Cape, RSA (9) 439 -5.1 below
Gauteng, RSA (9) 422 -3.9 below
Abu Dhabi, UAE 420 -3.6 below

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