KHDA: Less Focus on Exams, More on Wellness

Dubai's education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, has launched its latest Wellness surveys, stating wellbeing is “a human right” for all.
KHDA: Less Focus on Exams, More on Wellness
By David Westley
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Dubai's education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, on Sunday launched the third of five Wellness surveys, stating wellbeing is “a human right” for pupils, teachers and parents.

“Wellbeing is human right, whether you are a teacher, parent or student. Times are changing and people will talk about this,” Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA.

According to Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA, we need to focus less on exams, and more on wellness as a whole. "Exam results [become] less important [as we grow older], but wellbeing [rises in] importance”.

At the launch event, Dr Abdulla was keen that schools are not held solely responsible for wellbeing. Students, he said, spend just 17 per cent of their time at school, so "parents need to work together with schools."

Last year’s census suggested 81 per cent of students are happy, while the survey said 43 per cent of teachers and other adults “are just getting by”.

This, broadly, mirrors the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com student survey - which is running across the UAE, and also in Singapore, HK, Thailand and Vietnam to allow more meaningful comparison.

In our survey we ask a more specific question: Are you excited and happy to be at school? At the time of writing, a total of 8% of UAE students strongly agree, and 61% agree, leaving 31% of students who say school does not make them happy or excited....

The results of our survey will be published before the end of the year. The Wellness report will be published in early 2020.

Take our survey here.

This year, the KHDA census will also run together with a second annual ‘Adults@School Wellbeing Survey’.Teachers and staff participating in the survey receive a personalised report of their wellbeing, including suggestions on ways to improve it.

In  total 100,000 students from grade six to 12, and 20,000 school staff have been invited to take part — an increase of around five per cent and 53 per cent, respectively, over last year.

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