In 2014, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, launched the UAE National Agenda 2021, with education being a prime focus.
The National Agenda includes two major objectives developed with the intention of placing the UAE among the most successful countries that provide world-class education.
By 2021, the UAE aims to feature in the top twenty countries in the ‘Programme for International Student Assessment’ (PISA) test and in the top fifteen countries in the ‘Trends in Mathematics and Science Studies’ (TIMSS) test.
To achieve this, each Dubai school has been issued a report on their students’ performance in the international assessments and, in addition, given clear targets for improving their performance.
In 2015/16, KHDA launched the National Agenda Parameter, a method for measuring and monitoring schools’ progress towards achieving their individual National Agenda targets through the use of external benchmarking assessments.
The next PISA tests will be in 2018 and in 2021. The next TIMSS tests will be in 2019, the last before 2021. Schools are required to participate in international benchmarking tests and use the results to evaluate their progress towards meeting their National Agenda targets.
Only three schools across the Indian and Pakistani curricula are exceeding the National Agenda Targets, these are; Outstanding rated GEMS Modern, and GEMS Our Own Indian High School and Ambassador School- both rated Good.
At GEMS Modern, attainment, as measured by the National Agenda Parameters (N.A.P) benchmark tests, is above expectations in all three-criteria- English, mathematics and science.
At Our Own Indian High School, maths and English both exceed expectations although only ‘met’ in science.
At Ambassador School attainment in the National Agenda Parameter (N.A.P), in English and science is above expectations, while attainment in mathematics meets expectations.
All three schools are committed to reaching National Agenda targets and have developed comprehensive action plans.
Inspectors note that both Ambassador and Our Own Indian High use CAT4 testing data rigorously and effectively.
Interestingly, every other school rated, Very Good and Good, ‘meets expectations.'
Across the board, Dubai's Acceptable rated Indian and Pakistani schools are considered below expectations, except for the International Indian School (DSO), Bilva Indian School, Amled School and Sabari Indian School, which are also considered to have ‘met expectations.’
All Weak Schools are considered to be below expectations.