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6 Ways To Increase Parent Involvement in School

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Ideally, a parent would be present in every classroom every day. They should be observing and participating in the educational process. But apparently, this is not always the case. How do teachers get parents to participate more in school matters? Teachers shouldn’t be intimidated whenever parents observe how they teach.

Teachers should know comprehensive ways on how to work with parents. They have to overcome parent resistance because of work pressure.

For teachers, here are some tips to increase parent involvement:

1. Connect parents and schools
The idea is to nurture parenting and teaching skills of young parents even before children reach school age. Teachers can make home visits by a parent-educator for the first three years of the child’s life. This way, children will be educated early on and parents will take part at this learning from the beginning.

2. Create an organizational structure
Failure to create an organizational structure will make parents feel that they’re lost. A good idea is for schools to offer parent involvement workshops, led by teachers or parents. Parents should also be accountable to create a parent-friendly atmosphere, not just the teachers.

Parents can make a PTA office right in the building. They have bulletin boards and ask from suggestions from teachers.

3. Consider parents’ time
Due to time restrictions, parents cannot attend school stuff. In the US, there’s a movement which allows employees paid time off to visit and volunteer at the school. Many teachers are parents. , too, should be given time off work to visit their own children’s schools so that parents can spend a few after-work hours at school helping teachers prepare materials for future lessons, decorate classrooms, inventory supplies.

Make it convenient and social. Parents who contribute a lot of time to a school should be recognized and rewarded by the school.

4. Encourage fathers to participate
Schools should make an announcement that fathers are welcome to participate; and businesses, professional organizations, churches and synagogues, police, firefighters and high schools to help recruit men as volunteer childhood educators.

5. Identify and support leaning environments
Family learning shouldn’t be encouraged in schools alone. Public libraries can also be utilize, as well as medical fitness centers. Community volunteers can be given training in selecting and presenting children’s books, in using puppets, flannel boards and other special techniques. These centers can nurture partnerships with community groups, churches and businesses.

5. Learning centers
A neighborhood reading program, for instance can be a good idea with the help of neighbourhood parents. Older kids can be tutors to younger children. The notion is simple: With the help of neighborhood parents, older kids and enlists them as reading tutors to younger children.



Sustainability Curriculum To Be Added To All UAE Schools

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A new climate change and sustainability programme will be implemented across the UAE’s schools, Ministers announced this week.

The new addition to all public and private school curricula will teach children about climate change, sustainability and how to help save the environment.

It is hoped that the students will then take the message into UAE homes and help cross-generational awareness of the subject.

The programme is a joint venture between the new Ministry of Climate Change, the Environment Agency and the Ministry of Education.

The course components will be added to various subjects already taught in schools, these include economics and science, Gulf News has reported.

The pilot programme will start next year in several private and public schools across the country.

Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, told the publication, “Some of the main challenges that we’re facing, waste management, [use of] chemical pesticides, the safety of foods; these all are going to be part of the curriculum.”

“For sure, water is going to have a big chunk of the focus because of the scarcity of water in this region,” he added.

He went on to say, “The ministry works to educate the young generation about the ongoing efforts at local and global levels to combat climate change issues and the concrete steps taken by the nation and the global community such as the UAE’s Green Agenda and Paris Agreement.”



Dubai Needs More New Schools: Says KHDA

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A new KHDA report released this week, said a continuation of the strong economy and sustained population growth will see Dubai gain an additional 60,000 school students by 2020.

However, the report, ‘Capacity to Grow-Opportunities in Dubai’s Education Market,’ warns that new schools opening in 2016 and after, can expect slower enrollment growth.

The KHDA says it expects enrollment growth in any new schools to return to what it calls, ‘a more traditional trajectory,’ when compared to the high rates experienced by schools which opened between 2010 to 2013.

The report notes, “it is too early to speculate on the pace of enrollment growth in the schools that have opened since 2013. It is clear from earlier periods that there is a correlation between a higher number of schools opening and a subsequent slower rate of enrollment take-up. A cyclical pattern of faster and slower take-up rates of enrollment in new schools over time should be considered a normal part of the education market in Dubai.”

The report does note however, “determining Dubai’s future requirements for specific types of private schools requires an understanding of the current and future supply of schools, the demand for different types of schools and the pace at which these schools reach capacity.”

The report highlights that this depends on a range of factors, which include: Dubai’s business cycle, the number of schools being opened around the same time, and aspects like school location and parental perception of quality.

For most private schools which opened in Dubai over the last decade, the average take-up pattern is to reach 30 per cent of its full capacity in the second year of operation; 50 per cent by the third year; 60 per cent by the fourth year; and 80 per cent by the seventh year.

However, the report does note variances in this pattern. In the past ten years, most Indian schools, schools offering a high quality education and those with a smaller than average capacity all generally displaying faster uptakes, while US curriculum schools in general had a slower than average rate of uptake.

The report highlights that uptake rates also differ depending on when the school was opened. Those opening between 2003 and 2009 recorded the slowest uptake rate, while those which opened between 2010 and 2013 recorded the fastest.

Approximately half of total enrollment growth has come from families living in the newer areas of Dubai, these include: Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Jebel Ali, Emirates Hills, Dubailand, Nad al Sheba and Academic City. More established areas such as Bur Dubai, Deira, Al Garhoud, and Al Muhaisnah continue to experience modest growth.

Interestingly, thirteen per cent of Dubai’s private school students live outside of Dubai, with the majority coming from Sharjah.

The report ends by saying, “Further investment is required to build additional new private schools to satisfy the demand for places. To match the diversity of Dubai’s population, a diversity in the supply of schools offering different curricula and innovation in education approaches is required. For investors who understand the importance of delivering high quality education in an innovative, fast-moving landscape, Dubai’s private schools sector promises long-term growth and new investment opportunities.”


Dubai scores higher than global average in maths, science

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Dubai: Students in Dubai have for the first time risen above the international average of 500 points in a standardised maths and science test, it was announced on Wednesday.

However, the overall average for the whole of the UAE is still under 500 points in the latest TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study). The latest round of TIMSS, held every four years, took place in 2015. TIMSS tests achievement in maths and science for pupils in grades four and eight.

Dubai’s fourth graders scored 511 points in maths and 518 points in science, up from 468 and 461, respectively, in 2011.

Meanwhile, eighth graders scored 512 points in maths and 525 points in science, up from 478 and 485 points, respectively, in 2011.

Over 13,000 students from across Dubai’s private schools were involved in the 2015 TIMSS assessment.

Overall, the UAE average score for grade four pupils is 452 in maths and 451 in science. For eighth grade, students in the UAE lead in Gulf countries, earning 465 in maths and 477 in science.

In total, 38,000 students in the UAE took the TIMSS 2015 tests. Dubai students have been participating in TIMSS since 2007.

In Dubai, TIMSS results are positively correlated with annual school inspections, which identify the best-performing schools and curricula.

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai, said: “Schools in Dubai are part of an education culture that values collaboration and positive practices. One of the many benefits of this includes improved academic outcomes. We’re happy to see that students in Dubai have crossed the international average of 500 points in both maths and science at grades four and eight. Our journey is a continuous one, and we’ll keep working together with schools, teachers, parents and students, as well as our local and international partners, in support of the UAE National Agenda and a happier Dubai.”

Students attending UK curriculum schools achieved the highest scores in grades four and eight maths, and grade eight science. Students attending Indian curriculum schools achieved the highest score in grade four science, at 58 points above the international average.

Worldwide, Singapore leads in all categories. Data from the 2015 TIMSS cycle showed that students who attended early years education scored an average of 10 points higher in maths grade four than students who started school aged five or later.

More than 600,000 students around the world participated in TIMSS 2015 and TIMSS Advanced 2015, an analysis of secondary school students in STEM programmes. TIMSS has been administered every four years since 1995, and is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) in Amsterdam.

TIMSS enables 60 participating countries to make evidence-based decisions for improving educational policy.

© Gulf News

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Library for orphans opens in Dubai

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DUBAI // A library for orphans has been set up at the Family Village in Dubai to encourage the children to read.

The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority said the library is aimed at inspiring the children to start reading at a young age. Available books include fairy tales and religious, cultural, educational and scientific titles.

The library was set up under directives from Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed, Vice Chairwoman of Dubai Culture.

The library is designed to support the children’s education by providing them with the best works in children’s literature. A selection of 350 Arabic-language books is provided for more than 30 children at the village.

The initiative is in line with the declaration of 2016 as the Year of Reading.

“Dubai Culture is committed to instilling social values, customs and heritage, and providing a better future for the local community and the youth of today,” the authority said, as quoted by the state news agency, Wam, on Monday.

“It is also committed to foster a strong literary culture in the city of Dubai.”

The Family Village is a home for orphaned children launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. It falls under the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation.



UAE Spelling Bee Championship open to all schools

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Dubai, UAE: The third edition of The Danube Spelling Bee Championship is set to take place acorss the Emirates starting this month, announced the event managament company Exquity Events.

With over 2,000 students already registered, the international educational tradition has started its preliminary rounds and will continue until December. The Bee is open to all schools across the emirates from grades 6 to 10.

The format for the competition will be modified in the region and will include all syllabi whether American, British, Pakistani or Indian so that special allowances for pronunciation and spellings will be made.

The UAE champion this year will win an all expense paid trip to Washingotn DC and will receive Dh25,000 in addition to other prizes.

The semifinals are set to take place on January 10-11, 2014 and the grand finale will take place on February 8 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

© Gulf News

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