Positive Leap
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Positive Leap

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Final_035_KHDA-ENGLISHIn a bid to provide positivity in the education system, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) believes that positivity have the power to transform lives and education in Dubai.

Established in 2007, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. KHDA support schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. We support schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing.The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. We support schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing.

Final_035_KHDA-ENGLISHKHDA co-ordinates with many different partners- students, parents, teachers, the private sector and other Government bodies who all play a role in Dubai’s education community. KHDA’s work is guided by the Government’s strategy and carried out in a transparent manner to make sure everything they do benefits their highest priority – their students.

KHDA’s research ranges from early childhood to adult learning and their findings drive initiatives to ensure that Dubai has an educated and flexible workforce to meet the needs of their fast-changing and globalised world. KHDA’s publications, along with their detailed school inspection reports, provide evidence-based information for everyone involved in education.

In November 2014, the World Bank launched a report that investigates the approaches taken by the Government of Dubai to foster improvements in the quality of education at private schools. The report identified that KHDA’s unique approach focuses on regulatory oversight of the sector with an emphasis on the enhancement of student outcomes and making information available to the public. By promoting a culture of open evaluation, where the data on the quality of education systems, schools and student learning outcomes is made publicly available to all interested stakeholders, KHDA has effectively ‘turned the lights on.’

Final_035_KHDA-ENGLISHThe report notes that steady improvement in education has occurred overall and that part of the reason for this improvement has to do with incentive arrangements. While competition between schools does exist in some segments of the market, increased collaboration within and between schools through peer reviews and the ‘What Works series’ of events was observed – a positive trend that deserves further encouragement.

The report provides some options for moving forward particularly in relation to improving weaker schools through more post-inspection follow up or through expanded collaborations between schools. We live in a country and community which places innovation at the heart of its long-term strategy, and we know that happiness and positivity are central to true innovative practice. And we are fortunate that happiness already forms a strong part of the shared culture of Dubai – our role is simply to concentrate on that positivity, spread its messages, and make more of it.

Final_035_KHDA-ENGLISHWe know that happiness, well-being and positivity have the power to transform our lives, and transform education in Dubai. The 2015 World Happiness Report, published in April this year, cites a study of 200 school-based programmes that promoted the social and emotional skills of children. This study found that children taking these programmes gained about 10 percentile points in emotional well-being and behaviour as well as in academic achievement.

Unsurprisingly, it also found that low well-being was linked with worse academic performance. We are ultimately attracted to positive education, though, because of its simplicity, and because it just makes sense.

We engage in conversation about happiness and positivity whenever we can, in the hope that this approach will spread to all schools, universities, parents, teachers and students in Dubai.

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