Teacher offers lesson in inspection approach
In response to the letter ‘Oh dear, here come the school inspectors again’ (Jan 10), I am a teacher at a large International school in Dubai and I agree with Molly B Bear.
It is good that the Dubai government is trying to inspect schools and make sure that certain standards are being met or achieved. However, I have now been through the experience for four years consecutively and all the inspection process does is put pressure on teachers and head teachers to try to achieve ‘outstanding’ for the sole purpose of being able to put the school fees up!
I have friends who work in schools around Dubai and it is true that some schools do completely change for the week that the inspectors visit. In the UK, for example, schools that are doing well only get inspected every three years. This makes sense and also gives schools a chance to improve and make changes that can often take more than a year to implement. It is my understanding that inspectors that come into Dubai schools are from a company that is paid to carry out the inspections.
This company is never going to suggest that schools that are doing well and do not need to be inspected every single year as they want the yearly business.
Schools need an inspection process but one that is realistic and has meaning. In the UK quite often schools that need to improve are put in touch with other schools who may be able to work with them to help them achieve success. This could never happen in Dubai as we are all private schools in competition.
I’m not sure how or if this process will change but I do know that it is an extremely stressful time for teachers and older children who feel the burden of expectation. We all want to do a good job. I love my job and I hope that I would always continue to do a good job whether the inspectors were here or not.
Dubai Teacher, Dubai