Keeping up with their national goal of Education 2020 UAE, Private Sector Schooling in UAE has been making a steady growth and is coming out well as compared to the moderate number of already existing schools providing exemplary education. As according to an estimate, about 1, 75,000 number of seats are targeted for as many enrollment by 2020. Where the highly coveted K-12 education system is dedicated towards primary to secondary education in UAE, the pre Kindergarten schooling is ahead of K-12 in making a marked improvement comprehensively. In its latest report, called ‘Understanding the GCC Education Sector, Country Profile: UAE’, PwC Middle East mentions that new schools are set to play essential role as 90% of the seats will be offered by Private schools.
If new data is to be believed, then the UAE target of Education 2020 is making considerable progress and is likely to achieve its targeted demand for schooling by the said year, as reported by Ronald Hancock, Director, PwC Middle East. He also added that, UAE has also made better provisions along with choices, like never before.
As according to the UN population projection, the 5-18 aged UAE population is set to rise 2, 53,000 by 2025, leading to an enormous requirement of educational institutes at school levels. In the year 2016-2017, 15 new schools were opened up, which is twice the number of schools opened the year before. Even those schools are almost 90% full according to the details provided by a senior official from the Knowledge and human Development Authority (KHDA), Government of Dubai.
As the schooling and primary level educational setups are heavily improving with the upgraded infrastructure and quality education in the UAE, providing primary education to their pupils would be less of a problem for the parents. According to the report, Hancock adds, that parents are increasingly demanding for better quality education and schools below the average annual tuition fees of Dh 40,000, as they seek affordable education, particularly in Dubai.
This will definitely give a boost to the competition in demand-supply nuances of education sector in UAE in general and Dubai in Particular. But it should not be seen as a matter of concern but as “healthy in any market” and in the progressive societies, as according to Hancock. He also believes that competition is the driving force behind innovations, quality and provisions as differentiators in the commercial sector.
As the new schools are targeting more parents with attractive price points, existing schools are yet to make better offers. As it is, there are a few schools in Dubai with ‘Outstanding’ rating with fees below the average fee structure. However, private schooling sector in UAE is on a constant growth ride with marked changes with private players taking the lead role. However, even after making a considerable performance, pre-primary sector still remains “underserved” according to the latest PwC reports, as mentioned by Sally Jeffery, PwC Middle East Education and skills Partner and PwC Global Education Sector leader. As for the nurseries sector is concerned, a combat mechanism is required for the working parents who seek in-home care for their infants. The sector seeks better provisions, higher quality standards and requires better measures in childcare facilities for working mothers in corporate sectors in Dubai, UAE.