Dubai’s private education sector has achieved a groundbreaking milestone, securing a position among the top 14 globally in mathematics, science, and reading in the recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) cycle. This remarkable achievement surpasses the National Agenda’s target of securing a place within the top 15, marking a historic moment for Dubai’s private schools.
Conducted every three years by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA evaluates the proficiency of 15-year-olds in applying their knowledge and skills in reading, mathematics, and science to tackle real-life challenges.
In the latest assessment, Dubai private schools claimed the ninth position globally in mathematics, boasting an impressive mean score of 497—surpassing the OECD average by a substantial 25 points. Furthermore, they secured the 13th position in reading, with a mean score of 498, and the 14th position in science, achieving a mean score of 503 points.
A bright future for human development in the UAE
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), expressed his elation, stating, “Today, we’re announcing the highest-ever ranking by Dubai private schools in PISA. Through the leadership of their principals, the expertise of their teachers, and the resolve of their students, our schools have gone beyond the national agenda targets and can rightfully take their place as among the best in the world.”
The outstanding performance was attributed to various factors, including the commitment of school leaders, the expertise of teachers, and the determination of students. During the pandemic, Dubai private schools swiftly resumed face-to-face teaching and learning, fostering a conducive environment for students and staff to reconnect and enhance learning outcomes.
Outstanding-rated schools further distinguished themselves, scoring 551 points in mathematics, 553 in science, and 554 in reading—significantly surpassing the OECD averages. Notably, schools following the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum emerged as top performers, achieving scores of 535 in mathematics, 538 in science, and 528 in reading.
Fatma Belrehif, CEO of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, acknowledged the continuous high-quality education offered by Dubai’s private schools, stating, “The effectiveness of our robust quality assurance system is reflected in the results of schools rated Good and better, which continue to outperform global averages in international assessments.”
A total of 9,250 students from 171 schools offering eight different curricula participated in the PISA 2023 study, showcasing the comprehensive representation of Dubai’s private education landscape in this global assessment.
In conclusion, Dubai’s private schools have not only met but surpassed international benchmarks, demonstrating their commitment to excellence, resilience, and adaptability. This unprecedented achievement positions Dubai’s private education sector at the forefront of global educational excellence, with promising prospects for continued success in the future.