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Teacher Quality, Gender and Nationality in the United Arab Emirates: A Crisis for Boys

Published on: May 2010​
Genre: Education​ Category: Research Report/ Research Paper/ White Paper​

While much attention within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been paid to the poor quality of school education, the discussion has yet to move beyond Western conceptions of issues related to teacher quality and student achievement. School inspections conducted in Dubai (KHDA 2009) found that government schools, and boys’ schools in particular, were the worst performing schools in the Emirate, a finding supported by the 2007 TIMSS results and by Ministry of Education (MOE) examination results for the UAE as a whole. However, despite rising concerns about the poor performance of boys, policy makers to date have failed to examine the quality of the expatriate, male teachers who are largely responsible for teaching them.

This paper looks at teacher quality within the UAE, casting it as a function of teacher background characteristics, school characteristics and institutional characteristics. The data used was gathered from teacher observations, student surveys and teacher questionnaires conducted in eight MOE secondary schools. The paper finds that there are deficiencies in the recruitment, training and ongoing management of male, expatriate teachers, which may explain, at least in part, the poor performance and retention of boys.

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