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Special Education Needs provision in mainstream schools in Dubai

Special Education Needs provision in mainstream schools in Dubai

Published on: December 2015​ Genre: Dubai Model|Education​ Category: Social policy, Well-being and Happiness​
In this paper, we review the published evidence to provide an analysis of how well inclusive education is working in Dubai and the challenges facing public and private schools in making inclusion a reality. The practice of inclusive education – where mainstream classrooms and schools adapt their strategies, curriculums, testing, and teaching methods to cater to the diversity of needs of all learners – has become increasingly popular across the world since the 1990s. However, inclusive education in Dubai, with specific reference to provision for children with special educational needs (SEN), is arguably still in its infancy. 

Implementing any new or emerging practice requires amongst other things a commitment to data collection, research and evaluation and academics, researchers and government authorities have therefore all contributed to the evidence base  on SEN provision in Dubai. The published evidence to date includes research on attitudes towards disability and inclusion – more specifically, social and cultural attitudes, teachers’ attitudes and parents’ attitudes. The evidence also includes a number of reviews and evaluations of the implementation of inclusion in mainstream schools, primarily public primary schools. Finally, the Knowledge and Human Development authority (KHDA), which is the regulator and inspection body for private schools in Dubai, has published data and reports about the effectiveness of SEN provision in private schools. We review this evidence and conclude by identifying gaps and outlining further research  opportunities that can make a valuable contribution to the evidence base on inclusion in Dubai, and more widely across the UAE.

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