Ministry of Education (MoE) handles all stages of education in the UAE including schools, colleges, universities and post-graduation programmes. Higher education is also under the umbrella of MoE, though it was handled by its own ministry before the government restructuring in 2016. MoE aims to prepare a human workforce that effectively contributes in accomplishing sustainable development while being globally competitive. It supervises both public and private schools. While it does not direct the private schools and curriculum (with the exception of Arabic, social studies and Islamic studies), they set overall guidelines that the private schools must adhere to.
In addition, there is Emirates Schools Establishment which was established in 2016 to manage public schools as an autonomous, semi-independent authority.
Department of Education and Knowledge was established by the H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE in accordance with Law No. 24 of 2005, aiming to develop education and educational institutions in the emirate.
The department is responsible for supervising, regulating and spearheading the development initiatives within the education sector in the Abu Dhabi emirate, including public and private schools. In 2010, the Department of Education and Knowledge launched the New School Model (NSM), a new learning approach that addresses the current challenges in public school sector and brings about tangible improvements in the delivery of education.
Dubai has two key bodies which regulate the education process in the emirate; Dubai Education Council and Knowledge and Human Development Authority.
Dubai Education Council (DEC) seeks to meet global standards, focusing on international accreditation and comprehensive quality assurance programmes.
Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has the authority to inspect schools in the emirate and is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. It supports schools, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high-quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing.
The following entities are part of KHDA scope of work:
The Dubai Schools Inspections Bureau (DSIB), responsible for setting the quality standards for education services in Dubai
The Dubai School Agency (DSA), established by virtue of the Executive Council Decree No. 11 of 2007 to oversee the development of school-based educational services in the emirate.
Sharjah Private Education Authority
In November 2018, the Government of Sharjah issued the Emiri Decree No. 45 of 2018 to establish Sharjah Private Education Authority. The new education authority is affiliated to Sharjah Government and enjoys a legal personality and full capacity to achieve its objectives.
Schools in Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Fujairah operate under MoE through local branches or educational zones.
10-year Strategic Plan – Abu Dhabi portal
Schools Inspection - KHDA
KHDA regulations - KHDA
School inspection reports - KHDA
Education Providers - KHDA
Choosing a school - KHDA