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.
- Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) - Public Schools
Emirates Schools Establishment is an independent federal entity, established by virtue of Federal Decree-Law No. 15 of 2016. It aims to enhance the efficiency of the public schools in the UAE by offering a positive, learning environment enriched with innovation, knowledge and skills.
ESE undertakes several responsibilities related to the teaching staff in all public schools across the country, the students’ wellbeing, the management of exams and results, and all operations-related matters such as: school uniform, books, transportation etc.
- Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education
Established in 2022, Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education specialises in early childhood education. It has a mandate to develop and implement comprehensive plans to follow up on child development from birth to the fourth grade.
Affiliated with the Cabinet, the entity is responsible for developing policies, strategies, legislations and programmes related to the education needs of the early childhood stage. It issues licences and monitors government and private nurseries in the UAE in coordination with the local authorities.
- Federal Authority for Quality and Standards of Education
Federal Authority for Quality and Standards of Education, which is affiliated with the UAE Cabinet, is tasked with measuring educational outcomes, student performance, and the efficiency of the educational process.
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. Read about Education system in Abu Dhabi- TAMM
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.
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.