Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has conducted Student and Parent Satisfaction Surveys in Abu Dhabi Schools for year 2012/2013 part of its policy to measure the satisfaction levels of all stakeholders, which include parents, students, principals, and teachers of the public and private schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. These efforts endeavor to promote the culture of research and community engagement, as research outcomes lead to informed decision making at various levels.

Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of (ADEC), said that ADEC is keen to receive continuous feedback from various stakeholders who play a key role in the educational process as no plans or directives can be fruitful unless fully supported by them.

ADEC is engaging in transparent communication with various stakeholders in order to widen their active participation in the planning and evaluation of different aspects of education. These two surveys serve as an external tool for objectively evaluating the quality of teaching and learning by students and parents, Dr. Al Khaili said.

“ADEC encourages the engagement of all sectors and all types of schools in order to achieve its strategic goal of developing the educational system. All stakeholders are partners in developing, implementing and evaluating educational plans,” Dr. Al Khaili added.

Questions of this year’s surveys address various areas directly related to the physical and social aspects of learning environment at schools. These included parent satisfaction with engagement in decision making at schools, teaching and learning techniques, local culture and heritage in curriculum, academic and career guidance, and student development for meeting labor market requirements. In addition, the surveys allowed participants to make additional comments that they wish to communicate to ADEC.

“This comes in line with ADEC’s 10-year strategic plan aiming at developing the educational system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in accordance with the highest international standards. The ultimate goal is to ensure that graduates have the skills necessary to meet labor market requirements and to proactively contribute to achieving the goals of socio-economic development,” Dr. Al Khaili pointed out.

Dr. Masood Badri, ADEC’s Executive Director of Research, Planning ‘&’ Performance Management, said that this new experience shows that parents and G5-G12 students are eager to answer ADEC surveys and have an access to survey results.

“So far, response rates are high and promising. Participation in the parent survey is expected to exceed that of last year, i.e. more than 50,000 respondents. This is also true when it comes to the student survey. As many as 25% or more of the targeted participants are expected to participate in the surveys. However, we encourage all parents and students to take part in order to obtain their feedback on a wide variety of issues related to education,” Dr. Badri added.

Targeted participants keep communicating with the Research Office and relevant teams in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia educational offices, he pointed out.

The survey results will be made available by ADEC, in a transparent and objective way, to all those interested. In addition, periodic press releases will be issued to announce the results. A final report will be issued and combine feedback gathered from students and parents on common issues.

Speaking about key results, Dr. Badri shed light on some key results of this year’s surveys. Many parents asked for more effective collaboration between parents, school and community; more attention to the basic and local culture related subject areas; less student assessment requirements (projects, research) particularly in C3 schools; and more effective academic and career guidance.

52% of the participating parents are females, while 48% are males.

Out of the 40,000 parents who responded to the survey so far, 90% said that at least one parent is working: 26% said that both parents are working full time, while 64% said that only one parent works full time.

As for satisfaction with student achievements in various subject areas, results indicated that average levels are relatively low. The highest satisfaction level is associated with Islamic Education (62%), and the lowest with Arabic (57.4%), English (57.6%) and Math (58.1%).

Results show that a significant percentage of public and private school students from various grade levels receive private lessons. 20775 parents, i.e. 47% of participants so far, said that their children received private lessons in Arabic, English, Math and Science.

As for the average time spent by students on studying and performing homework per day, results show that only 6% of students spend 3 hours or more on these activities on a daily basis, while 51% spend one hour or less.