More than 70,000 students from Dubai’s private schools are going to be part of a city-wide wellbeing census rolled out by Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

The census is open to students from Grades 6 to 9 and provides schools with an important tool to support and improve the wellbeing and happiness of students in schools.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA said, “The results of this census will allow schools to reflect on their focus areas and what really impacts students. It puts a spotlight on the happiness of our students. More importantly – schools, parents and decision makers will have detailed information about the quality of life in our schools.”

He thanked the schools and students who have participated in the census and encouraged greater dialogue among schools and families on the subject of wellbeing.  During an interactive workshop for students at Swiss International Scientific School, students, teachers and KHDA officials discussed the importance of wellbeing and its role in the school community.

Beat Sommer, Head of School at Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, said, “This census provided us with the opportunity to show our students the importance that our school community places on their overall wellbeing and happiness. As educators we know that when children are happy they display increasing degrees of learning skills and also higher levels of positive interaction with adults and peers. Happy children often lead to better-performing children, achieving this balance between academic performance and student wellbeing is our core mission as a school.”

Census data will provide schools with an in-depth understanding of how students feel about their school life, home life, themselves and their relationships with others. The data will also provide insight into student attitudes towards their experiences in and out of school.

School leaders can also benefit from the census data to better design their schools’ wellbeing culture, and will allow policymakers to make evidence-based changes that have positive long-term impact on the education community.

More than 10,000 students from 30 private schools have already completed the survey in the first week of the census implementation. Each schools will receive their own results, which they may choose to share with parents.

Following the census, workshops will be held for school leaders and teachers to help them understand how to interpret the data and to design strategies to increase wellbeing in future years. As a long term initiative, the census aims to demonstrate changes in student wellbeing over time in schools.

The census is run by Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai in partnership with the Government of South Australia.

David Engelhardt, director of business intelligence at the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) in South Australia said: “In its first week, the Dubai Student Wellbeing Census has been rolled out seamlessly with 35 schools and almost 10,000 students participating.  It has been a fantastic response from Dubai schools. We are eagerly awaiting to see the progress of school and student completions and receive a comprehensive insight into the thoughts and feelings of students across Dubai.”

For more information about the census, visit www.khda.gov.ae/en/dswc