Parents planning to homeschool their children in the UAE have various options to choose from to ensure that their children can apply to a KHDA (Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority) accredited university.

These options include the Rahhal Programme, the Ministry programme, and the option of writing accredited international board exams such as the IGCSE’s through the British council. In this article we will discuss how these options work, and how to enrol for homeschooling in the UAE.

How does homeschooling work in the UAE

How homeschooling will work for your family will depend on the method of homeschooling you choose.

Rahhal programme

The Rahhal programme is a hybrid learning model where parents can register their children at one of the 30 participating private schools in Dubai. Upon registration, the school and the parents enter a contractual agreement where they determine how much time the student will be homeschooled instead of attending regular classes.

At the end of the school year, your child will receive a school certificate that states that they’ve completed the grade at the selected school.

Ministry programme

The Ministry programme is available to Grade 7 to 12 students (or, students who are at least 14 years of age). These students won’t need to attend regular classes (as with the Rahhal programme) but will self-learn the coursework set by the Ministry.

The students will take the ministry’s exam at the end of the term to earn their certificate. Successful completion of the ministry’s homeschooling programme in the UAE is equivalent to graduation from any public high school in the UAE.

British Council Board Exams

The third option is a complete homeschooling option available to parents who wish to educate their children from home throughout their schooling career. Once your child completes the course work and passes the British Council exams, they will receive a certificate from the British council. They will then be able to apply to KHDA approved colleges and universities, as well as universities across the globe.

How to enrol for homeschooling in UAE

Because homeschooling is not regulated or prohibited, the method of enrollment will depend on the homeschooling route you choose.

Rahhal programme

Because the Rahhal programme is a collaboration between the KHDA and various private schools, the enrolment process will be dependent on the school you’ve selected.

Ministry programme

To enrol in the Ministry programme, students will need to register online on the UAE Ministry of Education’s website. Once registered they will need to pay their fees in the Educational Zones and provide the required documents.

British Council Board Exams

If you choose to complete the British Council Board Exams, enrolling for homeschooling starts by selecting a British Curriculum provider. There are many options available, including online homeschooling platforms like CambriLearn. Once your child has completed the course work, they will need to register for the Board Exams at a Cambridge exam centre.

Benefits of a International British homeschooling curriculum

Other than receiving a KHDA recognised certificate, and being able to apply to international universities, students often choose the British Curriculum for the following reasons:

  • Flexibility - There are three different exam dates available throughout the year, giving students the opportunity to finish their course work at their pace.
  • Wide variety of subject choices - The British curriculum offers a wide range of subjects that the students can choose from, in any combination.
  • Emphasis is placed on understanding - the International British curriculum focuses on enhancing students’ analytical and problem-solving skills by strengthening understanding.
  • In-depth study options - the International British curriculum offers subjects at both core and extensive levels, enabling students to obtain more in-depth knowledge of subjects they are interested in and spend less time on subjects they do not.
  • International perspective - the curriculum, when combined with an online learning platform, lends an international perspective that takes different abilities and views into account.

Homeschooling Cost in UAE

The cost of homeschooling will depend on the curriculum, platform, student level and the subjects you select. The Cambridge (or International British Curriculum) is the most popular homeschooling curriculum in the UAE and the costs will be influenced by the following factors.

  • Selected homeschooling platform and its fees
  • Textbooks
  • Exam fees

The costing provided below is for illustrative purposes only, and will vary depending on the number of subjects, the examination venues, and the textbook formats you’ve elected to buy (digital copy vs. printed textbook). 

Primary stage homeschooling costs

Annual online homeschooling fees for primary stage students range between $639 and $1 839 per year for three subjects. Textbooks will cost between $100 and $200 and at this level there are no additional examination fees. 

Secondary stage and IGCSE homeschooling costs

Annual online homeschooling fees for lower secondary stage students range between $2 305 and $3 642 per year for six subjects. Textbooks will cost between $400 and $500 and there are no additional examination fees for Lower Secondary years 1 and 2. 

Annual online homeschooling fees for IGCSE students range between $2 486 and $4 968 per year for six subjects. Textbooks will cost between $300 and $400 and, depending on the examination centre, exam fees range between $1 000-$2 000 collectively.

A Level homeschooling fees

Annual online homeschooling fees for A Level students range between $1 752 and $3 760 per year for four subjects. Textbooks will cost between $400 and $500 and, depending on the examination centre, the subject, and the exam type, exam fees range between $1 000-$2 000 collectively.

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