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New York await winner of Texas and California in US Masters T10 finale

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Richard Levi, left, and Misbah-ul-Haq put New York Warriors New York Warriors in the final with their batting display. Saikat Das / USM T10

New York Warriors became the first team to reach the US Masters T10 League final after defeating California Knights by eight wickets in the Qualifier 1 at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida, on Saturday.

The Knights get a second chance to make the summit clash if they win against Texas Chargers, who beat Morrisville Unity by eight wickets in the Eliminator. The Qualifier 2 and the finale will be played on Sunday along with a celebrity match preceding the trophy clash.

New York Warriors will be rested more after they restricted California to 96/4 in their 10 overs early in the day before chasing down their target in 8.4 overs. Opening batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kamran Akmal fell early in the innings as the Warriors were reduced to 28/2 in 3.3 overs. However, Misbah-ul-Haq brought the momentum towards his team’s side through a six and a boundary off Devendra Bishoo’s bowling in the sixth over.

Levi also upped the ante in the next over as he smashed Krishmar Santokie for a four and a six in the seventh over. Levi (47 not out, 24 balls) and Misbah (29, 13b) eventually took their side over the line with eight balls to spare.

California Knights won the toss and chose to bat first. Jacques Kallis and Aaron Finch got the Knights off to a flying start with a flurry of boundaries. The duo continued to find boundaries and sixes on a regular basis and took the Knights’ score to 60/1 in 5.5 overs. However, the Warriors picked up four wickets in quick succession and restricted the Knights to 96/4 in their 10 overs.

 

Hafeez stars for Texas

The day was good for another former Pakistan captain. Mohammad ‘Professor’ Hafeez was in sublime form with the bat as he played a blinder for Texas Chargers in defeating Morrisville Unity in the Eliminator. Texas won with nine balls remaining.

Batting first, the Morrisville Unity lost Jonathan Foo (9) early on, but had Shehan Jayasuriya and Obus Pienaar kick on. The duo scored at a quick pace and put on a 42-run stand before Jayasuriya was castled for 21, just before the midway point.

Mohammad Hafeez of Texas Chargers scored a brisk half-century. US Masters T10

Pienaar and Corey Anderson took the score to 88/2 after seven overs with a brisk display. They put on a half-century stand and eventually finished with 115/5. Pienaar reached his fifty while Anderson was out for 22.

In response, Hafeez and Mukhtar Ahmed gave Texas a flying start. Hafeez got stuck into Sreesanth’s second over and smashed two sixes and three fours, as Texas came out charging. At the halfway stage, the Chargers needed 34 more to win. Hafeez completed his fifty in the sixth over, and in the next over, the openers reached the century stand.

Right after, Hafeez was dismissed for 57 and Ahmed for 47, both by Navin Stewart, slowing down the Chargers a bit. Nonetheless, it was up to Ben Dunk after that and he smashed two sixes to wrap up the contest.

Brief scores:

Morrisville Unity 115/5 (Obus Pienaar 51, Corey Anderson 22; Thisara Perera 4/17, Imran Khan 1/17) lost by 8 wickets to Texas Chargers 119/2 (Mohammad Hafeez 57, Mukhtar Ahmed 47; Navin Ahmed 2/3)

New York Warriors 97/2 (Richard Levi 47*, Misbah-ul-Haq 29*, Devendra Bishoo 1/17) beat California Knights 96/4 (Aaron Finch 42, Jacques Kallis 29, Umaid Asif 2/18) by 8 wickets.

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UAE cuts Friday sermon to 10 minutes until end of summer

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The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments said that the decision is aimed at ensuring the safety of worshippers during the summer months.The directive is applicable from Friday, June 28, until the start of October.

According to the UAE’s National Center of Meteorology, summer temperatures in the Gulf country frequently exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), with some areas experiencing highs of up to 50 C (122 F).

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No KHDA inspection for Dubai school next year: Would it impact rating and fees?

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Private schools in Dubai will not be subject to comprehensive inspections throughout the 2024-25 academic year, as per a new directive from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The only exception to this policy applies to newly established schools that are entering their third year of operations during the upcoming academic year. This recent decision was communicated to all Dubai schools via a circular issued by the KHDA. The authority aims to streamline the inspection process, focusing on institutions at a critical stage of their development while temporarily relieving more established schools from the full inspection regimen.

The KHDA circular reads, “We would also like to inform you of an important update to school inspections during the 2024-25 academic year. Full school inspections will not be conducted across all private schools in Dubai, except for new private schools that will be in their third year of operation during the academic year.”

However, schools may request a comprehensive inspection from the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB). Such requests will be reviewed and approved at the discretion of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Schools are required to submit their requests by July 5, 2024. The KHDA issued, “Schools with approved requests will be notified during Term 2 of the 2024-25 academic year.”

Dubai schools traditionally undergo annual inspections, during which they are evaluated and assigned ratings. However, these inspections were suspended during the pandemic. The ratings, which span from ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Weak’, are determined based on a defined set of criteria.

What is the current status of the ongoing inspection of schools under the KHDA?

The latest circular also mentions, “DSIB will conduct other visits that target specific focus areas and include ongoing monitoring activities. Schools will be notified ahead of time on the areas of focus and priorities for the next academic year.”

All schools are required to regularly update their ‘Self-Evaluation Form’ and online school profile over the course of the next academic year. It is imperative for schools to ensure that all necessary information is readily available for review by DSIB. Additionally, schools must consistently administer all critical external benchmark assessments.

Belrehif stated, “The School Self-Evaluation Form is an essential part of schools’ ongoing cycle of review and improvement planning and helps them measure how well they are doing in different performance indicators outlined in the UAE School Inspection Framework.”

Impact on School Rankings and Fees

The ability of schools to increase their fees is contingent upon their most recent evaluation by the DSIB. Schools that receive higher ratings are typically allowed to impose more substantial fee hikes. In April 2024, the KHDA introduced an Education Cost Index (ECI) set at 2.6 percent which would enable schools to modify their tuition fees for the 2024-25 academic year accordingly. The private schools in Dubai had been granted permission to raise tuition fees by up to 5.2 percent, as determined by their latest KHDA inspection outcomes.

In a recent interview, Fatma Belrehif,  DSIB CEO, announced, “The School Fees Framework is the mechanism by which schools can adjust their fees annually. The rate by which schools can adjust their fees is tied to each school’s most recent inspection rating. Any fee adjustment by schools must be approved by the KHDA. Schools will be notified in case of any changes or updates to the fee framework.”

How does this circular affect schools and parents?

Schools: Schools may need to adapt their internal quality assurance processes, relying more on self-evaluation and external feedback to maintain and improve standards.

  • Strategic Planning: With the absence of formal inspections, schools might focus on alternative ways to attract and retain students, such as enhancing their curriculum, extracurricular offerings, or investing in teacher development.
  • Performance Monitoring: Schools will need to find new methods to monitor and report their performance, potentially increasing collaboration with parent-teacher associations and using third-party evaluators.

Parents: Guardians and Parents may find it more challenging to assess the quality and performance of schools without the KHDA’s annual inspection reports. They might need to rely on word-of-mouth, online reviews, and direct engagement with schools to make informed decisions.

  • Engagement and Feedback: The halt in inspections could encourage more proactive engagement between parents and schools. Parents may need to take a more active role in communicating their expectations and concerns to ensure their child’s educational needs are met.
  • Financial Considerations: With the potential stability in school fees, parents might experience a degree of financial predictability. However, they should stay informed about any changes schools might implement to maintain quality in the absence of inspections.

As the educational community awaits further details and guidance from the KHDA, stakeholders are keenly observing how this decision will shape educational practices and policies in Dubai for the upcoming academic year.

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Sheikh Mohammed approves massive Dh30 billion rainwater drainage project for Dubai

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An integrated project to develop a rain drainage network in Dubai has been approved at a cost of Dh30-billion, announced Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday.

Named ‘Tasreef’, the project will enhance the capacity of Dubai’s rainwater drainage system by 700%, covering all areas of the emirate.

The project is set to be completed by 2033 with construction to start immediately. It will serve Dubai for the next hundred years, added Sheikh Mohammed.

The project, which will cover all areas of Dubai and absorb more than 20 million cubic meters of water per day, is likely to be the largest such network to collect rainwater in the region.

‘Tasreef’ is a continuation of drainage projects launched by Dubai in 2019, covering the Expo Dubai area, Al Maktoum International Airport City, and Jebel Ali.

It comes around two months after unprecedented rains flooded the UAE. As a sustainable strategic project, it aims at addressing future climate change impacts, such as increased rainfall, with a network designed to seamlessly adapt to all rainfall events.

The project will utilise the latest Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), the largest of their kind in the Middle East, known for their efficiency, speed, and high precision in excavation, and their ability to handle various topographical conditions.

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