Abu Dhabi: A new educational system, the Emirati School Model, announced on Sunday will unify the sector across the UAE and raise standards of teaching and learning.
In a statement issued by the UAE Ministry of Education and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), Abu Dhabi emirate’s education sector regulator, the two authorities said all public and private schools offering the Ministry of Education curriculum will now follow the Emirati School Model.
The main goal is to enable all schools across the country to operate under a standardised framework that is developed on the best international practices.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid
The move follows the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Achieving this goal is being closely monitored by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, who considers it “essential to establish and support a well-informed education system capable of keeping up with future changes and developments.”
“The UAE has made many significant achievements in education and the next stage requires us to build on them under a unified framework in preparation for the comprehensive development needed to delivering on national higher objectives, guided by the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” he said.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid urged all stakeholders to work together as one team.
“The main goal is to enable all schools across the country to operate under a standardised framework that is developed on the best international practices, and to produce graduates who can meet the aspirations and expectations of the UAE people,” he said.
The UAE will continue to elevate the education system to the international benchmark to produce ambitious generations …”
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed
In his remarks, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed the importance of developing education according to comprehensive strategic plans to serve as a gateway to the future for the UAE, and advancing educational outputs to keep abreast with comprehensive development in the country.
“The UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and follow up of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will continue to elevate the education system to the international benchmark to produce ambitious generations who are capable of writing new success stories in the nation’s renaissance, launched since the founding of the Union by the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” he said.
Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said: “Our students are the most important resource of the UAE. As leaders, we have an obligation to provide them with a modern international education, and the Emirati School Model matches this ambition and future plans of the UAE.”
“The unification of the educational system is complementary step to bring about a unique shift in the education sector by developing a unified national educational system that paves the way for a generation of creative national cadres,” said Al Hammadi.
“The system ensures training teachers on educational skills and providing them with deep knowledge and understanding about topics covered in the curricula. It also unifies the standard of selecting teaching methods adopted in classrooms, and unifying criteria for measuring educational outputs,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, Director-General of Adec, said that the decision to unify the system goes in harmony with the current phase of educational development.
Al Nuaimi called on teaching and administrative staff to participate in developing promising and innovative generations that are enriched with high quality education and culture. He urged them to contribute to building the character of pupils.
A source at the Ministry told Gulf News that the unification will seamlessly merge the two authorities.
“All public schools across the country, as well as private schools offering the UAE Ministry of Education (MoE) curriculum, will then be overseen and managed under the Ministry. Whereas private schools in the UAE will be regulated under the Ministry’s quality assurance and inspection division,” the source said. The arrangement will therefore provide independence to private schools offering other curricula, the source added.
According to sources, the upcoming merger is the fruition of three years’ work between the two entities. It follows a spate of recent moves to standardise and unify all sectors of education in the UAE, including the 2016 unification of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research with the Ministry of Education, and the introduction of a unified inspection system for private schools in 2015.
At public schools, the new Emirati School model will ensure a rich curriculum, excellence in course material and skill, and a unified vision that meets the expectations of the UAE leadership.
The alignment plan will consolidate the ministry’s systems, policies and courses across the UAE’s public schools and MoE curriculum private schools.
The source also said that the ministry and Adec will look into how the unification can be best achieved during the 2017-2018 academic year.
“This will be a transitional year for us, and the implementation will take place from 2018-2019 onwards,” he said.
The ministry and Adec have formed two main committees working towards the development of the school community. These committees will support and enable teachers to fulfill their responsibilities and establish new rules for the integration.
How the new system will work
Under the new system, government and private schools will follow the same curriculum, which will focus on building critical thinking skills, developing innovation and teamwork among students, in addition to utilising information technology in problem solving.
The unification aims to unify the education systems and policies, as well as learning paths in all government schools and private schools following the ministry system.
The ministry and Adec will form joint teams to discuss the details on the implementation of the new system with teachers and administrative staff to ensure a smooth start for the academic year. Grade 12 pupils will be allowed to study their curriculums during the transitional phase this year.
The system was a result of the efforts of international academic institutions in the UAE and abroad, local and international education experts, as well as teachers.