Schools across the United Arab Emirates are set to follow a new common education system starting 2018, in the wake of a decision announced by the Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).
Both private and public schools which follow the government curriculum will have to adopt the new “Emirati School Model” as part of the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The aim of the new amendment is to standardise the education system across all Emirates, but principally to improve the existing system, hence fostering better scholastic results with students.
The new “Emirati School Model” is believed to be a direct result of directives from H.H. Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid explained the new model as “essential to establish and support a well-informed education system capable of keeping up with future changes and developments.”
He added: “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 deliver on national higher objectives, guided by the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
Is the newly “Emirati School Model” better for schools?
The new “Emirati School Model” will bring advanced teaching methods and learning materials to focus principally on enhancing students’ performance, higher thinking, problem-solving, communication, and management skills. This will theoretically result in filling the gap between academic output and work market demands.
The aforementioned plan will allow students in the UAE to join a university or college of their choice – locally and abroad – as their academic foundation will align with existing international standards.
Schools will be affected too: the “Emirati School Model” will target both school and teacher, as educational institutions all over the country will work and operate under a unified framework which is developed to meet aspirations and expectations of both students in the UAE and their parents.
Schools are expected to follow new strategies that are developed to improve management skills, which will also result in a better and more advanced moral and academic scholastic journey.
The Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) have joined forces and formed two main, hands-on committees to work on constantly developing school systems, and supervise the process of implementing the “Emirati School System.”
The new model is believed to leave no room for slacking when it comes to founding the next generation of pioneers and leaders, as it will help and support teachers and schools in fulfilling their duties and objectives, and to ensure the graduation of Emirati students who can achieve excellence, creativity, and talent academically, while emphasizing on psychological characteristics like values, principles of identity both national and personal, and the rich heritage of their homeland.
Local and international experts worked and analyzed the scholastic performance of students in the UAE, to reform and develop school systems and curricula, and pave the way for a generation hinging on creativity, young entrepreneurship, and academic excellence on a national scale.
The new plan comes just in time, as results from the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) – released last year – showed that UAE students scored below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average in the three subjects tested – science, reading and maths.
Usually, more than 500,000 students aged 15 from 35 OECD countries and 37 partner countries and economies, including 15,000 from UAE public and private schools, take the “Pisa” assessment, which is issued every three years.
The UAE’s National Agenda aim for its students to rank among the top 20 in “Pisa” by 2021, with the help of the “Emirati School System.”