As the new academic year in Abu Dhabi begins, a thousand qualified new teachers and administrators have been recruited by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), officials from the council announced yesterday.Speaking at the Bedaya Forum, which marks the start of the academic year next Sunday, Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General of Adec, said this new phase will see all public school teachers having to be licensed by the council.
"The profession of teaching is a prestigious one, and this licensing will enable teachers' status to be regained. In addition, teachers are the key component in creating the student-centred approach of Adec's New School Model (NSM)," Dr Al Khaili said.
The two-day forum, which began yesterday and saw 7,500 educators from Abu Dhabi city and Al Gharbia (Western Region) in attendance, was held to brief educators about Adec's plans for the sector in the emirate.During his address, Dr Al Khaili explained that the widespread practice of private tuitions had brought down the value of the teaching profession in the emirate, and he stressed upon its illegal nature.
"Since the NSM was implemented in 2005, students in our public schools have made great strides in mathematical learning, English and sciences, as proven by internationally-administered tests. However, knowledge of Arabic, specifically the writing aspect, is still a concern and needs to be addressed immediately," Dr Al Khaili told Gulf News. "The lack of electronic resources to teach Arabic at schools, or provide extra-curricular activities on the Web, is stymieing children's reading skills in the language. This, in turn, impacts their writing ability. So Adec is now calling upon teachers of the Arabic language to introduce creative new means to teach it," he added.
The director general also emphasised that this year, Adec would work to develop principals and teachers' skills while updating the public school curriculum and teaching technology in keeping with the times. He also said that the 1,000 newly-recruited teachers would be teaching public school classes up to grade five.
Currently, 125,000 pupils in the emirate are enrolled in various public institutions, while 180,000 pupils are enrolled at private schools.
"Private schools are an important part of the education sector, which is why 45 licences for new private schools have been issued since 2009. In addition, 50 applications are still being reviewed," Dr Al Khaili said.
He also mentioned how Adec was focusing on shutting down villa schools in the emirate.
"For a proper learning environment, Adec has determined that classrooms should be at least 75 square metres, which is not available in villas. So in the past year, we have shut down 22 villa schools, among which 10 were relocated to bigger facilities," he said.
From / Gulf News