The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) hired 300 new Emirati teachers in addition to 96 Arab expatriate teachers for the 2014-2015 academic school year.
The move comes in line with ADEC’s strategic plan to recruit Emirati talents into the teaching field as part of an ambitious agenda to Emiratize the entire teaching community across public schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
During her welcoming speech at the Sorbonne University today, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Director General at ADEC, spoke about how honorable "teaching" is as a profession. She explained that it is "the teacher" who helps graduate a dependable and intelligent future workforce.
"We are very proud of our new teachers who have chosen to take up teaching as a profession. It is without doubt that you have made the right choice, and I would like to assure each and every single one of you that you have our full support. ADEC will work with you to make sure that you are not only progressing in your career, but also enjoying your jobs as teachers. Your contribution is the reason why we actually exist to start with, and without you our work cannot be complete. We depend on you and trust that you will serve your country and children in the best possible way," said ADEC’s Director General.
During the meeting organized by ADEC to welcome the newly recruited teachers, Dr. Al Qubaisi explained that there are an extra 306 Emirati teachers this year in comparison to last year.
She said: "During the 2013-14 academic school year there were 4,563 Emirati educators including principals, vice principals and teachers. This year there are 4,869 which is an evident improvement. It is also obvious from the numbers that there are more female Emirati’s in the education profession than males, with 4,187 females and 682 males in 2014-2015. However there are more males than the last academic year which witnessed 617 males in the education field." As per the 2014-2015 statistics, there are 255 kindergartens to Grade 12 public schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi expected to operate, with four new schools open, while four schools have shut down.
Dr. Al Qubaisi highlighted ADEC’s various student centered learning initiatives that have been and will remain rolled out in the next few years across public schools with particular emphasis on the New School Model which has introduced a new approach to learning which helps involve students in hands-on activities thus enhancing their creativity and problem solving skills.
The New School Model has been introduced in stages starting with Kindergarten to Grade 3 during the 2010- 2011 academic school years, and is eventually being rolled out to the rest of the grades by 2016. During this academic year, Grade 7 will be added to the model.
As part of the 21st century teaching techniques, teachers are required to treat each individual student based on their areas of strengths, which can be further developed if detected early.
"As educators you are responsible of moving away from the former approach of rote memorization and supporting the new trend of problem solving and independent thinking. Each individual student has a gift, and it is up to us to realize what this gift is and help enhance it, and to help you achieve that goal, all of our public schools have been newly refurbished and equipped with top notch technology that will cater to your teaching," concluded Dr. Al Qubaissi.
ADEC has allocated approximately 10 to 12 per cent its budget towards offering teachers professional development and training programmes.