The new UAE teacher licence scheme explained
DUBAI // Knowledge of UAE culture and values feature prominently in the pilot phase of the national teacher licensing scheme.
The topic was one of four professional standards that more than 200 teachers from 15 schools were assessed in as part of the Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards (TELS) Licensing pilot project in the emirate.
The Dubai pilot was launched in September by the National Qualifications Authority and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. It was meant to be a trial run before education regulators introduce the first phase of the mandatory national teacher licensing next academic year.
Participating teachers, were required to complete a lengthy self-assessment in which they evaluated their knowledge in four teacher and educational leadership standards: ethics and conduct; professional knowledge; professional practice; and professional growth.
The professional ethics and conducts section featured a number of questions related to UAE ethics, values, culture and codes of conduct.
In completing the knowledge component, teachers were evaluated on different theories of learning and stages of development, while the practice section tested the teachers’ knowledge of how those theories should be applied in the classroom. Under professional growth, teachers were asked to describe how they ensure their own professional development.
The self-assessments were then reviewed by each teacher’s school and academics from the British University In Dubai (BUiD) who identified shortcomings or missing elements that the teacher needed to develop in order to be licenced. Once the evaluations were complete, the university recommended a training programme for the teacher to bring up his or her professional standard. Upon completing the training at BUiD, the teacher was issued a final exam by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority covering the four standards. The results of those exams have not yet been made public.
How the scheme works: The three stages of teacher licensing pilot
Stage 1 – Application for teacher licence
Teachers submit an application for a teacher licence. Those teachers who meet the initial requirements receive a provisional licence. An induction programme for teachers will provide further information on TELS evidence guide, methods of assessment, permissible evidence, self-assessment, mini-portfolio, training needs analysis and professional development training.
Stage 2 – Self-assessment and professional development
Teachers complete a self-assessment and identify training needs. Professional development training modules will be conducted and a mock exam will identify gaps in knowledge and understanding of individual teachers, following which, further professional training to continue.
Stage 3 – TELSUAE Exam and approval of Competent Teacher Status Licence
Successful completion of TELSUAE exam will provide ‘UAE Competent Teacher Status Licence’. This licence will allow teachers to teach in all schools in the UAE.
How the Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards Licensing pilot scheme will be established
2013 - UAE Cabinet authorises a resolution to establish a Supreme National Steering Committee chaired by the National Qualification Authority to oversee the development and implementation of a National Licensing System for Teachers.
2015 - The Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards for the UAE are completed and approved. The standards describe the level of knowledge, skills and understanding required for a teacher and educational leader to perform their specific functions and activities.
2016 – Pilot project is launched in Dubai involving more than 200 pre-selected teachers and another 400 in Abu Dhabi. The British University in Dubai is selected to provide teacher training in Dubai, while the Emirates College for Advanced Education will do the same in Abu Dhabi.
2017 – Results of the pilot project expected to be announced before the first phase of the TELSUAE rolls out across the country for the upcoming academic year.
2021 - All public and private school teachers, cluster editors, vice-principals and principals across the country are projected to be licensed by the end of the year.
Updated: March 29, 2017 04:00 AM