x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Abu Dhabi's push for schools to focus on Arabic

A total of 61 teachers from six schools in Abu Dhabi, both public and private, attended the conference by the education council entitled 'My Language is my Identity'.

ABU DHABI // The emirate's education council yesterday held a teachers' conference to improve the usage of Arabic language at schools.

A total of 61 teachers from six schools, both public and private, were present at "My Language is my Identity" at Al Bateen Secondary School in Abu Dhabi to discuss the need for greater focus on Arabic, and particularly its classical form.

On the sidelines of the conference, which was held by Aldar Academics and Cambridge Education in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), Engineer Tareq Zeyad Awad Al Ameri said: "Students, particularly who are studying in private schools, lack proficiency in traditional Arabic language."

He said pupils put more focus on science, mathematics and the English language and that the use of English syllabus books means that many forget Arabic.

However, he added that "still there are some schools doing well".

The conference also highlighted existing efforts to engage pupils in Arabic.

In 2010, Adec introduced a new school model for public schools, which focuses on dual-teaching methods, with books in both Arabic and English.

Mr Al Ameri said most advances come in the English language first but "we are trying to translate and impart focus on Arabic language, whether it's science or maths".

He also acknowledged that most pupils generally stick to using colloquial Arabic, as opposed to classical, and that presented a huge challenge.

The event was organised under the patronage of Sheikha Al Yazia bint Saif bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, wife of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister.

anwar@thenational.ae