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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

UAE’s new teacher licensing system ‘will open door for Emiratis’

Applicants will no longer be required to have prior teaching experience to qualify to work as a teacher in a private school in Dubai.

DUBAI // One of the aims of the teacher licensing system is to encourage more Emiratis to the profession.

Dr Naji Al Mahdi, chief of qualifications at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, said applicants would no longer be required to have experience to qualify as a teacher in a private school in Dubai.

Requiring prior teaching experience “has been an unintended policy of exclusion” that is partly to blame for the low numbers of Emiratis in the profession,” Dr Al Mahdi said.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but on-the-job experience has been replaced by the new system.

“So we are moving away from building fences to removing barriers, facilitating without sacrificing the quality,” Dr Al Mahdi said.

He said inexperienced new teachers would have at least 12 months to earn an education qualification through a part-time training programme and gain supervised teaching experience.

“The idea is about developing people, not about creating high barriers so nobody can enter.”

Dr Thani Al Mehairi, the National Qualifications Authority’s director general, said that the system would remove obstacles for prospective teachers.

“The project will encourage citizens to join teaching through enhancing the social status of this profession compared to other professions,” Dr Al Mehairi said.

“It will change the negative stereotypes in society about teaching, which discourage Emiratis to join this profession.

“The project will inevitably honour teachers and school leaders and will recognise their achievements and leadership role in the community.

“The project will also open several prospects for the future and career progression for Emirati teachers in the community.”

rpennington@thenational.ae

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