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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Emirati School Model will expand to UAE's international private schools, says minister 

Ministry officials are currently in talks with private schools across the country about how the standardisation will be applied

Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, speaks at the third annual Qudwa 2017 Global Teacher's Forum in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Reem Mohammed / The National
Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, speaks at the third annual Qudwa 2017 Global Teacher's Forum in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Reem Mohammed / The National

The Minister of Education said the standardisation of the country’s national public school curriculum will soon expand to international private schools across the emirates.

“We have now to focus on how to correctly implement the Emirati School Model throughout the UAE because we have to standardise all the criteria and we have to ensure that we will in fact achieve what we are aiming for,” Hussain Al Hammadi told hundreds of educators gathered for Qudwa 2017 at Emirates Palace Saturday.

The Emirati School Model is the new K-12 curriculum designed by the MOE that was introduced last year in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and expanded to all Government schools across the country this year. The curriculum delivers more sciences and maths subjects, both as electives and compulsory classes, and adds new practical subjects such as life skills, health science, business and entrepreneurship, and design and technology.

Speaking on the sidelines of the forum, Mr Al Hammadi said ministry officials are currently in discussions with private schools across the country about how the standardisation will be applied.

He said private schools would continue to deliver their respective international curriculums, but they will be given two years to ensure the education they deliver meet the minimum standards set by the Emirati School Model.

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“We have a model called Emirati school model, which has very clear outcomes,” said Mr Hammadi. “The issue we have is aligning the private school to this framework. So, we’d like to make sure that if your kid goes to a private school, you know what you are going to get, which standard. We would like to align the whole nation, to become one ecosystem. At least we can guarantee for the parent, if you choose any school, whether it’s American or Australian or Filipino, you know what you are going to get. We would like to make sure we raise the bar.”

Some private schools have allowed some of its pupils to skip critical subjects, such as maths, which Mr Al Hammadi said may prejudice the pupil later in life.

“Anywhere you go, you need a minimum skills of maths, you need minimum skills in coding and computer skills, you need minimum skills in entrepreneurship and management skills. These skills are the best skills for any kid to succeed in life. We don’t want to deprive any kids from these skills,” said Mr Al Hammadi.

Private schools will be given a two-year grace period to align their curriculums with the national standards, but Mr Al Hammadi did not say when this period would start.

“First we are enlightening all the schools, then giving a grace period so they can start planning and developing the right electives to offer the students,” said Mr Al Hammadi.

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