Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

Thousands of UAE teachers sit licence test

Every teacher in the country is required to pass the exam before the end of this year

Teachers across the country are to sit tests on teaching standards and on their own specialist subject. Delores Johnson / The National
Teachers across the country are to sit tests on teaching standards and on their own specialist subject. Delores Johnson / The National

Thousands of teachers from public and private schools across the UAE have taken their licensing exam this week.

The assessment aims to raise and unify standards in the teaching profession, ensuring all staff have the required skills to do their job.

By the end of this year, any teacher wishing to work in the country will be required to have taken and passed the exam.

The first phase of the programme was launched by the Ministry of Education in March 2018, with more than 5,000 teachers taking the test.=About 7,000 teachers from across the UAE took the exam this week.

Martyn Shadbolt, head of primary at Jumeira Baccalaureate School in Dubai, said the assessment was a necessary step.

“It helps them [teachers] to understand the context of the UAE, both culturally and educationally,” he said.

“For example, everyone gets the same message on special education needs and child protection. We know all our staff have studied the same things.”

To be awarded the licence, teachers need to two pass two examinations: one on 'pedagogy' or approaches to teaching and another specialist exam on the subject they teach.

The assessment covers seven modules each requiring about 20 hours of study. Subjects include child protection, wellbeing and inclusion.

Mr Shadbolt said Jumeira Baccalaureate School was working to fast-track their new teachers into taking the exam.

He said the majority of their staff would have their licence before the end of this academic year.

Emran Kashem, a maths teacher at Dubai British School Jumeriah Park, said he had studied modules in diversity, sustainability and wellbeing before taking the test.

“Reflection is always powerful,” he said. “Being able to look back and think about how your practice can be better or how to take it further is rewarding.

“We were trained in our respective countries and that has prepared us, but it’s nice to have a refresher.

“Some teachers may benefit from a reminder on the context of the UAE and how things may differ from their home country or the country they have moved from.”

Official figures show about 21,000 teachers work just over 600 government schools and almost 51,000 teachers are employed in nearly 650 private schools.

Updated: January 20, 2020 05:22 PM

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