The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) passed a decree on teaching all the Arabic-designed curriculum in the classrooms in standard Arabic, and took many steps to achieve this objective.
Such step comes in the framework of the keenness of MOE and ADEC on allowing the students to master their mother tongue and the relevant linguistic skills. Such decree is also tended to strengthen the relationship between the students and their mother language, its vocabulary and linguistic manifestations, the matter which helps in sustaining its place in the daily usage.
His Highness Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, stressed that the decree on teaching in the standard Arabic stemmed from the MOE’s interest in supporting the national efforts of recovering the Arabic language original and established position. He referred to that the Arabic language is a collective vessel that combines our heritage, history, identity and civilization. Thus, teaching it to the coming generations is a pressing need.
His Excellency stated that depending on the standard Arabic for teaching the Arabic curriculum will contribute to the efforts of supporting the Arabic language. It will reflect on the students’ academic development and will lead to allowing spending more time in speaking, reading and improving the linguistic skills among the various elements of the school community.
He indicated that the MOE pursues to intensify the students’ practice of the standard Arabic and keep them in a natural environment where they can practice it, stressing that such decree is concerned with teaching the Arabic-designed curricula in the standard Arabic, being the UAE’s official language which should manifest in the daily use particularly that which is related to studying and education.
He listed a range of grounds upon which the decree was issued. He summarized this range in that the Arabic language should be the language of communication in the classrooms of the subjects taught in Arabic language, the same way as the subjects taught in the English language where communications inside the classroom should be in the English language.
He defined another ground, saying that some teachers resort to using their colloquial dialects inside the classrooms. Thus, students have to hear a multitude of dialects which pose an obstacle for understanding their lessons. Furthermore, this step grants students additional time for communicating in the Arabic standard which is a requirement that cannot be fulfilled by the Arabic language classes only.
He mentioned that the MOE tries to keep students in a real environment where they can read, listen, speak and write; double the time for practicing the standard Arabic to form two thirds of the total time spent at school and improve their linguistic skills.
His Excellency went on saying that the decree will lead to the establishment of just and equal opportunities, allowing students to communicate with their teachers and colleagues in an all understandable-language. Moreover, this pursuit is meant to fight the image created in the students’ minds that the standard Arabic is the language of learning, of reading and writing, or of official use only. They should be aware of that it is the language of daily communications, talking, learning, production and publication.
His Excellency Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director General of ADEC, highlighted ADEC’s keenness on enforcing the decree on certifying the standard Arabic as the language for teaching and communicating at school. This depicts our belief in the importance of this language as it reflects our original identity and heritage. It is also a translation of the wise leadership’ visions of preserving and supporting the Arabic language position, being the main instrument of confirming the national identity of the coming generations and a means of communication among the students of different cultures and nationalities.
He added that the Arabic language with its deep vocabulary and connotations bears high aesthetic value. He stated that as education sector officials, we work hard for the maintenance of the Arabic language importance and the reflection of its significance and mastery. He encourages students to pay attention to the proper use of our mother tongue vocabulary and aesthetics and to the enrichment of their linguistic and academic vocabulary.
He pointed out to that the ADEC underlines the significance of complying with teaching and communicating with the students in the standard language in the Arabic-designed curricula classes in the public as well as private schools by all the teachers. He stated that it should be listed as a standard for the professional certification, control and licensing and for the teachers’ recruitment and assessment of performance. He declared that in the framework of the professional development programs, the ADEC will organize training program on the rules of communication in Arabic language for the unspecialized teachers.
The MOE has taken many steps to enforce this decree through encouraging all the teachers to communicate in the Arabic language in the curricular classrooms and educational context; training the teachers who need support on the Arabic language skills and motivating students to communicate with each other and with their teachers in the standard Arabic. The MOE is also working on raising the school community awareness of the necessity of supporting and promoting the positive practices in this regard and of channeling this interest to the parents to adapt their children’s environment to fulfill this goal and to encourage them to follow this direction. The MOE is also working on passing a binding ministerial decree that allows no exceptions whatsoever to the rule of communicating in the standard Arabic in the curricular environment.
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