The Ministry of Education has approved a modern operational plan for scientific laboratories aimed 100% activation in all schools under its umbrella, in line with the Ministry’s plans focused on affirming the role of school laboratories within the learning environment in the Emirati School to provide students with knowledge, information and practical skills related to physics, chemistry, biology and general science whereby theoretical and practical elements are instilled in their minds.
In accordance with the laboratories operational plan, around 30% of the mentioned subjects will be conducted inside laboratories according to modern best practises which will assist in conforming with the latest developments in the educational sector to improve educational outcomes in the State and strengthen its system.
The Ministry clarified that the modern laboratories operational plan will be completed by the end of the current semester with implementation taking place at the beginning of the next academic year. The plan will include different stages of education to cover the science curriculum of students in elementary and middle schools, while covering the subjects of physics, chemistry and biology for secondary school students.
This stems from the Ministry’s keenness to provide the educational process in the State with unique educational practises and experiences to refine students’ scientific knowledge and furnish them with live field skills through school laboratories to enhance their academic achievements.
H.E Dr. Hamad Al Yehya’ei, Assistant Undersecretary for Curricula & Assessment Sector at the Ministry of Education, stated that the operational plan aims at providing students with research tools in the mentioned subjects which will enhance their academic and scientific capabilities within educational templates designed to open and expand their perceptions and leading them to broader perspectives of experimentation and scrutiny within school laboratories.
His Excellency explained that according to the operational plan, around 30% of the volume scientific subjects, such as physics, chemistry, biology and general science will be applied in laboratories giving students efficient time to combine between the theoretical and practical aspects of the science curricula, away from traditional teaching methods since such subjects are centred on experiments and research and not limited to learning and storing theories only.
His Excellency mentioned that the Ministry has formed a council for laboratory specialists comprising of a laboratories section, laboratory specialists in schools, in addition to specialists from the Curricula & Assessment Sector and the Department of Learning Resources and Educational Solutions for the purpose of closely following-up the operational plan and setting all frameworks that ensure its success upon implementation in the education field at the beginning of the next academic year.
Sharifa Mousa, Director of the Department of Learning Resources & Educational Solutions at the Ministry of Education, said that the laboratories operational plan aims at developing students’ higher thinking skills to improve the outcome of the Emirati School curricula. It also enhances our students’ 21st century skills by conducting practical experiments within laboratories, indicating that the preparation of the operational plan required close cooperation between the various departments within the Ministry of Education in order to identify a unique and effective model that guarantees the achievement of the plant’s desired benefits.
She indicated that the Ministry is now in the implementation phase of the laboratories operational plan after completing the initial preparation and planning phase which included identifying requirements for laboratories and reviewing best practises applied in this field for the purpose of activation, noting that execution of the plan will include a work program to coordinate the efforts between various sectors at the Ministry participating in the laboratories operational plan, starting with provision of requirements, determining the practical experiments needed by each class according to science curriculums, including physics, chemistry, biology and general science to reach actual development, followed by the phase of assessment and follow-up.
She confirmed that the process of activating laboratories is accompanied by great efforts in developing the competences of laboratory specialists by providing specialized training courses in accordance with their line of work to enhance their effectiveness in the educational scene in order to achieve the desired results set by the Ministry, and ultimately advance students’ academic abilities in the targeted subjects.
Dr. Rasheed Al Hammadi, Director of Middle Schools Curriculum, stated that all types of scientific laboratories, whether for comprehensive scientific curricula in elementary and middle schools or within higher specialized stages contribute to the clarification of scientific conceptions for students and interprets the same in a clear practical manner in their minds, enabling better understanding to achieve the learning standards and results set by the Ministry, indicating that laboratories motivate and encourage students to learn through scrutiny, scientific research and application of scientific theories in the laboratories through experiments contained within scientific curricula, noting that providing students with research tools will raise their curiosity and their way of thinking, and will open broad horizons to embark on scientific disciplines at later stages which in turn will lead them to engage in the ambitious fields and projects of the State.
Zahra Hashim, Director of Early Childhood Curricula & Elementary Schools, said that this particular age group in the life of students is considered a main stage to build their concept of scientific awareness and develop critical thinking and research, hence, laboratories at the early stages of students’ lives constitute a fundamental pillar for the development of systematic and analytical thinking mechanisms in their minds.
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