H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Education and Human Resources Council (EHRC), called on the schools in the UAE to engage in achieving the National Agenda of the UAE and to put it within its main mission and vision, to educate students and parents about its importance and to invest the skills and ideas of students, teachers and all those related to the educational process in drafting plans and initiatives to achieve the objectives of the National Agenda.
In his speech during a ceremony organized by EHRC today to honor 30 outstanding schools that achieved exceptional results at the Bin level in international tests in its latest version at the Higher Colleges of Technology for students in Dubai, H.H. said: "I am pleased today to be among a leading educational elite that carries the light of knowledge and enlightenment to guide the paths of the young generations. Throughout your sincere efforts, the process of education will develop and the communities will achieve its goals. Hence, today's initiative of honoring outstanding schools in international tests is very important, being one of the initiatives of EHRC, within the National Agenda initiatives related to the results of the UAE in international tests".
H.H. added that EHRC honors 30 schools that have achieved high results in the previous sessions of the TIMSS and PISA tests, which indicate the existence of distinguished educational models in the UAE. H.H. stressed that this honoring underlines the importance of the school's role in achieving the goals of the National Agenda that is adopted by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which is the responsibility of all and not only educational institutions, in addition he considered that the school has a great role in achieving these goals.
H.H. said: "today, we are happy to celebrate the schools that have successfully achieved these goals. The development of education in the UAE and the upgrading of our schools are all our goals and we can't achieve it alone, but we want the school and the family to join together to achieve what we all aspire to prepare a generation ready for the challenges of the future.
The ceremony was attended by H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, H.E. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Najla bint Mohammed Al Awar, Minister of Community Development, and HE Jameela bint Salem Musabah Al Muhairi, Minister of Bin for General Education, H.E. Dr. Ahmed bin Abdullah Humaid Al-Falous, Minister of Bin for Higher Education, H.E. Shama bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Bin for Youth Affairs, H.E. Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Education Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Karam, Director General of Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai and a number of educational leaders in the Ministry of Education, as well as a large number of academics and those interested in education.
H.E. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education praised the honored Schools for its outstanding distinction in international tests at the Bin level and achieving high results, stressing that this excellence is what we aspire to, and we want it to be an inherent feature of all Bin schools in international tests, in order to achieve the objectives of the National Agenda.
He stressed that the EHRC, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, attaches great importance to education and seeks to achieve the best educational practices to improve the level of education in the country. This recognition is a key incentive for schools in the UAE to move forward in improving their performance and competitiveness through high quality educational outcomes and to achieve the vision and aspirations of wise leadership regarding the indicators of the National Agenda through the UAE arrival to the top 20 world countries in the international tests by 2021.
He added that the importance of international tests stems from the Ministry's Strategy to develop the education, which emphasizes the importance of the Emirate students' participation in these tests, improving the level of education, sensing the change for the better and speeding up the pace of developments. He pointed out that the concerns of decision-makers in the field of education have become more focused on developing students' proficiency of the Knowledge and skills that will enable them to pursue life-long development armed with the knowledge and skills required to succeed.
He mentioned that the international tests are an integral part of the process of teaching and education, and one of the important inputs to its development, as these tests play an importance role in recognizing changes in the learner's growth and attention to the diversity of teaching methods and curriculum development to develop the skills of scientific thinking and reading comprehension of students and providing the opportunity to develop the skills of gifted students. The results of the evaluations also allow us to conceptualize and evaluate an important approach in which the Ministry of Education takes effective steps to reach our educational system to be one of the most advanced systems to enter the competitive world.
He stressed that the aim of participating in the international tests is to provide decision-makers in the Ministry with information on the quality of education in the Bin, along with meeting the appropriate decisions of development and setting systems and mechanisms to measure abilities and skills by comparing students' performance with their counterparts worldwide in different materials, as well as providing curriculum developers with information on the changes required in the curriculum and development.
He noted that international tests also help to assess the students' knowledge and skills and compare them globally with the large numbers of students from different countries and find the relationship between the level of performance of the student and the factors surrounding it, such as school, the home environment and social relations in addition to measuring changes in the performance of students over time and highlight the educational policy.
He praised the performance of the honored schools that have achieved the required international tests in well-deserved manner, stressing that this achievement is the fruit of hard, collective and exceptional ambition of teaching and administrative bodies, along with a distinctive and pioneer efforts of students, which promises a high level of bin schools in the near future.
Tests are an effective tool
In her speech, H.E. Jameela Al Muhairi stressed that international tests are the best tool for providing information on the level of our students compared to their counterparts in the rest of the world.
She pointed out that such tests are the assessment tool used by the best educational systems to measure the quality of education in schools, which H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum adopted in the National Agenda and announced to everyone that we want to be one of the best countries in the performance of international tests.
H.E. said that more than 140 schools in the UAE scored higher than the international average in the fourth grade TIMSS test and more than 130 schools scored higher than the international average in the eighth grade TIMSS test, while the number of schools in the country that scored higher than the international average in the PISA study is more than 50 schools, along with more than 60 schools with a score of 550 points or higher in the TIMSS study in grades 4 and 8, while the same rate was achieved by more than 20 schools in the PISA study.
She added that in order to circulate the benefit of international tests and to make a role and responsibility for every school in the country, a joint team was formed between the Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Education Council and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority to develop a comprehensive plan for all bin schools, which outlines key initiatives to achieve the indicators of the National Agenda, and enables us together to put the name of the UAE among the best countries in performing the international tests.
She explained that one of these initiatives is giving each school in the bin a specific goal in the TIMSS and PISA tests and setting a number of points that should be achieved in the next sessions of these tests. She noted that these goals are an important tool that will help in self-assessment and development plans.
H.E. invited the 30 schools that achieved outstanding results in the international tests to exchanges these successful experiences with other schools in the bin, in order to make the students exchanges the best experiments and educational experience, and in the same time H.E. valued this excellences in terms of the results of the international tests, which will enhance the steps taken by the Ministry to achieve the best results in this context.
She said that we still have a lot of work to achieve our goals in the field of international tests, which requires the concerted efforts of everyone as well as working with determination and motivation.