Nearly one million students will attend government and private schools tomorrow as part of the beginning of the new school year 2017-2018. The Ministry of Education announced the completion of all necessary preparations to achieve a distinctive start to the academic year by ensuring availability of all the requirements that guarantee an attractive educational environment for students.
The number of students at government schools and Abu Dhabi Educational Council reached 290,690 students with 155,344 students in Dubai and the Northern emirates and 135,348 students within the Abu Dhabi Educational Council.
The academic year 2017-2018 marks a quantum leap in the educational system in the State, as the Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Educational Council announced the unification of the educational system in UAE pursuant to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State. This means advancing towards broader horizons in the process of developing students’ performance in order to proceed in achieving the desired developments in the educational sector, which will positively reflect on the country’s approach aimed at accomplishing sustainable development in all sectors.
The Ministry of Education launched the largest project for the development, improvement and maintenance of its schools during the summer holidays which included all schools with a construction age of less than 15 years by configuration and redistribution of some of their facilities in line with the Ministry’s vision, aimed at creating an appealing and modern educational environment. The Ministry also undertook development of 24 schools and 16 kindergarten centres.
The new academic year focuses on providing students with a set of high quality skills, particularly in relation to the practical curricula whereby the Ministry ensured a large space for experiments within Emirati Schools by equipping schools with a unique system of laboratories and learning resources. The preparation of 1150 laboratories at different education levels also began while 65 halls for the subject of health science were created.
Number of teaching staff
The Ministry produced 35 books within its plan for the new academic year and the number of printed books for the first semester reached around 332 books in 4,250,000 copies.
The Ministry stated that the number of teaching staff under its umbrella reached 22,282 teachers; 11,163 teachers in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, and 11,119 teachers in Abu Dhabi, while the number of government schools reached 642; 384 schools in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and 258 schools in Abu Dhabi.
Creation of a smart educational environment
The Ministry of Education paid special attention to the development of a smart educational environment in schools that conform to the most elite international standards related to the smart learning system. The Ministry, as part of its preparations for the 2017-2018 academic year, provided around 42 laptops to students, along with the provision of 1,350 smart panels in all schools, and distribution of 4,343 during the academic year. The Ministry also created an electronic platform called “Diwan” for teachers and students for the purpose of providing digital curriculums.
The Ministry of Education prepared employees in the educational field for the improvements incorporated in the smart environment of its schools by providing specialized training for 12,107 teachers and school administration staff on the utilization of smart learning systems, Microsoft applications and the e-maturity program, in addition to launching an initiative for the development of an integrated learning environment and digital education system for Emirati Schools. This includes aspects that contribute to the enhancement of the educational process through the latest technologies, the provision of complete data around the educational system, and performance for all interested bodies and individuals.
The Ministry also provided specialized training for approximately 13,000 teachers last week that included lab and learning resources specialists and academic counsellors.
Elite and General Modules
The Ministry of Education made changes to the advance science program related to the elite modular which runs from grade 6 to grade 9. The modular was expanded by circulating the same around 23 schools, covering various areas in the country with a capacity of 4500 students. The Ministry also undertook a redistribution of science subjects for the general modular.
Based on the directives of H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Ministry included the subject of moral education within its curricula for the new academic year in different areas of the country. This subject will be implemented at all government and private schools from grade 1 to grade 9, in both the Arabic and English languages. It aims at instilling noble values in students and refining their personalities.
Within its plan for the academic year, the Ministry of Education intends on teaching the Chinese language to students in grade 10, and has appointed specialists to teach this subject to an experimental sample of students from some schools.
Development of Curricula
The Ministry of Education has developed the subject of social studies and national education for students in grades 1-9, to achieve the purpose of this subject in instilling the values and notions of national identity. The Ministry has also developed the Arabic language subject for grades one to five.
The Ministry paid special attention to the kindergarten stage within its plans for the academic year by designing curricula and learning resources appropriate for their age group, aimed at developing their skills in both the Arabic and English languages, and also arranged a special training program for the teachers of that stage.
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