A step in the right direction

A nationwide licensing system will improve the education system in critical ways

A mathematics classroom at Gems Wellington Academy. Reem Mohammed / The National
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Having a national teacher licensing system is an important step in raising the standard of education. As The National has reported, more than 600 teachers across Abu Dhabi and Dubai are nearing the end of the Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards licensing pilot project which includes self-assessment, professional training and a final exam.

This project is only one component in a broader drive to ensure that public and private schoolteachers, vice principals and principals acquire a national licence by the end of 2021 in line with the requirements of the UAE National Agenda. The simple fact is that the country is in need of a national licensing system for all school staff that ensures professionalism and, at the same time, awareness of the code of conduct, our culture and the country’s vision for education reforms.

Those who acquire the licence will have minimum skills, an understanding of ethics and good conduct, and professional knowledge. This will not only help the individuals’ professional worth but also the development of the education system as a whole.

Having a unified licensing system will also increase the mobility of teachers within the UAE. For example, those who transfer between emirates will not have to deal with the different requirements of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in dubai and the Ministry of Education. It will also set a base for future recruitment, which is especially critical given the international complexion of teaching staff here.

Licensing is only one step towards a unified education system. It remains critical for individual schools to invest in training and retaining their staff for their given education environment. Of course, such an observation could be applied to any education system around the world. The nature of teaching requires dynamic developments not only in teaching materials but also in teachers’ professional progression over their entire careers.