Abu Dhabi to open nine charter schools with 12,000 places in September

More than 130 Emiratis hired to work in the new schools

Al Danah School by Aldar is one of the many charter schools in Abu Dhabi.  Victor Besa / The National
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Abu Dhabi will open nine new charter schools with 12,000 places in September, the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.

The rapidly expanding programme, which was launched in the 2018-2019 school year with the opening of the 2,700-place Al Rayana School, will offer 46,500 places in 31 schools when the new school year starts.

The new schools will offer kindergarten, Cycle 1, Cycle 2, and Cycle 3 and give employment to 139 Emiratis, who will work as administrative and teaching trainees after a dedicated recruitment drive.

Charter schools work on the public-private model, under which the government builds the infrastructure and then allows a private partner to manage the school.

When it was launched, the management of a dozen government schools in the emirate was taken over by private sector operators.

Charter schools are free for their exclusively Emirati pupils, who live in the neighbourhood where the school is located.

At present there are 15 charter schools in Abu Dhabi city and seven in Al Ain offering the American curriculum to 30,198 Emirati children in primary school. The location of the new schools was not revealed in the announcement on Wednesday.

The curriculum covers core subjects such as English, maths and science, as well as Arabic, Islamic and social studies that follow the UAE Ministry of Education curriculum, plus extracurricular activities including physical education and swimming.

Abu Dhabi announced plans in May to build three new charter schools in Zayed City, which will be ready to welcome pupils in September 2024. They are expected to accommodate 5,360 pupils.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, met senior Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) officials and reviewed progress updates on the nine new charter schools.

He commended the success of Adek’s innovative public-private partnership model, which has created 34,500 school places since launch and led to 93 per cent of pupils progressing significantly academically since enrolment.

“Charter schools focus on sustainability, enabling the ongoing provision of quality education and heightened student performance," said Sara Musallam, chairman of Adek.

"What fills us with great appreciation for what has been achieved is the progress students have demonstrated overall and the number of Emiratis who are now employed in these schools and have embarked on careers within the education sector.”

Updated: July 27, 2022, 2:40 PM