Ministry's strategic plan

More details of the new Arabic language curriculum are released by the Ministry of Education.

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ABU DHABI // More details of the new Arabic language curriculum were released by the Ministry of Education yesterday, the latest in a series of announcements about its overhaul of the public school system. The curriculum, which covers grades one and two, will be launched in 50 Madares Al Ghad (MAG), or Schools of the Future, this autumn. The MAG programme was begun in 50 public schools last year to introduce new teaching and management practices in an effort to improve student outcomes.

The new curriculum is part of a larger plan to change teaching methods in public schools. Like the new national curriculum developed by the Abu Dhabi Education Counci, which is to be introduced in all public schools in a few years, it is standards-based. With the new curriculum, pupils will be expected to have achieved a certain skill by the end of each year. This is designed to steer teaching away from the rote model used previously in public school classrooms.

"The pedagogy used to teach Arabic hasn't kept up with the pace," said Dr Karima Matar al Mazrooei, head of the Arabic language curriculum committee. "The children of the UAE face an identity crisis." He said language should open doors to culture and heritage, but that children had found the old curriculum boring and difficult. Under the new curriculum, pupils will be more involved in group activities and teachers will focus less on a single textbook. Additional classroom resources will also be introduced.