New Adec curriculum will reduce core subjects to eight

A revised curriculum for grades 10, 11 and 12 will put increased focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

ABU DHABI // The revised secondary school curriculum for public schools will reduce the number of core subjects students must take, from 11 to eight.

From August, pupils entering grades 10 and 11 will have to sign up for eight core subjects, almost half of which will be science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects.

The curriculum was recently announced by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and is meant to expose secondary school pupils to more Stem subjects and prepare them for the demands of university and the needs of the global workforce.

The number of periods during the school week will not be reduced.

“The current system is 45 periods a week and it will continue without changes in the next academic year,” said Dr Alaaeldin Aly, Adec’s knowledge management division manager.

Pupils will have 21 periods of compulsory maths, compulsory physics and two elective Stem subjects. For the remaining 24 periods, a mix of compulsory subjects will be taken in humanities, language and speech communication, health, and one ungraded period in a support and advising class, where students will learn test-taking skills and receive career counselling.

Dr Aly said Adec would use current staff to fulfil the mandate. “The initial investigation showed that we can run the modified curriculum with the existing staff, where the team is working on finalising the detailed staffing requirements,” said Dr Aly. “As you know, integrated social studies will be provided to all students in all grades, and all of the teachers teaching history and geography will be utilised efficiently and effectively.

“The geography teachers, as well as the geology teachers, will be utilised in the new geo-science course that will be introduced to grade 11 as an elective.

“The sociology teachers will be utilised in grade 12 in 2015-16. Therefore, the new Cycle 3 model will consume all current teachers, including humanities teachers.”

Secondary school geography, geology and IT teachers will receive “intensive training” to deliver new geo-science, IT and design subjects that will be introduced next year.

The training is expected to take place in term three of this academic year, said Dr Aly.

“All other courses that are being modified will require normal, regular professional training sessions since the teachers are mastering their subject contents,” said Dr Aly.

“All teachers involved in Cycle 3 will receive training on the assessment criteria and the structure of the course more than on the contents itself during the term three, so they can be ready by August 2015.”

Bakaheet Salam, a Grade 12 teacher at Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib School in Abu Dhabi, said training in preparation for the revised curriculum would be welcome.

“This is a big change with the people,” he said. “We need a clear idea and a clear view about the whole that will change. So we should have a timetable, we should have steps, and those steps should be clear for everyone: students, parents, teachers, principals.”

rpennington@thenational.ae

Published: March 31, 2015 04:00 AM

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