New licensing system for teachers
ABU DHABI // Almost every teacher will have to take a training course, pass a test and obtain a licence before setting foot in a classroom.
The new regime, similar to licensing for doctors, is expected to be introduced next year and will affect about 60,000 teachers.
Teachers are already required to have at least a bachelor’s or equivalent university degree. The new system will require expatriate and Emirati teachers at both public and private schools to register for a course and complete a test to qualify for a licence.
“You know the medical certification if you are a doctor? If you come to practise here in UAE, there is a certain regulation,” the Ministry of Education undersecretary Marwan Al Sawaleh said on Tuesday. “So, for teachers this will be the same.”
He said some experienced teachers may be exempt, as would some who hold teaching licences from specific countries. “Education is a key for this country,” Mr Al Sawaleh said. “Our aim is to provide a high-standard quality education system.
“We will not allow just a normal country’s standard teacher to come and teach our kids, our future leaders. It’s a right for the students and parents to really have very sound, quality teachers certified in the schools.”
Mr Al Sawaleh said the final framework for the licensing system will be presented to the Cabinet for approval in September or October.
If approved, it could be introduced in phases from the beginning of 2015. A grace period of one or two years would also be offered to give teachers and schools the time to adapt to the new guidelines.
The new system will unify teaching standards, the Minister of Education, Humaid Al Qattami, told the FNC on Tuesday
“We are conducting a comprehensive revision of private education. We are in the final stages of drawing up this new law,” he said.
Mr Al Qattami also told the FNC that a set curriculum for Arabic, Islamic studies and national education will be compulsory in private schools from next year.
“All studies have shown that there is a weakness in forming a student’s personality in this area,” Mr Al Qattami said.
Mr Al Qattami was responding to a question raised by FNC member Ali Al Nuaimi about the frequent changes made to private schools’ curriculums, which he said teachers and pupils were suffering from.
“What are the reasons behind these changes and why doesn’t the ministry set a unified guide for curriculums for all private schools to follow?” said Mr Al Nuaimi.
The Minister of Education defended the existing system. He said there were 17 different curriculums being taught, the six main ones being the Ministry of Education’s, British, American, International Baccalaureate, Australian and German.
“Private education in the UAE has good infrastructure and an international open system,” said Mr Qattami.
Mr Al Nuaimi also said some parents had complained about inappropriate material being taught at some private schools “They have principles in contradiction with religious and Islamic principles.
“Some private schools also teach material that is outside the accredited curriculum,” he said.
Mr Al Qattami said there was a hotline that parents could call if they felt their children were not being taught properly. The Ministry will investigate complaints, he said.
Published: June 3, 2014 04:00 AM