All school teachers in the UAE will have to pay a nominal fee to receive a mandatory teaching licence by the end of the year.
Teachers will be charged Dh300 when they sit a test and obtain the licence, the Ministry of Education said.
By the end of 2020, all principals, vice principals, cluster managers and teachers working across all public and private schools will have to hold a licence, known as the Teacher Licensing System, to legally work in the country.
In 2017, the Emirates introduced the pilot phase of the TLS. It will now become a requirement for education professionals in the country.
In March 2018, just under 5,800 teachers took a free test.
These teachers will be exempt from paying the fee.
However, teachers who sat the test in the 2019-2020 academic year will be charged for the exam.
About 7,000 school teachers across the UAE took the exam in January this year.
Teachers need to register their personal information plus their professional and academic credentials on the Ministry of Education's website. After this, they will be invited to sit the test.
The authorities said the fee to obtain a licence in the UAE is much lower than in other countries.
“When we were doing our research we realised other countries charged a very high amount," said Rawdha Al Marar, director of professional licensing at the Ministry of Education. "We wanted to have something very affordable for teachers as we did not want to impose any stress on them."
"A licence is owned by the teacher and it applies to both private and public school teachers," Ms Al Marar said.
The licence is obtained by passing two tests, one in pedagogy and the other in the applicant's teaching specialisation.
Teachers will have to pay Dh250 for the test and Dh50 to get the licence when they pass.
If a teacher fails the test, he or she will have two more chances to pass. A Dh100 fee is applicable for every resit.
But before a teacher can retake the tests, the applicant will be required to enroll for training tailored to a teacher’s specific needs, something that will be determined by the test scores.
Duration of the training will be based on the needs of the candidate, and retaking the examination is possible upon completing the courses.
To renew the licence after it has expired, teachers will have to pay a one-time charge of Dh100.
The duration of the licence has not been fixed yet and fees must be paid online.
“The purpose of the teacher licence system is to measure the performance of employees in the education sector including teachers [and] school leaders and in order to ensure they are able to practice their profession efficiently," the Ministry of Education said.
Official figures show about 21,000 teachers work in 619 government schools. Almost 50,000 teachers are employed in 643 private schools.