UAE President announces plans to unify education in all government schools

Emirati School Model designed to ensure pupils secure "first-rate education"

Schools across the emirates that follow the UAE Government Ministry of Education's curriculum will be brought under one education system. Jeff Topping / The National
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Schools across the UAE will follow a new common education system in a major shakeup announced by the Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Education Council.

According to the announcement, all Government schools and those private schools which follow the government curriculum will adopt what was called the 'Emirati School Model', with the aim of improving standards and producing better results.

The changes will create a single standardised education system for both organisations, and are the result of directives from President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

According to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the plan is “essential to achieve supportive and well-informed education system capable of keeping up with future changes and developments."

''The prime goal is to enable all schools across the country operate within a homogeneous framework to generate graduates as per best international standards and who can meet aspirations and expectations of the UAE people,'' he said.

Full details of the new unified education system are still to be released, but according to the state news agency Wam, it will deliver “a first rate education system” in line with the UAE Vision 2021. There has already been a significant push in the public school curriculum towards science and maths subjects to better prepare pupils for further education.

According to Wam, the Ministry’s Emirati School Model will play a central role in standardising education across all seven emirates.

Launched earlier this year, it provides “a leading model of education, rich curriculum, excellence in student skills and courses, as well as high quality of education in full alignment to the expectations of the vision of the UAE leadership for the education sector,” the announcement says.

Both the ministry and Adec say they will begin the transition to the new system beginning with the new academic year which starts this month, but that 12th and 11th grade pupil studying under the Adec curriculum will continue to do so: “To ensure the best educational outcomes for these students.”

Both departments will unveil the delivery of the plan to parents, teachers, students and administrative staff in school over the coming academic year.

It is described as consolidating: “The ministry’s systems, policies and courses across the UAE’s public and private schools which follow the ministry’s system.”

Minister of Education Hussain Al Hammadi, said, "The unification of Federal and Abu Dhabi education systems reflects the forward-looking vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the future of education in the UAE and the importance of supporting it with modern and up-to-date systems."

"Our students are the most important resource of the UAE. As leaders, we have an obligation to provide them with a modern international education, focused on our Emirati School Model, that matches the ambition and future plans of the UAE."

Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, director general of Abu Dhabi Education Council, welcomed the changes saying they would "serve the best interests of the UAE and our students, and contribute greatly to the development of education."

"Schools are the cornerstone of society,” Dr Al Nuaimi said.

“Their commitment to an aligned approach and a unified vision is the cornerstone to building a cohesive, collaborative society which shares common national convictions. Achieving this goal is the fundamental duty of the education institution. Students are the real wealth of the UAE.”