UAE public schools set for major shake-up

Education Minister reveals changes are on the way to curriculum in bid to raise standards.
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 01 Sep 2008 06:54 AM

A major education shake-up in the UAE is being expanded after a trial scheme involving 50 schools proved successful, it has been announced.

Minister of Education Dr Hanif Hassan revealed on Sunday that new curriculum standards for public schools are being implemented in a bid to raise standards in the emirates.

He said that a national committee was upgrading and revising the content of the school curricula to promote values and ethics.

The committee is expected to complete its review by December which would see changes in teaching subjects such as the arts and music, maths, science and IT.

Madaris Al Ghad (Schools of Tomorrow), the government pilot education initiative, was launched last year with 50 schools and more schools are set to join the initiative.

"The project is not just a change of school address or architectural features. Rather, it's a drastic transformation in the learning life of students," he told news agency WAM.

He indicated that feedback from students, teachers and administrators confirmed that pupils in these schools had become more interactive and active in the classroom.

Speaking about the ministry's expansion plan, the Minister said 14 schools were inaugurated this year and another seven would be ready before the next academic year.

The initiative comes as parents are increasingly switching to private schools. Figures show that more than 40 per cent of Emirati parents have abandoned public schools for the private sector because of the perceived difference in standards.

The public school system has also been criticised for not adequately preparing children for university studies.

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