By Andy Sambidge
Shake-up includes new curriculum, longer working day for teachers.
More than 600 new English speaking teachers are to be hired in Abu Dhabi as part of a new drive to improve education standards, it was reported on Monday.
The plans, which were announced on Sunday by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), include teaching school children as young as four simultaneously in Arabic and English.
As well as bilingual kindergarten classes being taught by two instructors, the shake-up also includes a new curriculum, a longer working day for teachers, and a compulsory training programme for all teachers, UAE daily The National reported.
Dr Lynne Pierson, the head of school development at ADEC, told the paper that the new plan had come about from looking at other countries that were successful in educating young children.
“Key to the new school model in kindergarten is the notion of two teachers working in a classroom,” she said. “The goal is for students to become literate in both Arabic and English, not one at the expense of the other.”
The first phase, which will begin this autumn, will affect 171 schools and 38,000 children. The model is scheduled to be in place in all state schools by 2016.