Dubai: The Ministry of Education on Wednesday issued a new set of guidelines for teachers, focusing on leadership, best practices and educational excellence.
The new codes came as school leaders, educational experts and officials gathered for the ministry’s s second Annual Educational Conference at the Grand Hyatt, Oud Metha, Dubai.
Shedding light on the guidelines, Marwan Ahmad Al Sawaleh, Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services at the ministrysaid: “The guidelines are basically a code of conduct for teachers on how they go about their job.
“It involves the ethics, the dos and don’ts, communication with students and their external relationship skills, etc.”
The guidelines, coming close on the heels of the April launch of the Mohammad Bin Rashid’s Smart Learning (MBRSL) programme, are seen as a move to initiate teachers and school leaders into the process of implementing the plan.
A pilot of MBRSL began with the current academic year at eight schools across the country and, according to Sawaleh who is heading the team implementing the project, the new scheme has so far gone smoothly.
“Our team toured Turkey, Australia and Korea in the past two months to see the implementation of similar projects in these countries and adopt the best practices from their experience.
“We are also constantly in touch with parents, tech providers, students and teachers to get their feedback for improvement,” said Al Sawaleh.
A team of 60 teachers from eight schools have been trained extensively not just on the use of technology but also on the best ways to engage the pupils, adapt the curriculum to the project and handle the equipment.
A total of 700 students from three Dubai schools, three schools from Sharjah and two in Ajman are involved in the pilot project.
Asked whether extensive use of technology would hamper the progress of students, Al Sawaleh said that technology is just a tool that facilitates the process.
“The focus is not so much on technology but more on the process. We want to ease the process of learning and make it more enjoyable for both the students and teachers.
“Our training of teachers was just for a couple of days, which shows that it is not so intricate as to hamper the process. It’s as easy as use the mobile phone,” added Al Sawaleh.
The schools involved in the pilot are being equipped with smart boards, 4G internet connectivity and specialised classroom systems, while the teachers and students are being equipped with smart tablets.
Al Sawaleh hinted that with the programme in full implementation, the use of books will reduce considerably and the content and text would be accessed more through tablet computers.
The programme is planned to be implemented across the country in all public schools, in different phases, over the next five years.
Apart from giving a run-down on the implementation of MBRL, the conference is focused on enhancing knowledge, facilitating the improvement of teaching skills and nurturing strong educational leaders.
The one-day conference was attended by principals of all public schools across the country, who listened to papers presented by experts on educational excellence and distinguished leaders of schools.
Active learning, engaging students and adaptive leaderships were touted as some of the best practices that ensure success of a school.