Abu Dhabi: Nearly 49 per cent of public school teachers in the emirate of Abu Dhabi are unconvinced that the current curriculum equips pupils with the skills required to join higher education institutions, a survey by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has revealed.
Among more than 8,000 teachers who responded to the survey, nearly 40 per cent would also like more freedom to pursue the professional development programmes they require.
The Adec teacher survey was conducted at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, and it saw the participation of nearly 77 per cent of all public school teachers. Topics addressed in the survey included school leadership and change, teacher-school relationship, professional development, school environment and classroom management. Teachers indicated a general satisfaction level of about 79 per cent.
Commenting on the survey findings, Dr Masoud Badri, executive director of research, planning and performance at the Adec said that female teachers were less satisfied in general than their male counterparts.
“Teachers also showed that they wanted to be more involved in school business and management, and are looking for training in learning technologies,” Badri said.
In addition, they would also like to see greater parental involvement into children’s education, and for such interaction not to be limited to instances when children misbehave. Speaking to Gulf News, a 34-year-old Emirati teacher in the capital said that the current public school curriculum was often too expansive to cover within one academic year.
“There is often too much material, and children lose their focus, which in turn reduces their ability to absorb and engage with the lesson,” she explained.
Teachers’ lack of satisfaction with the curriculum echoed parents’ concerns, which were highlighted in a survey that Adec released in November 2012. According to this earlier survey, 42 per cent of parents with children enrolled at public schools believed that the curriculum was moderate or less than moderate.
With regard to the professional development programmes for public school teachers, an Emirati Arabic language teacher, who declined to be named, said there should be greater consideration of teachers’ needs when training programmes are organised.
“Many of these are held at times that interfere with our classes or our families,” she said.
“There is also very limited freedom in our ability to choose what training courses we can pursue, as these are simply assigned for us,” the teacher added.