The UAE’s decision to start the Ajyal or Generation Schools is the first transformational step in the country’s new educational system. Aimed to equip tomorrow’s generation with new language skills and better cognitive development, the ambitious project will go a long way to complement the structural changes introduced recently to the nation’s educational policy.
The model is expected to be applied to all students from grade one to grade four, in ten schools initially, under the supervision of Emirates Schools Establishment, and will include a host of schools over a three-year time span.
The decision to change the medium of teaching from Arabic to English is an important one and will prepare pupils for university and future work life in the UAE and abroad.
Ajyal Schools will be completely free. Besides offering long-term benefits to UAE students and better-equip them to meet the academic challenges of the future, the move shows UAE’s commitment to provide cutting-edge infrastructure and quality to future-proof its school education system.
Earlier, students in several government schools, mostly in the Northern Emirates, would study all subjects in Arabic with a lesson set aside for English. That is set to change. The switch to English is in tune with the modern economy, where the business, academic, technology and financial world uses English.
Starting with the new academic year, under the Ajyal system, a majority of subjects, including mathematics and science, will be delivered in English with only Islamic studies, Arabic and social studies being taught in Arabic.
The UAE’s Ministry of Education will continue supervising the Arabic language, Islamic education, moral education and social studies curricula for the third and fourth grades without any change.
The new schooling system will greatly benefit students who opt for higher studies abroad. Pupils need to converse and write to a high standard in English, particularly if they are going to universities overseas. Ajyal aims to upgrade their skill set and immerse them in English.
In the initial stage, more than 14,000 pupils nationwide are expected to be taught by bilingual teachers, and aided by signage in both English and Arabic. The use of visual clues and videos will also be made.
Establishment of the new model will not only deliver on several fronts but is seen as an economically efficient one too.
Generation Schools, the latest public-private partnership of its kind in the UAE, are indeed a great move forward.