Abu Dhabi: Twelfth grade students in private and public schools across the UAE seem to have struggled with their first term examinations under the Ministry of Education's (MoE) new curriculum.

According to reliable sources the percentage of failures could be as high as 40 per cent and this has been attributed to struggling with a system that the students are not accustomed to. At a press conference yesterday, the Minister of Education Dr Hanif Hassan did not deny that a good number of 12th graders are struggling with the new curriculum.

"The ministry has offered students strengthening courses to prepare them to think out of the box and accustom them to the new curriculum," said the education minister.

"It is only natural for students to struggle at this point in time. Anything new requires patience and effort, not only among students but among teachers, school principals and academics," he added.

School grades alone do not determine an individual's intelligence level, said the minister. "Students are not just tested on their examination grades. They are also required to undergo research, projects and are assessed on applied knowledge throughout the year," he stressed.

When Gulf News spoke to Ahmad Al Derai, Head of the Examination Board at the MoE, he re-affirmed students undergo final examinations twice a year; however the overall grading system at the end of each academic year is assessed according to how the student coped with the new strengthening courses offered by the ministry.

"A student's grade is determined by how he/she did on research projects, the amount of effort and studying they undergo and participation and attendance during class, their homework and activities," he said.

The Ministry is taking steps towards offering a better education.

These include developing systems that enable parents to follow their children's academic performance, providing infrastructure that relies on modern techniques throughout all educational levels, promoting human resource policies and regulations which will improve and develop quality performance in the educational system, developing and improving school buildings and utilities and promoting professional development programmes and systems for all educational staff such as administrators, teachers and technicians.

Do you know anyone who has failed their exams recently? Why do you think students are unable to cope with the new curriculum? Have they raised their concerns with the school and ministry?

Your comments

Most of the students are dependant on tuitions. If they don't go tuitions there are chances to fail. All the students cannot afford this. I hope this is the reason result was poor.
M. A. Rasheed
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 22, 2009, 17:35

They should reduce the syllabus
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: January 22, 2009, 15:27

For the last few years our children are suffering because of instability in the education system. The authorities must stop trail and error in our future generation.
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: January 22, 2009, 14:32

I think the syllabus is huge. Now children are slowly becoming bookworms and nothing else. I think the authorities should look towards all the syllabus patterns...so that children do enjoy their childhood days....as u don?t get these days again....
Posted: January 22, 2009, 12:31

The new system is still at the new stage and its impact will be devastating, especially for the 12th graders. I have witnessed some students who worked really hard and long to get an excellent result. Hesitatingly, the students found that a large portion of questions were either out of syllabus or too tough. This gave a lot of discomfort and tension to the students. Being a mother of a 12th grader, I would like to bring this matter to the concern authorities to give this deserving students grace marks.The impact of the new system is really bad, implementing this new system should start from the elementary and intermediate level will enable the students to interact more smoothly.
Umm Saleh
Abu Dhabi,uae
Posted: January 22, 2009, 12:17

All schools must change the traditional academic delivery method as per the new suggestions of Ministry. It should be developed in such a way that none should fail Ministry's exams.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 22, 2009, 11:01

A 40% figure are enough to show that these students are not to be blamed but rather the education of their schools. As we all know we bring our students to learn in the school but what is the school giving to our students. Also, it is better to assess if the following students that are failed are with the same school or different. In this way we can also judge what kind of education this school are giving to their students. We should also consider helping the students and the schools itself on how to cope this kind of improvement in the future.
Posted: January 22, 2009, 10:44

My niece took her exams but has not been able to get her results. I feel this is digusting as she is under deep stress as she was told she has to wait until after the mid term holiday which is 2 weeks. PLEASE HELP.
Karen Ibrahim
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: January 22, 2009, 09:23

Please pass all the children till 7th grade and then you can evalute according to their accadamic performance. Thank you.
Posted: January 22, 2009, 08:47

Overloaded syllabys for children
Posted: January 22, 2009, 08:37

As I am aware the subject matter is the same. It is only the way that it is assessed that is different. Students will no longer be awarded 100% if they haven?t got 100% correct.
Abraham Mohammad
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 22, 2009, 08:27

It?s interesting to hear this, because being a graduate of 2008, last year was a year of playing around in the school I attended. We had not done anything the entire year, and at the end of the year like a miracle the whole grade passed!
Talal G
Posted: January 22, 2009, 08:05