Abu Dhabi: Public schools are to be inspected for the first time to assess their quality of education alongside private schools as part of the Abu Dhabi Education Council's (Adec) new Irtiqa'a programme, senior officials revealed at a press conference on Tuesday.

"This initiative is designed to identify quality levels of school performance, provide necessary support in order to help achieve the highest standards, encourage the implementation of best practice in education and exchange professional expertise," said Salem Al Sayari, Adec's Executive Director of Support Services.

"It will be rolled out across the emirate at the beginning of the 2012/2013 academic year, along with the school inspection schedule," he added.

Schools will be evaluated on eight categories including pupil achievement and progress, teaching quality and competence of leadership and management of the school.

Inspections will be carried out by a team of international experts in addition to 20 Emiratis who were chosen to receive specialised training in school inspection.

"The aim of this programme is to enhance the performance level of schools by creating a competitive environment, increasing awareness among educators on the importance of quality performance in education and providing inspection tools and established standards," said Mariam Saqr, Manager of School Inspection and Monitoring at Adec.

The council has launched a pilot phase of the programme with 12 public schools Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia (Western Region). Its aim is to familiarise principals with the programme through workshops.

Pilot phase

"The pilot phase will begin with two schools in March, with other schools following suit prior to our announcement in September. As part of the workshop, school representatives will be provided with information on how they can address any deficiencies uncovered during the inspection process and so enhance their educational environment," Saqr said.

To learn more about the Irtiqa'a programme, please visit http://www.adec.ac.ae/english/Irtiqaa/Pages/AboutIrtiqaa.aspx