Abu Dhabi: Over 13,000 public school teachers and administrators across the emirate of Abu Dhabi have been transferred from the UAE Ministry of Education (MoE) to the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).

During a press conference held yesterday at the ADEC to announce the transfer of employees in public schools to the ADEC, Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the ADEC Director General, told Gulf News that the ADEC has so far interviewed 18,000 teachers, out of which only 500 teachers were accepted and employed from within the UAE and 480 recruited from various other countries.

"We look at certain qualifications and requirements when recruiting teachers, academics and school principals. All the 480 teachers, for instance, are native speakers, bilingual, have high credentials and are licensed to teach; and this is exactly what will help improve the school management and quality of teaching, which are the most important pillars in education," Al Khaili told Gulf News, adding that the shift will help add to the competency level across public schools.

According to Dr Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, UAE Minister of Education, shifting the faculty and administration authority to the ADEC will encourage decentralisation and improve the education process as a whole in the emirate.

An executive team of directors has been selected to co-ordinate with academics and schools in order to create objectives and goals to help improve education and help promote the new decision, said Al Qutami, adding that ADEC is now in administrative charge of all public schools.

Meeting today

"The team of directors will start meeting from today and will have periodical meetings discussing goals and targets regarding the future of education across the Emirate. The whole point is to have an agenda with results. We are looking towards building strategic roles based on many topics in the education sector, most importantly students," said Al Qutami.

One the MoE and ADEC's biggest challenge currently is encouraging Emirati men to enter the academic field however. "Currently 75 per cent of staff in the education sector consists of UAE nationals, however we still face a challenge regarding attracting male Emirati teachers to working in schools."