9 guidelines for schools reopening
Picture for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE on Monday launched ‘Ajyal (Generations) Schools’, the first of the country’s educational transformational projects to be unveiled following the recent structural changes introduced to the UAE’s educational system.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of the new schools on Twitter, saying that there will be further steps to develop the UAE’s educational system.

Ajyal Schools will be free of charge and will initially target 14,000 students.

For government schools

The new model for government schools in the UAE was approved by the UAE Cabinet to develop Cycle 1 of the government education sector.

Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairwomen of Emirates Schools Establishment said the Ajyal Schools project is one of various projects aiming to provide greater options for parents and students during the coming period.

She added: “Ajyal Schools project reflects the great importance that the UAE attaches to the education sector, based on its major role in enhancing the journey of development. This project comes as part of our plans to develop the educational system in the country, provide more options, opportunities, and educational models for our students, and qualify a leading generation capable of creating the future, supporting and developing the education sector is a continuous process.”

New educational model

Ajyal Schools will present an innovative education experience in partnership with a number of educational operators and service providers in the private sector. This model aims to establish the UAE values system and national identity, and adopts more advanced learning outcomes that combine the national curricula with the international curricula. The national curricula will include the Arabic language, Islamic education, moral education and social studies, under the direct supervision of the Emirates Schools Establishment, while the international curricula will be responsible for subjects such as mathematics, science and others.

10 schools within the first year

The Ajyal Schools model will be applied to all students from grade one to grade four, in 10 different schools in the first year, under the supervision of the Emirates Schools Establishment. The Establishment aims to apply this model on 28 different schools within three years. The model will be providing additional classes to follow the current students in their educational journey.

The Ministry of Education will continue providing and supervising the Arabic language, Islamic education, moral education and social studies curricula for the third and fourth grades, without any change, and it will be taught by Emirati teachers in order to enhance the national identity and societal values.

Developing advanced models

Al Amiri said: “The Ajyal Schools system comes in line with the Emirates Schools Establishment efforts to develop distinct and advanced education models, able to serve the development and modernisation plans pursued by the Establishment in order to improve the quality of its educational outputs. The positive outputs of the new project will be reflected on the educational system in the country, by enhancing its quality, the efficiency of teachers, and the skills and capabilities of students, under the framework of a futuristic educational vision, based on various educational models that suit each region and emirate in the UAE.”

Quality of education

She added: “The application of this advanced educational model comes in line with the UAE’s directions to enhance the quality of education, and sustain the development process to enrich the students’ experience in the public education sector and enhance the quality of their educational and skill acquisitions in line with the UAE’s aspirations.”

Al Amiri noted that the Emirates Schools Establishment will completely supervise the Ajyal Schools, by following up on the implementation of the new model. She said that Taaleem, Aldar Education and Bloom Education, will be managing Ajyal Schools, as operators and providers of educational services in the private sector.

Partnership with parents

Al Amiri revealed that the partnership contracts will be signed with parents within the new schools, in order to build greater cooperation between families and schools in evaluating the educational level of students.

The minister said: “The new educational project aims at keeping pace with the developments in the education sector globally, and to strengthen the Emirati national identity by devoting it in the minds of students. The new system will include 10 schools in its first year, with the aim to reach 28 various schools within three years. The government will support students enrolled in “Ajyal Schools” by bearing students’ fees and all operating expenses.”

The Emirates Schools Establishment has selected a group of schools in various regions of the country in the first year of the project. It will be operated and managed by educational service providers who have long experience in the field of international curricula in the country. This model aims to give Emirati students enrolled in government schools an advanced and innovative educational experience.

Three service providers

Since its establishment in 2004, Taaleem has been concerned with establishing and managing Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Schools, aiming to raise regional educational standards, through the development of students’ talents and passion, which in turn is supported by the recruitment of the best teachers, and the implementation of international best practices.

For more than a decade, Bloom Education has introduced and operated leading English, American and IB curriculum schools in the UAE market through partnerships with world-class international education brands, own brand schools and nurseries, and the operation of UAE Charter Schools. Bloom Education has taught more than 17,000 students across the UAE and currently operates Brighton College Abu Dhabi, Brighton College Al Ain, Brighton College Dubai, six Charter Schools in Al Ain and Bloom Nurseries.

Aldar Education group is one of the leading private education providers in Abu Dhabi, for over 27,000 students across eight academies, seven Charter Schools, four ADNOC schools and Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. Aldar Education delivers inclusive, sustainable and innovative learning that inspires and empowers communities. The group’s holistic and inclusive approach to learning aims to inspire curiosity and a love of learning that will last a lifetime, with a focus on creativity.

What’s the background?

Earlier last month, the UAE announced a shake-up at the Ministry of Education with new ministers chosen and a brief to re-evaluate how young people are taught. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said at the time that the goal of the changes is to ensure graduates are well prepared for the workplaces of the future.

“The education sector today is not the same as yesterday ... and our ambitions today are not like yesterday,” Sheikh Mohammed had said on Twitter.

He set out structural changes across the education system, with increased focus on improving state schools and early childhood development.