Authorities in Abu Dhabi have announced the opening of nine new charter schools that are intended to provide an additional 12,000 seats to students.
The announcement was made by the Abu Dhabi Media Office after an endorsement by Sheikh Khaled bi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Exceutive Office to expand the charter schools programme of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).
The additional schools will raise the number of charter schools in Abu Dhabi to 31, which offer a combined total of 46,500 seats to students.
The proposed new schools intend to provide high quality education to students spanning Kindergarten, and from Cycles 1 to 3. The schools will also empower local talent seeking careers in the education sector. In 2022, a total of 139 Emirati recruits were hired by the sector.
In 2018, ADEK opened the 2,700 seat Al Rayana School, which formally indicated the launch of the public-funded, privately-operated charter schools model. Since the launch of the model, charter schools have rapidly expanded in the region, with 22 new schools opening over four academic years. Enrollment in these schools also grew exponentially, with a total of 30,198 Emiratis attending schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Chairman of ADEK, Sara Musallam, said that the charter schools focus on sustainability, which enables the continual provision of quality education and increased student performance. She also stated that they are encouraged by the students’ progress, and the number of Emiratis who have chosen careers in the education sector.
Musallam also said that the charter schools share a strong commitment to developing the individual abilities of students, and enable them to reach their full potential to successfully enter the job market, while being active and productive members of society. She also said that the private sector partners of these schools have optimised the use of government resources while achieving national development goals.
The curriculum of the charter schools encompasses core subjects like English, Science and Maths, in addition to Islamic, Arabic and Social studies that comply with the UAE Ministry of Education’s currriculum. The schools also offer extracurricular activities that include swimming and physical education.
Abu Dhabi will offer opportunities to professionals in the education sector
The newly proposed schools will be located in pre-defined catchment areas so as to provide easy access to quality education within local communities. The schools will also offer a contemporary working environment for local Emirati talent to harness their full potential.
All new recruits in the education sector attend upskilling workshops designed to enhance productivity, emotional intelligence, effective communication, time-management while allowing recruits to benefit from skilled career mentorship. After a 1-year training period, candidates are assessed, and based on performance, are offered the opportunity to be hired by charter school partners. Those recruits who wish to pursue a career in teaching are offered professional teacher training opportunities.
His Excellency Amer Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of ADEK, said that ADEK’s investment in the new schools underlined the organisation’s belief in the third education model, in addition to the pivotal role of private-public partnerships. He said that these partnerships were vital to provide economic diversification and opportunities for residents, and were aimed at making the country a beacon for world-class education. His Excellency also noted that education was at the forefront of national development goals, and ADEK was committed to providing youth with thenecessary skills to seize future opportunities and face any future challenges.
In addition, he noted that the unique model was instrumental in providing 21st Century skills to a new cadre of lifelong learners, while nurturing fundamental assets in the knowledge capital of the UAE. His Excellency also commented that the model empowers local youth with the skills required to meet the national agenda, and will create a sustainable knowledge-based economy that will enhance the global competitiveness of the UAE.