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All private & public school teachers to be licensed

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nomad soul

Joined: 31 Jan 2010
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Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:53 pm    Post subject: All private & public school teachers to be licensed Reply with quote

New licensing system for teachers in the UAE
By Haneen Dajani & Roberta Pennington, The National | June 4, 2014

ABU DHABI // Almost every teacher will have to take a training course, pass a test and obtain a licence before setting foot in a classroom.

The new regime, similar to licensing for doctors, is expected to be introduced next year and will affect about 60,000 teachers. Teachers are already required to have at least a bachelor’s or equivalent university degree. The new system will require expatriate and Emirati teachers at both public and private schools to register for a course and complete a test to qualify for a licence.

“You know the medical certification if you are a doctor? If you come to practise here in UAE, there is a certain regulation,” the Ministry of Education undersecretary Marwan Al Sawaleh said on Tuesday. “So, for teachers this will be the same.” He said some experienced teachers may be exempt, as would some who hold teaching licences from specific countries. “Education is a key for this country,” Mr Al Sawaleh said. “Our aim is to provide a high-standard quality education system. “We will not allow just a normal country’s standard teacher to come and teach our kids, our future leaders. It’s a right for the students and parents to really have very sound, quality teachers certified in the schools.”

Mr Al Sawaleh said the final framework for the licensing system will be presented to the Cabinet for approval in September or October. If approved, it could be introduced in phases from the beginning of 2015. A grace period of one or two years would also be offered to give teachers and schools the time to adapt to the new guidelines.

The new system will unify teaching standards, the Minister of Education, Humaid Al Qattami, told the FNC on Tuesday. “We are conducting a comprehensive revision of private education. We are in the final stages of drawing up this new law,” he said. Mr Al Qattami also told the FNC that a set curriculum for Arabic, Islamic studies and national education will be compulsory in private schools from next year. “All studies have shown that there is a weakness in forming a student’s personality in this area,” Mr Al Qattami said. Mr Al Qattami was responding to a question raised by FNC member Ali Al Nuaimi about the frequent changes made to private schools’ curriculums, which he said teachers and pupils were suffering from. "What are the reasons behind these changes and why doesn’t the ministry set a unified guide for curriculums for all private schools to follow?” said Mr Al Nuaimi.

The Minister of Education defended the existing system. He said there were 17 different curriculums being taught, the six main ones being the Ministry of Education’s, British, American, International Baccalaureate, Australian and German. “Private education in the UAE has good infrastructure and an international open system,” said Mr Qattami.

Mr Al Nuaimi also said some parents had complained about inappropriate material being taught at some private schools “They have principles in contradiction with religious and Islamic principles. “Some private schools also teach material that is outside the accredited curriculum,” he said.

Mr Al Qattami said there was a hotline that parents could call if they felt their children were not being taught properly. The Ministry will investigate complaints, he said.

(End of article)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Al Nuaimi also said some parents had complained about inappropriate material being taught at some private schools “They have principles in contradiction with religious and Islamic principles. “Some private schools also teach material that is outside the accredited curriculum,” he said.

Well... duh... maybe then you should send the little darling to some other school or the public schools. Rolling Eyes

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Location: Salmiya, Al 'Āşimah, Kuwait

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as teaching K-12 goes, licensure/certification makes sense. I'm a certified K-9 educator; while certification does not a good teacher make, it does show to some degree that the licensee/certificate holder has completed a series of examinations/practica (practicums) that demonstrate fundamental understanding of pedagogy.

Many international/private schools (for foreign and/or host nationals) in the GCC are not accredited institutions (whether by WASC, CIS, etc) and to gain accreditation, schools must hire a certain percentage of certified persons, especially in the core disciplines. The school where I will be teaching this fall in Kuwait is on course to earn accreditation and, as such, is required to hire more certified teachers.

The trend toward hiring certified instructors is becoming more widespread in developing education systems, but the reverse trend was seen in the U.S. over the past 15 years. Programs like Teach for America produced classroom teachers with little pedagogical or classroom training, much less standard teaching certification. As states are now realizing that paradigm hasn't shown the desired results, there is a big shift in several states for tightening the standards for teacher certification (e.g. Illinois).

However, considering that the UAE is at a deficit of approximately 60,000 teachers (of course a percentage of these are elementary/middle/high school), I wonder how feasible it will be to implement such standards. Logically, it would be better to systematically roll out this new initiative (piecemeal, more or less), but I have a feeling that some haste will be exercised... Wink
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nomad soul

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a related note...

Teachers’ working conditions in Dubai slammed in KHDA report
By Noor Nazzal, Gulf News | October 10, 2013

DUBAI--Outdated teaching methods and poor work conditions for teachers are among the big concerns that schools in Dubai face, a report by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) found.

According to the report, casual recruitment, low salaries and poor working conditions are the key factors causing staff to quit. Indian, US and “other curriculum” schools in particular were among the schools that were found to have a high staff turnover. “High staff turnover is often harmful to the continuity of students’ learning," the report said. The report accused schools of failing to understand the importance of fair employment. “Not all schools understand that to provide teachers with training, support and fair terms of employment is a vital investment strategy,” it read. Another key issue that schools face, especially underperforming ones, is a narrow approach by teachers to learning and outdated teaching methods that don’t encourage investigative skills.

Although the report did not study whether there was a link between teachers' poor performance and poor working conditions, those who spoke to Gulf News said they believed the two were very much related. “I always try to do my very best regardless of the situation that I am in, however I must say that when I was in my previous job where I was working in a hostile and poor environment it did eventually get to me and I felt that I was not doing my job well,” said Jameela Hijawi, who teaches at a school in Sharjah. She added that after she changed jobs to a much better school, her mental state improved and so did her teaching.

Teacher Lamia Yaseen agreed, stating that good working conditions and salaries were vital to the performance of not just teachers, but all professions. “Not only teachers, anyone who works in a poor environment will eventually break down and leave. I am fortunate enough to work in a great school that provides growth opportunities through regular workshops.”

To improve teachers’ skills and expose them to new methods, Fatima Bel Rehif, DSIB Director at KHDA, said the authority has introduced an event where teachers are provided with a platform to exchange ideas. “KHDA launched 'What Works' in 2012 to provide a platform for teaching professionals to develop their techniques and expertise in a range of areas. The conferences were designed to engage teachers and leaders, encouraging them to share positive practice in education and develop their skills,” she added

Students and parents were also interviewed to learn what they thought about teaching methods. University student Mohannad Yousuf, an 18-year-old Egyptian who as a student studied in three different schools, said he encountered more bad teachers than good. “Most of my teachers were fresh graduates from abroad who lacked any skills. I hope that schools would care more about experience.”

Mother of four, Manal Al Waleed, believes improvement of Arabic teaching methods in schools should be a priority. “I don’t even understand the Arabic material assigned by my child’s grade nine teacher. Teachers should simplify it and make it more interesting.”

(End of article)
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