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Abu Dhabi teachers get set for new term

ABU DHABI // School campuses are “buzzing with excitement” as thousands of teachers begin preparations for the new term on Sunday.

The Abu Dhabi Education Council said about 15,000 staff in 255 government schools return to work on Sunday, a week before pupils arrive for the new academic year.

Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Adec’s director-general, urged staff to make the best of the coming week by taking part in training programmes, forming school committees, and preparing schedules. The emirate’s 183 private schools will also reopen for 12,267 teachers.

“There’s a real buzz of excitement, great anticipation,” said Brendan Law, headmaster of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, where there are 173 teachers, administrators and support staff, of whom 63 are starting work there for the first time.

“Everyone is eagerly anticipating all the new facilities. The school is sparkling and looking in great shape.

“We have a lot of movement this week in terms of setting up classrooms, resources and everything else.”

Public school teachers and staff have a similar task at Adec’s 10 new public schools – five in Abu Dhabi and five in Al Ain.

The authority said it hired 185 Emirati public school teachers, appointed 16 Emirati deputy headmasters and promoted another 14 as part of its Emiratisation efforts.

Emiratis will make up about 52 per cent of the teacher workforce in public schools, which is a five per cent increase compared to last year, Adec said.

The Emiratisation rate reached 81 per cent among public school supervisors.

Adec said it also appointed 678 new teachers.

A second round of registration for public schools will open to Emirati students today and continue until September 7.

Adec expected 130,000 students to register for public schools this academic year.

The private school student population is 231,316, with 159,110 students in Abu Dhabi, 62,411 in Al Ain and 9,795 in Al Gharbia.

Adec said it is implementing a programme to help teachers adjust to the emirate’s teaching model and new curriculum, which places more emphasis on maths and sciences for Cycle 3 students.

The education regulator is also running introductory training programmes in Arabic and English for all its foreign teachers.

Arab teachers will take a one-day training course led by subject coordinators and head teachers, while IT teachers will attend special training as part of the third cycle restructuring.

This year, the Sheikh Khalifa Humanitarian Foundation will extend its subsidised meals programme to all-girls and co-ed primary government schools.

It also hired female Emiratis to work in school canteens and extended the number of school canteen suppliers to 43.

Emirates Transport introduced 200 new school buses and each has been equipped with three safety devices to ensure all students have left the bus upon arrival at school.

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(via The National)