DUBAI // School classes taught in Arabic across the UAE must use only the modern standard form of the language, regulators say.
Previously, modern standard was typically only spoken by teachers who taught the language. The new rule now applies to classes such as Islamic studies and UAE social studies.
Arabic should be the communication language, said Minister of Education Hussain Al Hammadi.
“Some teachers use their own dialects in the classroom, which hinders the pupils’ understanding of the course,” the minister said.
The decision gave students sufficient time to communicate in standard Arabic across subjects, which would not be possible if standard Arabic was only used in Arabic classes.
Mr Al Hammadi said the decree would help dispel the myth among pupils that standard Arabic is only for studying, reading, writing or official operations.
Pupils should be aware that it is a language of all forms of communication, he said.
The ministry said it has taken steps towards implementing the decision by encouraging all teachers to communicate in Arabic in the classroom, by training teachers who need support in Arabic communication skills and encouraging students to communicate with their peers and their teachers in standard Arabic.
The ministry urged schools to convey word of this change to parents so that they encouraged their children to use standard Arabic as often as possible.
Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, director-general of Abu Dhabi Education Council, said that the decision was based on the belief that the Arabic language reflects the UAE’s identity and heritage.
“We, as educators and people in charge of the education sector, work hard to highlight the importance of safeguarding the Arabic language,” said Dr Al Nuaimi.
“At Adec, we emphasise how important it is for teachers who deliver subjects in Arabic to commit to teaching and speaking with their students in standard Arabic.
“We also believe in the need to add this practice to the professional adoption, monitoring and licensing standards at schools,” said Dr Al Nuaimi.
“We will be organising training programmes on rules of communicating in Arabic for non-specialist teachers as part of Adec’s professional development programmes.”