Abu Dhabi: Four private schools, one of which is Al Muna School in the emirate of Abu Dhabi have attained the highest ranking in the latest round of inspections conducted by education regulator Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), it was announced on Tuesday.
This is the first time that any school has reached the “outstanding” rating since private school checks were introduced in Abu Dhabi in 2009.
In a statement, the Adec announced that 74 per cent of 110 inspected schools were found to maintain satisfactory to high-performing standards. These results are part of the Adec’s fourth round of checks into private institutions.
The top-rated schools are Al Mushrif Primary and Al Bateen Secondary School, Al Muna Primary School, Bloom Academy (Brighton College Al Ain) and Raha International Schools.
Six schools, of which four are located in Al Ain, have been, however, judged “very weak”, the lowest possible rank.
There are currently 186 private schools in the emirate, and in the 2015-2016 academic year, they enrolled more than 236,000 students.
“This is the first time we have “outstanding” schools in Abu Dhabi, which is a great indicator that [educational institutions] are doing a superb job, especially those that have demonstrated significant improvement,” said Hamad Al Dhaheri, executive director of private schools and quality assurance at the Adec.
Each private school in Abu Dhabi is inspected once in about every two years. The fourth round of inspections, which began in 2015-2016, will continue during the upcoming academic year (2016-2017).
Among the 110 schools inspected so far, 31 are American curriculum schools, 25 schools offer British curriculum, 27 Ministry of Education (MoE) curriculum, 11 Indian curriculums and 16 offer other curriculums, including Pakistani and the International Baccalaureate.
According to the Adec statement, 40 per cent of schools have improved their rankings this time, but quality standards at four schools have declined.
While four schools have achieved the top rank (outstanding), 12 have been judged “very good” and 27 “good”. A further 38 schools were found to be “acceptable”, while 23 have been found to be “weak” and six “very weak”.
Parents who spoke to Gulf News appeared satisfied with the quality of education and teaching.
Megha Goyal, a homemaker and mother of two from India, said she especially values the frequent communication and feedback from her daughter’s teachers.
“They are quick to respond to our queries, and help us keep track of her progress,” she said. Her daughter attends fourth grade at a British curriculum school in the capital that has been rated as very good.
Diane Newton, a mother of three from Australia, said she is more or less satisfied with the British curriculum school that her three children attend.
“I would say its biggest strength is the top-notch teaching that it offers,” she said.
S. Alex, a homemaker from India, said she would however prefer to see the implementation of differentiated teaching methods, and a chance for children to engage in more extracurricular activities.
“My son attends a top-ranking British curriculum school, and I can vouch for the level of attention teachers provide in the foundation stages. But now that he is almost in middle school, I would like to see him get the opportunity to pursue the sports that he loves. Basically, I feel that schools should allow children to develop based on their personal interests and strengths,” she added.
MORE FROM EDUCATION74 per cent of private schools in Abu Dhabi are satisfactory to high-performing
Dubai: A UAE student is among only 146 pupils worldwide achieving a perfect score of 45 in this year’s International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.
Nora Jandhyala from GEMS Wellington International School got a perfect score in the IB Diploma Programme, said GEMS Education on Sunday while announcing the results.
It wasn’t immediately known if other UAE-based students are also among the perfect scorers in the latest IB session held in May.
Globally, almost 150,000 IB students worldwide took the exams, whose results started releasing in July for students of both the IB Diploma and Career-related Programmes.
A total of 326 students from GEMS World Academy, Dubai, Dubai American Academy, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, GEMS Wellington International School, GEMS Modern Academy and GEMS American Academy, Abu Dhabi achieved their IB Diploma, which marks a 28 per cent increase from 2015 in the number of students receiving their diplomas.
The GEMS pass rate has now climbed to 92 per cent (from 90 per cent in 2015), with the pass rate internationally remaining at 78.5 per cent for the third year in a row.
Meanwhile, the average score of 33 of GEMS students demonstrates an improvement on previous results and is consistently improving against the world averages, which this year was recorded at 30.
Sir Christopher Stone, chief education officer, GEMS Education, said: “This is a fantastic culmination of all their learning and hard work at school and lays a great foundation for their continued lifelong learning at their universities of choice and later in the world of work.”
GEMS schools also had many students who exceeded an average score of 40. Another three GEMS students — Neeranuch Vootivakinskul from GEMS World Academy, Dubai; and Claudia Elliot-Wilson and Mayla Razzouk, both from GEMS Wellington International School — all received an impressive 44.Nora Jandhyala from GEMS Wellington International School one of only 146 pupils globally with perfect score
Dubai: Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) — a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives — launches a new initiative titled ‘Esteraht Sayedat’, the first book club dedicated to women in the Arab world.
In line with directives from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan the initiative is part of a series of activities whereby the Foundation strives to mark 2016 as the Year of Reading, complementing the National Strategy for Reading.
‘Esteraht Sayedat’ aims to promote reading on a daily basis among women of different social backgrounds. The idea is to create a reading club for women that holds regular meetings to discuss selected books in various fields and exchange the knowledge learnt from these books.
Jamal Bin Huwaireb, managing director of MBRF, said: “The goal of our efforts and projects is to develop a cultured and knowledgeable community. To that end, we launch a set of unique initiatives that focus on reading, and we support them with innovative practices, such as the Ladies Book Club, that catalyse the intellectual development of the female demographic in our society.”
He added, “MBRF dedicates this initiative to the women of the Arab world, as directed by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Foundation, to support all segments of society — especially women, given their vital role in building the future of the community. The Foundation strives to create an environment that facilitates acquiring and transferring knowledge to educate future generations.”
The Ladies Book Club aims to draw in female participants in large numbers and from various backgrounds, by organising regular meetings and holding literacy workshops for participants in the UAE.
MBRF leveraged its social media outreach to spread the word regarding the initiative and communicate and engage with the target audience online, which facilitated the participation of Arab women from all around the world.
Members of the Ladies Book Club initiative will select books from a wide array of fields, written by UAE or Arab authors — in addition to foreign books translated into Arabic — to read and discuss during the meetings. Participants will vote on the books to read, as well as fix the dates for the sessions.
The initiative will organise meetings with authors and experts in human and personal development to discuss the books, exchange points of view regarding their topics, and work to spread them to the widest possible audience.
The Book Club, which will include participants from both the UAE and Oman, is set to host 64 events and discuss 77 books. The initiative has managed to attract 1,500 members and as many as 8,900 followers on social media.
Esteraht Sayedat aims to promote reading on a daily basis among women of different social backgrounds
Abu Dhabi: UAE University (UAEU) has announced on Thursday that it would start accepting applications from international students for admission to its undergraduate programmes which were previously limited to local students.
In a statement, the university said that international students could start registering for admission in its College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science, College of Education, and College of Business and Economics, among many of its other main undergraduate programmes that are run at the university.
The university also said it is expecting several applications, but that it admission process would be very stringent. “In the case of equal qualifications (for the undergraduate programme), preference shall be made based on student grade averages in the subjects qualifying for admission to the specific college,” UAEU said.
UAEU is currently ranked sixth best university in the Arab world by QS University Rankings, a professional group that rates universities around the world.
Qualification requirements for international students:
Must hold a national grade 12 certificate or its equivalent obtained from a school in the UAE, or its equivalent dated 2015/2016
Should have achieved scores of TOEFL 500/iBT 61, or IELTS 5.0
Should pass the Arabic and Math foundation level exams
Must meet the minimum average grade for each college, which is 85 per cent and above
For the first time international students will be eligible to join undergraduate programmes
Abu Dhabi: Khalifa University on Tuesday announced the opening of its new micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) lab at its Abu Dhabi campus that will help researchers conduct important studies and experiments in the field of biomedical devices known as BioMEMS.
BioMEMS are currently used as applications in a number of medical areas such as diagnostics, drug delivery, and tissue cell engineering, among many other important medical applications.
Researchers at Khalifa University will use the MEMS lab to create devices that will be able to identify specific type of molecule cells — cancer cells — in blood samples. The researchers will also be studying the origins of those cells by using radio-frequency imaging.
Dr Anas Al Azzam, an assistant professor and one of the main lead researchers, praised the opening of the lab and said its scientific contributions would have a positive impact for the UAE.
“The MEMS lab at Khalifa University is considered one of the most advanced labs in the region in this key field. It contributes to the development of research in the UAE, as it is considered a multidisciplinary lab.
“We find that approaching a problem from a new and unique angle can often lead to the greatest discoveries,” he added.
The MEMS lab will contain the machines and materials needed for the research and development for the devices, including micro-devices, micro-sensors, and micro-actuators.
Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Khalifa University executive vice-president, said the latest unveiling of the MEMS lab would help the UAE on its path towards its goal of creating a sustainable knowledge based economy.
“Khalifa University has established a number of key advanced laboratories and research centres…those research facilities [and this one] are aimed at supporting the UAE’s efforts in advancing key sectors through innovation and research in a way that benefits the UAE and its economy.”
University opens a new micro electro mechanical systems lab to assist in research for biomedical devices
Abu Dhabi: Azza Al Bakr, an Emirati Student at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, dreams of joining the UAE’s ambitious space programmes one day.
A training programme in space fundamentals she recently attended and a research project on satellites at her institute have further inspired her dreams.
“I found it interesting to work at labs [space technology laboratories] as it offers new experience and knowledge,” the 24-year-old student of Microsystems Management told Gulf News on the sidelines of a recent event in Abu Dhabi.
She said a training programme at Lockheed Martin’s Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions (CISS) at Masdar City as part of a collaboration between Masdar and CISS aroused her curiosity on space programmes. She said the training gave her the opportunity to get acquainted with flight simulators at CISS.
“I am an aviation enthusiast. This is a dream come true. This is the first time I used a simulator and flew aircraft.”
Al Bakr has become an expert on flying aircraft [on simulators], said Shawn Racz, Manager, CISS, Lockheed Martin UAE Ltd. Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company with an employee roster of more than 125,000 around the world.
The UAE Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lockheed Martin in June to launch a training programme for Emirati talents. The agency, which supervises the nation’s ambitious Mars mission, recently celebrated its second anniversary. The UAE space probe is expected to blast off towards Mars in 2021. Sending an unmanned spacecraft to Mars will make the UAE the first Arab country and one of only nine countries with space programmes to explore Mars.
Al Bakr is also involved in a two-year project at her institute on CubeSat. A CubeSat is a type of miniaturised satellite for space research. “We will launch it in 2018 and its purpose is taking pictures of the UAE,” she said.
Eleven students from different backgrounds are involved in this research-oriented project, said the Electronics Engineering graduate from the American University of Ras Al Khaimah. She expects more students to join the programme when the new academic year begins in September.
She said the opportunity to visit Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai was also a wonderful experience. She said she is confident of contributing to the UAE’s space programmes, if given a chance after completing her course. “I would love to join the UAE Space Agency. I think right now I have many options in the UAE [to work in space programmes].”
Research project on CubeSat at Masdar motivates student
Abu Dhabi: Schools across the country must now offer moral education as a mandatory subject and part of their curricula, following a directive issued on Wednesday by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The subject must focus on the teaching of five key elements — ethics, personal and community development, culture and heritage, civic education and human rights and responsibilities. Its inclusion in the curriculum will be overseen by the UAE Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Education Council and other educational authorities in the country.
A committee will also be formed to develop the basis and criteria of Moral Education as a subject, and ensure that it remains in line with the UAE’s cultural identity, customs and tradition. In addition, the committee will contribute to the efforts of various institutions to integrate the content into the national education curriculum.
Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Shaikh Mohammad said that the development of a nation is largely dependant on how well it preserves its values and morals, regardless of its level of achievement and sophistication.
He added that the UAE is unique in its legacy of conserving its cultural identity and moral values, including tolerance, respect, cooperation, community service, charity and sacrifice.
New subject must be incorporated into curriculum and committee will be formed to guide its elements and criteria
Education plays a growing role in creating future generations that are proactive, ambitious and fair in their dealings, Shaikh Mohammad said.
“Through reinforcing values that have enabled the UAE to become what it is now, and by highlighting our national role models and their remarkable achievements, we hope to pass on these [valuable] lessons to future generations,” he said.
He also stressed that families play a pivotal role in driving Moral Education learning forward.
At present, most schools in the UAE do provide lessons in Islamic Studies, and some private schools also designate time for the learning of other faiths. However, there is little formal teaching of universal human values. Comments from schools were not available as educational institutions are on summer break.
Shaikh Mohammad’s Twitter announcements on the inclusion of Moral Education in the national curriculum were instantly shared hundreds of times.
Parents who spoke to Gulf News also lauded the initiative, saying it was very timely in a world undergoing much turmoil.
“Moral Education is perhaps the most important subject for our children to do well in life. They must learn proper discipline and rightful behaviour, especially as any other education without these values is useless,” Maitha Al Mazroui, an Emirati communications manager and mother-of-two, told Gulf News.
“The UAE already leads the way in being a hub of tolerance, and moral values at school will simply help the country maintain this lofty position,” she said.
Al Mazroui also feels that it is important for schools to teach Moral Education as a separate subject.
“This way, there will be more focus on these important personal skills. As parents, we try to model good behaviours as much as possible, but the fact remains that children spend most of their alert, waking hours at school. So this will be the best time for them to learn about morality,” she explained.
Rashid Al Shamsi, 43, an Emirati patient relationship manager and father of four, said the initiative should be lauded.
“The world is so fast-paced and many families have both parents working. So, schools can play an important role in imparting moral values and helping children differentiate between right and wrong,” he said.
Omran Al Khoury, a 35-year-old Emirati businessman, added that he would work as a parent to support this step.
“It is important for children to understand the important of character traits like respect, tolerance and humanity, and learning specifically about them will provide an opportunity for children to practise. In my opinion, children in the UAE will be lucky to have some time allocated only for the learning of these values,” he said.Read more
Dubai: Mohammad Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) on Tuesday announced receiving a fund support of Dh5 million from Easa Saleh Al Gurg (ESAG) Charity Foundation to provide talented undergraduate Emirati students with scholarships for bachelor degree programmes offered at the university.
The agreement was signed at the foundation’s headquarters in Dubai.
The programme’s aim is to help develop the UAE health sector through scholarships for Emirati students who cannot afford to pay for their own education for the MBRU’s Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) six-year programme.
The scholarship programme comes ahead of the start of the first batch in September of the College of Medicine, in which 60 students will start their medical education journey. Scholarships will be granted to Emirati students meeting the necessary criteria from this batch.
Speaking on the importance of this partnership, Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, Education Sector, Dubai Healthcare City Authority, said, “Initiatives such as this are an important factor in attracting Emirati students to the medical field. This will contribute in … [developing] the UAE health sector.”
“I hope this generous gesture by the ESAG Charity Foundation will encourage other entities to follow suit so more students can benefit from scholarships,” he added.
One of the foundation’s main objectives is to develop the standards of the UAE higher education by supporting academic institutes, scientific research centres and public libraries as well as providing study and research grants to students.
Mariam Easa Saleh Al Gurg, vice-chairperson of the ESAG Charity Foundation, said: “This agreement aims to support the education sector in the emirate of Dubai, especially outstanding students who cannot afford to pay for their medical education. We are very pleased to have partnered with Mohammad Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, a great edifice of higher and medical education in Dubai.”
The ESAG Charty Foundation also provides help and support for charity housing projects, orphanages, elderly homes, day-care centres and public libraries. It is also responsible for establishing and supporting medical facilities, rehabilitation centres, providing medical aid for the needy, assisting in the building of mosques, cultural centres and Islamic research centres.
Charity to provide scholarships to Emirati students in MBBS programme
Jalila Foundation offers scholarship programme
Dubai: Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, announced that for the fourth consecutive year, the postgraduate medical scholarship programme is open for applications.
A total of Dh4 million has been allocated for the 2016-2017 scholarship programme, which is open to all Emirati students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies in medical and health sciences in the UAE.
In a statement during the announcement, Dr Abdul Kareem Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “If we look at the global front-runners in health care, what sets them apart are their investments in developing their human capital. We are pleased to once again extend financial support to aspiring Emirati health-care professionals to help them specialise and further build the skills and credentials needed to contribute to the well-being of the nation,” said Al Olama. “Not only will our scholarships help to develop capabilities, they will build capacity, continuity and sustainability in the UAE’s health-care sector. Each stream of graduates will contribute to the country’s quality of health care and, by extension, the quality of life,” he added.
The application deadline is July 31. Interested applicants can find more information and application guidelines by visiting the Al Jalila Foundation website.
A total of Dh4m has been allocated for the 2016-17 scholarship programme
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Eid Teaching Ideas!
I remember when I first started my teaching career, I accepted a post in the centre of Bradford, which is when i had my first taste of the festival of Eid. Of course I’d heard about it before, but never had to incorporate it into my teaching. Back then, of course, there really weren’t many resources available for teaching about this HUGE event, but now of course with twinkl, all that has changed! This year Eid ul Fitr falls on the 17th July (though this may differ from place to place) and we’ve a few top ideas for how to cover this in class, keep reading!
1) Show your class this Eid Ul Fitr Powerpoint to introduce the topic, there’s some really useful photos and info on there that you can look through as a class.
2) For younger children, these Eid Display Photos are a great talking point, or choose one for groups of older children and ask them to prepare a presentation for their photo.
3) Use this Eid Ul Fitr Display Banner to create your own display, or ask your children to create their own mehndi patterns!
4) These Eid Playdough Mats have always been super popular, and are ideal for a variety of learners.
5) These FREE Eid Mubarak Cards are great for children who want to make cards for their friends and family!