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ABU DHABI: There are more than 350 private schools in the UAE catering to over 470,000 students, of which 81,000 (17 per cent) are Emirati. Interestingly, of the top 14 outstanding schools in Dubai, 10 schools follow British Curriculum. These statistics were highlighted on the concluding day of the “Schools Now! Conference,” organised by British Council in Abu Dhabi.

The concluding day of the international event revealed that 32 per cent of the UAE private schools follow British Curriculum, which, according to Adrian Chadwick, Regional Director MENA, British Council, speaks volumes for the value parents place in a British curriculum schools in the UAE.

The opening session on the second day was attended by Ros Marshall, CEO of Taaleem Schools, UAE, and Essa Al Mulla, Executive Director, Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP), among other decision makers from the field of education from across the world.  Al Mulla revealed that ENDP has inducted 13,500 UAE nationals into the UAE private sector over the past 10 years.

He said emiratisation is a top priority for the UAE, and added that ENDP has a goal of reducing the UAE unemployment rate to less than 1 per cent, from  the current 2.6 per cent (according to Dubai Statistics Centre figures) by 2021. He lauded the British Council’s role in bringing innovative, world-class and highly relevant topics into the education arena.

The conference featured a number of keynote speeches, plenary papers, panel discussions and short paper presentations. The three Plenary sessions on the concluding day were “Redefining School Leadership– Challenging the status quo”, “Measuring Effectiveness, Improving Outcomes – what do examinations tell us?” and “Student Insight”.

The second day highlighted that for a school to be successful, the traditional head teacher/ teacher/ student hierarchy needs to be revisited and challenged. Head teachers cannot be the only leaders; teachers must do more than impart knowledge and students need to be able to take responsibility for their learning as well as the environment and culture of their school.

Page last updated 31 December 2019
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