The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a benchmark for other global markets looking to manage an international, cross-cultural education system; particularly in the primary education sector.
With more than 180 nationalities studying in schools across the UAE, government departments work adamantly to satisfy the needs of the UAE’s diversified education sector.
British curriculum institutions account for more than 100 schools available in the UAE, making it the largest international curricula available, according to Eteach International, the Middle East’s online teacher recruitment service.
The UAE’s primary education sector is by far the largest, with 42% of students accounting for enrolments in Dubai alone. The UAE offers 16 different curricula covering approximately 350 schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai combined. The Abu Dhabi Education Council estimates that it will require 100 new schools, offering 140,000 openings by 2020 if it’s to meet demand for new students.
The UAE is renowned for its integration of other nationalities, due to the country’s considerable expatriate demographic make-up. The government continues to invest significantly in the healthcare, hospitality and education sectors to attract and retain top talent, which is evidenced by the more than 200 nationalities that live in the country.
Jonathan Price, Managing Director for Eteach International, the Middle East’s online education recruitment service, stated; “Having travelled throughout the region, and to markets in South East Asia, we’ve been able to compare education sectors in various markets. The UAE is without a doubt one of the most progressive, inclusive, and diverse education models; when you consider the business model for education investment, it’s easy to see why the UAE is fast becoming a centre of excellence.”
Both the Knowledge & Human Development Authority (Dubai) and Abu Dhabi Education Council have been investing heavily in ensuring standards for private school education in the UAE are met. “Both authorities have implemented a series of standards to ensure that private schools not only adhere to their curricula, but that they meet stringent controls put in place to achieve the future development goals as part of UAE’s Vision 2021. There are an increasing number of Emirati students enrolled in the international private school system, as national parents seek an international standard of education for their children, preparing them for a future where they can compete in the global marketplace,” continued Price.
The primary education sector provides the foundation for future studies, and establishes in children the importance of independent thinking, teamwork and creativity. The role of the primary school teacher is to foster these traits, while educating children with the basics they need to progress to each level in their academic life alongside encouraging their emotional and rational development. A primary school teacher in the UAE requires a specialist set of skills and is also required to adhere to new accreditation measures being put in place by the authorities.
“These will ensure that teachers not only meet the criteria of the school system they’re teaching in, but that they also pass the standards set by the education authorities, which fall in line with the country’s wider economic and development policies,” confirmed Price.