Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairwomen of the Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE), confirmed that the readiness level of public schools to welcome back students for the new academic year is at 100 percent - a result of the concerted efforts and continuous work of ESE’s teams.
Al Amiri reaffirmed that ESE executed all-encompassing plans for the upcoming academic year to ensure the delivery of the highest educational standards and enhance the learning environment across the public education sector.
She stated that ESE’s teams commenced preparations for the new academic year prior to the conclusion of the previous one, developing a clear roadmap and action plan to enhance overall school readiness, as well as refurbish a number of them as required, making them fit to receive students and ensuring a successful start to the academic year.
Al Amiri explained that in collaboration with its partners, ESE is working towards the development of the national education system and providing it with the critical success factors that will enable it to fulfil the leadership’s vision - placing education at the very top of its priorities due to its pivotal role in every comprehensive development plan for the UAE.
The remarks were made during a press conference to announce preparations for the 2023-2024 academic year, organised by the UAE Government Media Office and the Emirates Schools Establishment, in Emirates Towers. The press conference was held in the presence of Mohammed Al-Qasim, Director-General of Emirates Schools Establishment, Hessa Rasheed, Acting Executive Director of Education Development Sector, Emirates Schools Establishment, and Dr. Omar Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director of School Operations Sector- Abu Dhabi, Emirates Schools Establishment along with educational leaders and representatives from various media outlets.
Al Amiri affirmed that the public education sector enjoys a high level of competitiveness due to the support and visionary leadership of the UAE, which has made education the UAE's foremost investment. She mentioned that government schools, including the "Ajyal Schools" model, will witness the enrolment of over 20,000 students transferring from the private to the public education sector this year.
"We are kicking-off the new academic year by launching the ‘Specialised Training Week’, to engage and enhance the readiness of education sector professionals, from teachers to sector leaders. The initiative centres on refining their competencies and bolstering their expertise with up-to-date pedagogical practices. Additionally, we aim to strengthen the role of educational leadership in creating an optimal educational environment within the school community,"
Al Amiri stated.
She highlighted the participation of 23,492 educational professionals in the ‘Specialised Training Week’, which features 165 training workshops and three educational forums covering various specialty areas. The training also focuses on the latest technological advancements and their applications in developing educational methodologies, which will ultimately reflect on student development, enhance the overall quality of education, and improve its outcomes. The total training hours reached 656 hours.
She reiterated during her remarks at the press conference that ESE is fully committed to modernising its educational policies related to every element of the educational process. Comprehensive developmental plans have been formulated and are set to be implemented at the beginning of the new academic year. These plans are aimed at enhancing the quality of educational outputs from both a knowledge and a skills perspective, in line with the rapidly evolving global education sector.
Al Amiri pointed out that the new academic year will witness the opening of 14 new schools across various Emirates. This is part of ESE’s strategic plan that responds to and accommodates population growth in the country and meets the increasing demand for public educational services.
Mohammed Al Qasim, Director-General of the Emirates Schools Establishment, stated that ESE commenced preparations for the new academic year approximately six months ago. Internal task forces were formed to execute comprehensive plans covering all elements of the educational process. This included the preparation of infrastructure, the refurbishment and maintenance of school buildings, the provision of school uniforms, as well as enhancing the readiness of educators.
He further emphasised that, in line with the commitment to provide an educational infrastructure that comprehensively supports the developments in the education sector, a specialised task force was formed to carry out maintenance for each school individually. This was done in parallel with a comprehensive survey that was conducted to assess that infrastructural state of all government schools across the country. In collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, ESE completed development and modernisation works for 30 schools, and renovation for 47 schools.
Al Qasim also highlighted the efforts of the Emirates Schools Establishment in improving school transport services, noting that in cooperation with service providers, ESE ensured the readiness of the 4,800 school buses, confirming their adherence to the highest safety standards. Additionally, 78 brand-new school buses have been added to the school transport fleet for the daily transportation of students to and from their schools.
He also mentioned that 3,600 computers will be distributed to students in accordance with the process tying device allocation to progression between the three educational stages. Furthermore, 2,187 interactive display devices will be provided to government schools for use in different subject classes. Approximately 10 million copies of curriculum books have been printed, and public schools across the Emirates will begin distributing them to students on the first day of school. He emphasised that the distribution process will be closely monitored and the highest standards of transparency will be observed.
Al Qasim noted that ESE has made school uniforms available to parents two months prior to the start of the academic year. These uniforms were made available in July 2023 through more than 50 sales outlets across the country and via online platforms. In total, 600,000 school uniforms have been distributed through various sales outlets. He also confirmed that the ‘Ajyal Schools’ model, comprising 18 schools this year, will welcome more than 13,000 students.
In his final remarks, he reiterated ESE’s special focus on expanding extracurricular activities across all its schools, recognising their significant role in improving the educational system's outcomes and developing students' skills in various vital areas, including artificial intelligence and various art disciplines.
ESE plans to implement over 450 extracurricular activities for students in the upcoming academic year.
News Source: Emirates News Agency