Pilot Phase includes 50 Private Schools
ADEC’s Private Schools and Quality Assurance Sector (PSQA) organized an educational forum about its new program known as “Haweyati” (My Identity in English), which is being introduced to private schools in Abu Dhabi.
The new program aims to enhance National Identity of Emirati students, while encouraging international/expatriate students to appreciate and respect National Identity as well as the UAE culture through a gradual differentiated approach that meets the needs of the diverse private school systems.
The “Haweyati” program will be implemented in 50 private schools across Abu Dhabi as a pilot phase during the current school trimester, whereas all other Abu Dhabi private schools are expected to join in phases during this academic year. The first pilot phase will address an overview of the program and ways of implementing and evaluating it. Participants will go through an eight day intensive training workshop, as well as online training modules.
The “Haweyati” forum, which was attended by school leadership teams, Heads of Teachers, and selected teachers from the pilot schools, covered the overviews and general frameworks of the “Haweyati” program, discussing the features of this pilot phase, best practices related to communicating the program and implementation modules and phases.
In her speech at the forum, Dr. Maryam Al Ali, School Development Division Manager at PSQA, said that “Haweyati” aims to provide school leaders and teachers with a curriculum framework that promotes the principles of National Identity among students. The program, according to Dr. Maryam, will address topics such as culture, society, values, Arabic, citizenship and belonging, and history, and will be flexible enough to embrace the diversity of private school systems and cultures through differentiated approaches.
“The 50 pilot schools were carefully selected according to certain criteria’s such as the numbers and percentages of Emirati students in each school, geographic distribution, “Irtiqaa” inspection band, and the variety of school curricula’s,” added Dr. Al Ali.
When asked to comment about how she found the National Identity workshop, Ms. Amira Salah, Head of the Arabic Department at the Sheikh Zayed Academy for Girls, explained that the school mostly consists of native Arabic speakers, and that the forum was of extreme importance to all the students equally. “Linking how we teach our children National Identity to that of the education council is crucial, especially since National Identity helps teach children pride, responsibility, and acceptance to other cultures, religions and represents loyalty and love towards the nation. A National Identity framework compliments our schools vision to encourage students to want to work hard and take their education journey seriously. We are very enthusiastic to convey this framework to the rest of our peers and students at schools.”
Ms. Hamda Al Muhairi, School Principal from the Al Dubyaniya MoE School, said that: “We teach our students the ethics behind National Identity and its importance, however the framework will help enhance that further. Our programs and activities are based on how to give back to the society, how to be kind to orphans, the elderly and those in need, how to take your education serious in order to benefit the nation. National Identity teaches all these things, and encourages discipline, forgiveness and honor. We are very happy ADEC is working alongside private schools to implement this noble program.”
Ms. Wedad Al Najdi, Head of the Arabic Department in Al Dar Academies, explained that the Al Dar chain of schools are implementing a solid National Identity program amongst its students, however ADEC’s framework compliments what is already being taught, while it strengthens the schools mission to encourage passion and loyalty among students through teaching them the different values and traditions of the UAE. “We start with the early foundation years, where students take part in different activities and field visits that add to their knowledge and understanding, while teaching them pivotal facts about the lovely nation they live in.”
The forum opened a discussion panel to review the importance of the “Haweyati” program and ADEC’s role in reinforcing National Identity, methodology and concepts of program design, and implementation & transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
The “Haweyati” program was designed after conducting an in-depth study that took into account the specialty of the local community, and was guided by the main Emirati national concepts, which would provide for research based learning experiences. This is meant to promote positive interaction and good citizenship practices among students in a dynamic interactive structure.
The gradual vertical implementation of the program will ensure a deeper understanding of its components among different age groups and not only according to individual classes, which will help facilitate the programs implementation process for schools.
– ADEC Media