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The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has launched its inaugural awards program, “ADEK Awards,” designed to honour the remarkable achievements within the emirate’s thriving educational sector.

The “ADEK Awards” program is an exciting opportunity for public, private, and Charter schools throughout the emirate to gain recognition for their innovative endeavours, best practices, and significant accomplishments. By fostering a sense of healthy competition among these institutions, the awards aim to inspire continuous improvement and progress within the education sector.

The awards program promises generous rewards for its winners. AED 6,000,000 in cash prizes are up for grabs, spread across 11 distinct categories. Notably, the schools’ winnings will be re-invested into initiatives aimed at their further enhancement and improvement.

Her Excellency Sara Awadh Issa Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education, Chairman of the Federal Agency of Early Education, and Chairman of ADEK, outlines the program’s vision. “The ADEK Awards are dedicated to recognizing those individuals and institutions that make invaluable contributions to an education ecosystem aimed at nurturing lifelong learners,” she states. The awards seek to acknowledge the vital role of those who promote best practices and further Abu Dhabi’s vision of a world-class education system. This system aims to empower all students, irrespective of their background or learning needs, to reach their maximum potential and become active contributors to the global community.

HE Musallam applauds the unwavering efforts of devoted teachers, enthusiastic educators, and steadfast support staff in facilitating quality learning experiences and raising education standards. “These awards celebrate the individuals and institutions whose work embodies excellence and serves as a model for the sector,” HE Musallam adds.

The School Awards feature 11 sub-categories, including the Best Parental Engagement Award, Best Inclusion Practice Award, Best Professional Development Program Award, and others. In the inaugural year, the Individual Awards will highlight three sub-categories: Principal of the Year Award, Outstanding Teacher Award, and Unsung Hero Award.

ADEK looks forward to expanding the awards program over time. “As the categories grow, we hope to spur further initiatives that enhance the quality of education and inspire educators to continue elevating learning experiences,” HE Musallam said.

Future editions of the awards program will introduce international assessment categories like the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).

ADEK invites award submissions until 29 September 2023. An expert panel will assess each entry for compliance with the established criteria and standards. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony. For additional information on the “ADEK Awards” and the criteria for participation, please visit