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Irtiqa’a 2015 Conference launches the 2nd phase of inspections for all public schools

In efforts to promote a generation of new and creative ideas leading to the use of new and improved approaches, Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADECs) is using a new inspection framework this year to measure how schools are developing students’ innovation skills.

As part of the 2nd round of inspections for all of ADEC’s public schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, six versus the previous eight new performance standards are being used to measure the overall performance and quality of all schools. These include: students’ achievement; students’ personal and social development and their innovation skills; teaching and assessment; curriculum; the protection, care, guidance and support of students; leadership and management.

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During the annual Irtiqa’a School Inspection Conference, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, Chairman of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, member of the Executive Council and Acting Director General at the ADEC said: “This year represents an important new milestone in inspection, not only in Abu Dhabi, but throughout the UAE. We have deployed a new inspection framework in order to provide a single measure of education quality for all schools across the UAE. All schools are now being evaluated under the same inspection framework, using the same quality standards.”

The Irtiqa’a Inspection framework was originally introduced to set standards for all schools, providing a range of quality indicators that clearly describe the benchmarks that schools should aspire to achieving. Schools are given a 30-day period to come up with a school improvement plan once they have been inspected. In some cases a follow up evaluation is then implemented to ensure teachers share best practices and strive towards excellence.

“Each year, inspections help contribute to the quality of teaching across schools, while promoting the UAE leadership’s aspirations for the year ahead. This year ADEC’s inspection process is focused on promoting quality and innovation in education. Next year, 2016, will be the year of reading and schools efforts to improve reading literacy standards will be measured in inspections,” explained Dr. Al Khaili.

As part of measuring innovation learning across schools, inspectors have been looking into a “students’ learning skills” which assesses whether students are encouraged to become self-managing learners, while interacting and collaborating with others in a range of learning situations. A “students’ personal and social development” is also measured to show whether a student is resourceful, innovative and creative, ready to take initiatives and independently manage a projects and increase their decision making and entrepreneurial skills.

Innovation learning in schools also helps measure the quality of teaching. Teachers should enable students to take responsibility for their own learning through promoting collaboration and independent thinking. They should also provide problem solving opportunities for students to enable them to innovate and engage in enterprise activities.

Engineer Hamad Al Dhaheri, Executive Director for ADEC’s Private Schools and Quality Assurance (PSQA) sector emphasized ADEC’s ongoing commitment to ensure all schools are inspected promptly and effectively as per ADEC’s mission to promote excellence in the overall level of education being offered across all schools.

“Since the inspection process initially took place across schools, there’s been an evident improvement in the quality of education as well as performance levels of students. ADEC has partnered with schools to recommend strategies that have worked in some of the best schools across the world. We are happy with the results we see and are confident that schools will continue to excel in their overall performance standards,” added Engineer Al Dhaheri.

Adapting curriculum implementation so that students are given greater responsibility for their own learning ensures they have ample opportunities for enterprise, innovation, creativity and social initiatives.

During the conference, findings from the 1st round of public school inspections were shared with school leaders and audience members, highlighting areas of strength and areas for development found in schools that have undergone the evaluation process. Two panel discussions were also organized to highlight the key issues related to school improvement and innovation, while success stories from different public and private schools were shared to highlight best practices and suggest how it could be replicated. A young innovator spoke about how she applies her creative skills in coming up with great ideas, which the nation aspires in each for every single child.

“The government’s mission is to prepare the current generation to undertake a variety of roles in the economy by year 2030, which is exactly why ADEC has been focusing on equipping its youth with interactive, innovative and hands-on opportunities. Students are being exposed to projects they are passionate about with emphasis on STEM related fields, which will help turn their future career paths into a pleasant fulfilling and rewarding experiences for themselves and the wider community,” concluded Dr. Al Khaili.

- ADEC Media