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Positive minds, positive education

Bringing together educators to learn more about positive education and helping schools focus on wellbeing, happiness and holistic development of Dubai students, more than 100 school principals in Dubai came together at an event hosted by Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

In a first for any city in the world, private schools following different curricula in Dubai are collaborating for good by embracing positive education values and supporting each other by sharing knowledge through the lighthouse project.

Helping school leaders to learn more about successful education practices and positive education, KHDA announced plans for a new phase of its lighthouse project. This year, as part of the initiative, schools will work towards discovering how 10 key character traits can help encourage schools to move towards positive education.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman and Director-General of Knowledge and Human Development Authority said, “It is exciting to see so many principals come together with the purpose of collaborating and sharing knowledge. Every school feels a sense of shared responsibility towards meeting the national agenda goals.”

Starting this year, school inspection results feature insights on progress made by individual schools in achieving national agenda goals. Dr. Rabaa AlSumaiti, Director of International Assessments at KHDA explained the importance of National Agenda and its impact on the quality of education.

Dr. Rabaa AlSumaiti said, “We have seen some good examples of schools who have used international assessment data by sharing it with students and parents and this has helped in our journey towards achieving UAE National Agenda goals.”

The inspections also include an emphasis on the UAE National Agenda Parameter which measures and monitors schools’ progress towards achieving the targets. All schools in Dubai are required to participate in international and external benchmarking assessments on an annual basis other than TIMSS and PISA.

The objectives underpinning the UAE National Agenda, which was launched in 2014 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, provide schools with concrete targets against which to measure the progress they are making towards achieving the aspirations of the UAE Vision 2021.

To assist schools in meeting their assigned targets, KHDA encourages collaboration between school principals. Inspiring educators to learn from each other, the lighthouse project shines a light on successful education practices.

Last year, principals worked together as part of the project to understand the success of countries who have improved their international assessment results. Some of the countries selected for the lighthouse project included Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Chile, Australia and Iran among others.

10 words for positive education:

•Creativity  •Curiosity  •Courage •Integrity •Resilience •Empathy •Fairness/Tolerance •Awe •Gratitude •Purpose

What is the UAE National Agenda?

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a seven year UAE National Agenda leading to the UAE Vision 2021 which also coincides with the UAE’s 50th National Day.

The UAE National Agenda, which was developed by over 300 officials from 90 federal and local government entities, includes a set of national indicators in the sectors of education, healthcare, economy, police and security, housing, infrastructure and government services.

These indicators are long-term, measure performance outcomes in each of the national priorities, and generally compare the UAE against global benchmarks. The national indicators are periodically monitored by Government leadership to ensure their targets are achieved by 2021.

- KHDA Media