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The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) started implementing the “Education Partnership Schools” (EPS) programme, which creates charter schools funded by the government and run by the private sector.

The EPS programme is one of the initiatives launched by the Abu Dhabi Government Accelerators Programme “Ghadan 21” under its social pillar, which aims to develop and prepare students with the skills required to address future challenges and deliver the national vision. EPS is set to provide 15,000 seats this coming academic year across 12 public schools. These schools, nine of which are based in Abu Dhabi City and three in Al Ain, will offer kindergarten and elementary education, with more stages to be introduced as pupils progress in their education.

By optimising available resources, which will reflect positively on students’ performance the government of Abu Dhabi aims to establish a sustainable educational model and create a competitive environment in which educational establishments provide the highest quality of service.

In the last academic year, Al Rayana School was inaugurated as a prototype for the EPS programme. Managed and operated by Aldar Academies, the school opened its doors for 2,000 kindergarten and elementary pupils living in Al Falah.

Her Excellency Sara Musallam, Chairperson of ADEK, commented: “The Education Partnership Schools programme is one of the key initiatives under Ghadan 21, the accelerator programme that our wise leaders have designed to propel Abu Dhabi’s position as one of the world’s best cities to live in.

“This partnership with the private sector will benefit all stakeholders in the education ecosystem including students, parents, teachers and administrators. Educators will also benefit from the training courses and workshops that come with the EPS programme. Furthermore, ADEK is planning other continuous development initiatives which will help enhance their teaching skills and create new opportunities in their careers.”

H.E Dr Youssef Al Sheryani, Undersecretary of ADEK, said: “The education sector continuously works to promote and nurture excellence amongst students by diversifying learning opportunities, and this partnership is in line with the UAE’s strategy of putting education first.

“We formed a special team to ensure the success of the academic year 2019/2020 and to implement plans for the next three years. We have also hosted several meetings and workshops with school administrators, in order to present and discuss every aspect of this initiative and to ensure their readiness.”

Khulood Al Dhaheri, Division Manager of Educational Institution Contract Management at ADEK, is managing the EPS programme and stressed that the programme’s ultimate goal is to establish a model for sustainable schools that encourage constructive competitiveness and boost efficiency, by harnessing the expertise of the private sector.

Following a thorough tender bidding and evaluation process, ADEK identified three top educational establishments that implement best education practices recognised in various studies on the development of students’ abilities at the early stages of learning.

EPS is considered a huge step forward in improving the emirate’s education policy, by forming a strategic alliance between the public and private sectors. This partnership supports the UAE national agenda to create a sustainable, knowledge-based and competitive economy, in order to ensure economic and social development.