The Schools Report UAE: The Schools Compared weekly briefing on all that’s Hot News in Education.
THE SCHOOLS REPORT UAE:
The Schools Compared Weekly Briefing on all that’s Hot News in Education.
Every Thursday we bring you the hottest stories in education in the UAE and around the world in the last 7 days. Here’s what’s been happening this week…
This Week in Education. UAE Education News. First. Every Thursday. Only from SchoolsCompared.com.
DISTANCE LEARNING NOW OFF THE MENU AT MOST DUBAI SCHOOLS
Almost all students in Dubai private schools returned for face-to-face learning in-person on Sunday 3 October 2021, for the first time since schools closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. As of the beginning of this month the distance-learning option at Dubai private schools has largely been discontinued, barring some exceptions, with schools offering only on-campus classes for the majority of students. Distance learning will still be offered only for those in exceptional circumstances; this includes those who have high-risk family members at home who cannot be vaccinated, as well as those who have been identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19. Read more on the KHDA’s website.
ABU DHABI SCHOOLS TO RELAX COVID MEASURES BASED ON VACCINATION RATE
Abu Dhabi schools will soon be able to return to normal operations and relax COVID-19 measures based on their vaccination rates, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee announced on Tuesday 5 October. To be implemented from term 2 of the current academic year, there will be a tier-system based on vaccination rates, and those schools with higher proportions of vaccinated staff and pupils will be able to relax precautionary measures, including reduced social distancing requirements, relaxed mask-wearing protocols, increased classroom and school transport capacity, and a return to extra-curricular activities, in-school events and field trips. Dubbed the ‘blue schools initiative’, schools with an 85% or higher vaccination rate will be in the blue tier, with the greatest freedom to relax measures, while those with lower vaccination rates will fall into one of the other three coloured tiers, with restrictions maintained in proportion to the number of vaccinated pupils. Find out more.
UAE SCHOOLS CELEBRATE WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY
It was World Teachers Day on 5 October, and schools across the UAE celebrated some of the most extraordinary, talented and inspiring educators in the country. A good teacher can transform not only their school, but also the lives and potential of their students; at Schools Compared we choose just a few of the really outstanding teachers working in the UAE today to celebrate. Read the story in full.
EXPO ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING EDUCATION SUMMIT AGENDA
The most influential thinkers on education from across the globe will gather together at The RewirEd summit at Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss the urgent need for a seismic shift in education and teaching methods, it was announced on Tuesday 5 October. “We need a new approach towards education. The system that we have today is the same system that was set, 100 to 150 years ago. Hardly anything has changed, and it is not viable anymore,” Tariq Al Gurg, the chief executive of Dubai Cares, told The National. The RewirEd summit will be hosted at Expo 2020 Dubai as part of the Knowledge and Learning Week from December 12 to 14 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre. Find out more.
NEW RESEARCH ON ABU DHABI’S EARLY CHILDHOOD SECTOR REVEALED
New insights and recommendations on the importance of play, screen time, and lifestyle factors for children in Abu Dhabi were revealed at a meeting between the World Early Childhood Development Movement (WED Movement) Breakthrough Working Groups (BWGs) and the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) this Monday 4 October 2021.
After nearly six months of research, in which experts from around the world united to focus their attention on the children of Abu Dhabi and the early childhood development ecosystem, the BWG experts presented their findings. The ECA will prepare the recommendations for piloting and activation in partnership with a broad set of government, semi-government and private sector partners. Find out more.
EXCITING ‘FESTIVAL OF SCHOOLS’ LINE-UP ANNOUNCED
SchoolsCompared has revealed the line-up for this year’s Festival of Schools, which will be held at four of the emirates’ top schools every weekend in November. Offering a fun day out for the whole family and set under the theme ‘Our Planet, Our Future’, there will be competitions, foodie treats, entertainment, and the opportunity to experience in-person the wonderful offering at Safa British School, GEMS FirstPoint School, Arcadia School and Victory Heights Primary School. Book tickets or find out more.
POPULAR TALENT HUNT EXAM COMES TO THE UAE
Tallentex, reportedly India’s biggest talent hunt exam, has now landed in the UAE. Run by Allen Career Institute, the Tallentex initiative incentivises and rewards top performing students with cash prizes, scholarships and mentoring. Designed for students in class 5 to class 13, pupils studying any curriculum can take part in the exam – which is primarily focused on maths and sciences – and the highest performers will receive recognition and prizes. The next round of online exams for UAE students will happen on 30 October. Find out more.
UK TO BAN “CHEATING ESSAY MILLS” IN EDUCATION REFORMS
Commercial essay-writing services for students, or “essay mills”, are set to be banned in England under plans to protect the academic integrity and standards of post-16 education, the UK government said on Tuesday.
The UK intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise such services to university and college students for financial gain, reports The National. Read more.
CHANGES TO GCSE AND A-LEVEL GRADING IN 2022 ANNOUNCED
There will be changes to how GCSEs and A Levels will be graded next year and what students will be tested on, the UK government body in charge of examinations, Ofqual, announced on Thursday 30 September. Which School Advisor reports that exams will return for 2022, after being cancelled over the past two years due to the pandemic, but will be tweaked to allow for the disruption in education experienced by most children. Changes include: GCSE/A Level grades will be higher than in 2019 – but lower than last year; there will be a choice of exam topics and advance notice for revision; formula and equation sheets will be given for maths and science; and there will be a return to centre-assessed practical work. See the full story.
UK CONSIDERS RETURN OF SATS AT 14 AND AXING TEACHING-HOUR LIMITS
Radical proposals to bring back national testing for 14-year-olds and scrap limits on teaching hours are under consideration by UK ministers, the Guardian reports. Sats exams in English, Maths and sometimes science currently take place at ages seven and 11 in the British curriculum, but the same tests for 14-year-olds were abolished in 2008 after concern that they were fuelling children’s anxiety. Ministers are discussing their return amid fears that children are losing focus in the early teen years of school. The Guardian also reports that the Department for Education (DfE) has been exploring getting rid of the national cap on the number of hours teachers have to be available for work, enabling extended teaching days as part of the post-pandemic education catch-up. See more.