UAE: Over 5,900 students enroll for free schooling model

Ajyal school system to be introduced in 2022-2023 academic year

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File photo used for illustrative purpose
File photo used for illustrative purpose

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Wed 24 Aug 2022, 10:38 PM

More than 5,900 students have enrolled in the free schooling model that the UAE will introduce in the 2022-2023 academic year, according to Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Schools Establishment.

“It is part of us ensuring that parents have access to different modes and models of education,” she said.

“It is very important with regards to increasing the capabilities and ensuring that there is impactful education happening across the board.”

The Ajyal (generation) model of schooling was announced earlier this year for Emiratis and eligible expat students. It adopts advanced learning outcomes that combine the best of national and international curricula.

Al Amiri also stressed that the Emirates Schools Establishment is moving forward in cooperation with all concerned entities to develop the future government learning ecosystem in the UAE, to meet the demands of the Next 50.

Al Amiri said schools are ready to welcome students for the new academic year starting Monday. “We have a few minor challenges, but we have ensured students have teachers within the schools, the buildings are ready from a safety perspective and there are enough centres distributed across the country to conduct PCR tests for students returning to school,” she said.

More than 4,000 school buses have been equipped to cater to the students and over 20,000 teachers and administrators have been trained.

Ajyal Schools model

Al Amiri highlighted that the Ajyal Schools model is operated in partnership with the private sector and under the direct supervision of the Emirates Schools Establishment.

Ten schools have been converted to the Ajyal model and there are plans to expand the programme to more institutes over the next two academic years. It will be applied to all students from grade one to four. The national curricula will include the Arabic language, Islamic education, moral education and social studies, while the international one will include mathematics, science and others.

Schools ready to welcome students

At least 95% of all public schools in the UAE, including 150 of those affected by the recent floods in the eastern region, are fully equipped and ready to welcome back students for the new school year, thanks to the efforts of the specialised teams. Maintenance work included repairing buildings, internet service and replacing damaged display devices and smart learning screens.

According to Lubna Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of School Operations Sector– Abu Dhabi, a total of 25,000 laptops were distributed to all new students as well as those in Grade 5 and Grade 9 across public schools. Textbooks of Group B that include non-core subjects, like Design Technology and IT, have been completely digitized and students will be able to access them electronically.

Transport arrangements

More than 4,000 school buses will transport about 170,000 students in 504 government schools, including 8 of the recently announced Ajyal schools. Of these, 100 buses are equipped for people of determination and 490 are new school buses.

Feryal Tawakul, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Emirates Transport affirmed that the company is committed to ensuring the safety of students. “This is evident through our full commitment to all safety requirements, in cooperation with all parties,” she said. She also requested parents to prepare their children, and direct them to maintain discipline within the school buses.

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