Now, moral education compulsory in Abu Dhabi schools
Abu Dhabi - To start with, ADEC will try out the programme in a pilot project in 28 private schools and 24 public schools in the emirate, starting in January 2017
From the next academic year, moral education will become a compulsory subject in all schools across Abu Dhabi emirate. The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) announced on Sunday that textbooks are being prepared and teachers will soon beginning training for the new classes.
To start with, ADEC will try out the programme in a pilot project in 28 private schools and 24 public schools in the emirate, starting in January 2017. From September 2017, all schools in the emirate, public and private, will have moral education on their curriculum, as a stand-alone subject from grades one to 11. For the time being, KG and grade 12 will study moral education as a topic integrated into other subjects such as Arabic language, social or Islamic studies.
"We are introducing moral education in schools following the directives of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, which wants the next generation have the right calibre for the post-oil era. This means that today's students have to be well educated and share the same moral values," said Dr. Karima Al Mazrouei, ADEC's P12 (grade 12) schools executive director.
Moral education will focus on five elements - ethics, personal and community development, culture and heritage, civic education and human rights, as well as responsibilities.
According to Dr. Karima, students will learn mutual respect, an individual's rights and freedoms, tolerance and patriotism.
"Through such values we would teach students counter terrorism," she stressed.
"Many countries introduced moral education in schools after experiencing major crises. UAE doesn't want to wait until shooting in schools happen or terrorist attacks on the streets. We want to introduce it now, and we are consulting with those countries that already have it, but we are designing the programme to me suitable to the UAE".
Details of the programme will be announced once they are approved by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court. ADEC did reveal, though, that there would be one class per week, taught by social studies teachers, consider most adept for the job since, since moral education is considered a social subject.
The evaluation for this new subject will be quite different, though, as ADEC wants moral education to be a lot more practical rather than textbook studies.
Although UAE patriotism and culture is a big part of it, moral education will not be linked to Emirati history, a subject that ADEC is now developing for schools.