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Abu Dhabi teachers must pass tests to teach

DUBAI // State school teachers in the capital will be tested in English, maths and science to ensure their readiness for the next phase of the New School Model roll-out.

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) will extend its revised state school system to Grade 6 next year. Before then, English, maths and science teachers for Grades 6 to 9 will have to take a Cambridge Placement Test to ascertain their readiness to teach a bilingual education model.

The online test assesses listening, reading and language knowledge skills and is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Based on the results, teachers will be referred for training to prepare them for the new standards and curriculum that will be adopted next year.
“This assessment will enable Adec to design and implement appropriate professional training programmes, while providing science and maths teachers with the relevant terminology,” said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, director general of the council.
Dr Jim Mienczakowsk, vice chancellor of the Emirates College for Advanced Education in Abu Dhabi, said that teachers should not feel threatened by the tests. “They should see this as an opportunity to acquire additional skills,” he said. “You cannot expect every person to be fully equipped with the necessary skills required for working life when they graduate. Learning on the job is a life-long process.”
Adec had previously announced that all teachers would be expected to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam to teach in state schools.
Maths and science teachers must score a minimum of 5.5 out of 9, while English teachers must get 6.5 on the same scale. Officials said hundreds of teachers would receive extra coaching.
In the next phase of New School Model implementation, officials will focus on improving career counselling for pupils and introducing alternatives to the two-stream system in high schools.
Dr Al Khaili added: “Adec is looking to increase the number of science graduates to help provide the labour market with doctors, engineers and other scientific discipline graduates to achieve Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030."