Over 200 teachers from 194 schools complete Moral Education plan in UAE

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - More than 200 teachers from 194 schools (both public and private) across the UAE, completed the blended Moral Education National Capacity Building Programme (NCBP) between November 2019 and February 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The capacity-building initiative was led by the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi in collaboration with several partners including the Emirates Schools Establishment, Knowledge and Human Development Authority and Department of Education and Knowledge. The TELLAL Institute (UAE) and its United States partner (The education partners) were commissioned to plan, design, deliver, assess and evaluate the initiative. One of the successes of the initiative has been the support provided by all partners in their desire towards raising the status of Moral Education and its teaching across all schools.

An innovation introduced by TELLAL is the use of a digital summative "Performance Assessment Tool" (PAT) to provide reliable and valid assessments of teachers’ competency at scale. This consists of a 20-minute video capturing the teacher delivering an extract of a Moral Education lesson. This footage is supported by a 2000-word critical reflection specifically designed to assess their knowledge, understanding, and application of core teaching strategies in the classroom. There have been several positive results of this initiative for participants as well as the lead partners. Amongst these, those teachers who have completed the PAT are now exempt from one of the Teacher Licencing tests.

Commenting on the completion of the programme, Dr Rabaa Al Sumaiti, Director-General of the Emirates Schools Establishment, said, "The NCBP provides critical skills for teachers through an interactive platform and contributes to the development of a qualified pool of moral education teachers. The programme develops teachers' capabilities and empowers them to deliver the course to future generations, especially in light of the current global challenges."

Mohamed Khalifa Al Nuaimi, Director of Education Affairs Office at the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, said, "We are extremely proud of the NCBP graduates' performance, especially in light of the recent changes to the way we work, live and communicate.

"This programme came in response to feedback from teachers and we hope that we were able to develop local talent for teaching Moral Education and provide our teachers with the right skills to perform their critical roles. NCBP graduates will form the basis for a national pool of qualified teachers and will hopefully transfer this knowledge to their colleagues and communities."

The PAT was conducted online in both Arabic and English.
Each teacher participating in the assessment received a detailed report highlighting their strengths and areas for development in addition to an overall outcome. There is now a rich pool of local, talented teachers in both public and private sectors, upskilled to train, coach and build the capacity of their colleagues with the teaching and learning of the UAE Moral Education curriculum.

"The two significant takeaways from this initiative are the creation of an excellent group of virtual coaches who have modelled a unique way of supporting teachers as learners, and, secondly, the quality of provision has led to positive opportunities including exemption from part of the teacher licencing requirements. The NCBP is a model of what can work," stated Dr Linda Rush, SVP TELLAL Institute.
"The support of the virtual coaches enhanced my learning experience and I feel more confident having studied the programme, in building the capacity of my colleagues in the Moral Education curriculum at Star International School Al Twar, and other schools across the UAE," said Sean Lewis, SLT, Star International School, Al Twar, .

Ahmed Al Zaabi, a teacher at Falaj Hazaa School in Al Ain said, "My experience in the programme was wonderful and interesting, as I learnt new methods for teaching Moral Education, which greatly impacted the way I teach the subject, in terms of organising and planning the distance learning class. This also greatly influenced my students' progress and excellence in the subject.

WAM

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