Earlier this month the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced the latest results from their school inspections. The reveal, which came ahead of schedule, was intended to provide parents with more insight into how schools have been rated and give them more time to make decisions for the coming school year. This year, 176 private schools were inspected by the Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) and 18 schools actually managed to improve their ratings. Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA applauded the efforts, stating “Our schools have consistently improved year-on-year and this is good news for parents because they now have a wider selection of better quality schools in Dubai. Ten years back, only 30 per cent of students received ‘good’ or better quality education and today this number has more than doubled to 70 per cent. It is important for us to keep pushing towards better quality education and keep up with Dubai’s aspiration and future needs.”
For teachers, inspections are an opportunity to demonstrate to evaluators the hard work they do every day and the strides they have taken to improve their performance. We know exactly how hard teachers work, every day of the year, to give the best levels of care, support and learning to their students and this is exactly the sort of thing the inspectors are most excited to see. It is also a time for your hard work to be rewarded and acknowledged, a hugely underutilised practice for the amazing teachers who support our children. Getting the thumbs up from an inspector or helping to improve your school’s standing is a phenomenal achievement, and one you should take immense pride in.
The fact is that regular oversight is a vital tool in improving educational standards throughout Dubai; a topic which we are very passionate about here at TELLAL. As Dr Abdulla said, “Good education drives the future of our nation” and by providing expert regulation KHDA not only can identify under-performing schools but inspire all schools to raise standards for the betterment of all. The structure of the inspection process and the generated results allows parents to receive feedback about their schools performance and gain insight into which institution might best suit their child. The positive impact of the KHDA oversight has drastically improved our educational system. Fatma Belrehif, Chief of Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) noted that “the number of schools offering ‘good’ or better quality education has increased from just 38 schools in 2008 to a massive 119” out of 176.
You can read this year’s reports at www.khda.gov.ae and you can find out more about the schools that managed to improve their ratings, including four schools who moved from ‘very good’ to ‘outstanding’ and five schools who moved from ‘good’ to ‘very good’. The six point scale by which schools are evaluated runs from ‘very weak’ to ‘outstanding’ and each year all schools are given advice and suggestions on how to improve their rating and standards. The aim of KHDA is to make sure as many schools as possible offer an ‘outstanding’ level of education and care for all of their students. According to their criteria, an ‘outstanding’ school should “have exceptionally high standards of students’ learning and personal development. Teachers will have expert knowledge of their subjects, they will understand how children learn, and they will create inspiring learning environments. The curriculum will be rich and innovative, and provide challenge, support and options for all students. School leaders know the school exceptionally well and, despite already extremely high standards, they continuously strive to be even better.”
Here at TELLAL we understand the importance of offering the highest standards of education for our students, at every level of the school, from teaching assistance to leaders. That is why we consistently strive to offer the most innovative and effective training programmes so that you always have a trusted, expert resource in which to work on your own professional development. If you would like to find out more about the courses we offer, click here.
At TELLAL we understand the value of collaboration. Education is the key to the continued development of a successful society and the empowerment of future generations. One of the best ways in which we continue to influence the positive evolution of education is through collaboration. By working together to foster new ideas, develop innovative concepts and improve teaching methodologies we can discover best practices and learn how to keep educational standards moving in the right direction. Here in the melting pot of Dubai, the opportunity for collaboration is even greater. With such high levels of diversity producing a wide range of resources for techniques and teaching styles, there is more potential than ever to utilise different experiences and expertise in order to continually improve our offerings to students. Our classrooms house the dreams and talents of those who will follow us and our ability to shape their growth can never be underestimated. Drawing from diverse resources to find the best routes to development will always produce better results.
This ethos was recently given international recognition following the release of a new report from the World Bank which encouraged the continued efforts of Dubai in working together to improve collaborative practices. As summarised by KHDA, the report was launched at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) and was titled ‘Collaboration Road: Dubai’s Journey towards Improved School Quality’. It noted that in the last seven school years, there has been a 40% increase in students, around 80,000, and over 76 new schools opened in Dubai. The highlight of the report was on the impact collaborative initiatives have had, and will continue to have, on improving the educational system. According to Simon Thacker, the report’s author, Dubai represented a ‘remarkable opportunity to work across national and school cultures, and different ethnic and socioeconomic groups’.
The sentiment of collaboration is one that KHDA has long held as a central pillar to their mandate. Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Innovation at KHDA said a “shared culture of collaboration has encourages schools to look beyond their own offering and see how things can be done differently”. Their join session with the World Bank at GESF was focused on Dubai’s journey towards better school quality and how collaborative communication and integration could facilitate that evolution. Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director-General of KHDA, said, “It’s no longer about competition between schools but finding new ways to grow and flourish together.”
Dubai currently has four collaborative initiatives that have already generated successful results:
What Works Events: that united educators from private schools in sharing their best practices
Living Arabic: that promotes the teaching practices for the Arabic language
The Abundance Project: in which schools rated Outstanding or Very Good share their knowledge with others
The Lighthouse Project: that encourages collaboration and networking between school principals regarding specific topics
The efforts by KHDA to open the minds of school leaders to the benefits of collaboration have been transformative in improving standards across the board. According to the report, “the collaborative initiatives promoted by the KHDA do something interesting: by encouraging teachers and schools to collaborate, they open schools to the richness and diversity of the educational landscape around them and create a greater and richer community of practice”. If teachers are given the tools and opportunities to learn from others and share their experiences, we can all grow in more productive ways.
From our work with Harvard Project Zero to our Early Years Network group, TELLAL remains committed to developing collaborative evidence-based solutions for teaching practice issues. We take an active role in events such as the upcoming BETT MEA 2019 that strives to find ways in which technological innovations could support and improve the way we teach. We believe that collaboration is the key to making sure our educational system is one of the best in the world. If you would like to find out more about TELLAL partnerships and collaboration projects you can get in touch via email at email@example.com or phone us on +971 (0)4 403 5146
You might have already heard about the Mandatory Professional Development (MPD) courses that have been introduced. If you haven’t, or you have been searching for more information, we wanted to put together a brief guide to take you through what will be required and how to make sure you have what you need.
Currently, teachers working in the emirate of Dubai are expected to engage with the Competent Teacher Status (CTS) requirements; one of these requirements is to have completed six Mandatory Professional Development courses. Each of the six courses must be done with an approved provider or Quality Assured Training Provider (QATP). As an approved KHDA training provider, TELLAL is offering completely online courses, so that you can complete the requirements in a flexible manner that takes into account the large workload and constant time pressures teachers often have. Although many teachers will be extremely knowledgeable on many of the MPD areas, the standardisation of information and application will be extremely beneficial for the educational system in Dubai. By raising our performance levels and ensuring that all teachers have the same skills development in these areas, we are better placed to work together to improve the support and standards our schools provide. Not only this, but the areas covered by the MPD courses have been curated to facilitate our evolution towards a brighter, more inclusive, educational future, underline our necessary roles and responsibilities to be productive citizens of the world and ultimately cultivate better environments for our immediate and surrounding communities.
Each of the courses covers a particular topic that is in line with the agenda of Dubai and their goal to enhance the capacity of educational providers in order to improve standards for all students, across the board. The topics are:
- Child protection and safeguarding – including detecting and reporting child abuse and dealing with bullying
- Wellbeing – how to promote positivity, mindfulness and happiness, as well as health and safety guidelines and hygiene priorities
- People of determination – to facilitate inclusion and best practice methods to cater for students with Special Educational Needs
- Diversity – ensuring the most appropriate ways to deal with students and colleagues from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds
- Sustainability – covers environmental awareness, conservation methods and aspects of the green economy
- Moral education – including civics, community, values, empathy and respect
Currently available for those pursuing their KHDA Teacher Permit, teachers can complete these courses with TELLAL, as an approved KHDA training provider. The programme is offered online, in both English and Arabic, and involves approximately 90 hours of learning that will be accessible for 12 months from the date of registration. At the end, participants will exit with a TELLAL Certificate of Completion and a KHDA Certificate of Completion.
Founded in 2016, BETT MEA was designed to host industry professionals in a unifying and cutting-edge event that would promote the potential benefits of educational technology. As we continue to search for new ways in which to enhance our teaching capabilities, this conference and EXPO provides an opportunity for collaboration, discussion and exploration of the ways in which technology could help transform our classrooms; as well as the lives of our students. By embracing the possibilities of new technological advancements, we can expand the horizons of education and grow its impact on the generations to come.
BETT MEA 2019 will be taking place on 22nd-23rdApril at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and this year will be focused on the theme of: building a successful change culture to meet the evolving needs of 21st-century citizens. With the onset of automation, AI and the changing landscape of commerce, it is more vital than ever that the educational sector evolve to provide more support to students who face an unknown future job market and therefore what skills might start to take priority. As the region’s leading education technology leadership summit and exhibition, the event will once again bring together industry leaders, practitioners, professionals, inventors and inspirational figures to share ideas on how to support learning together through technology.
This year the TELLAL Institute will be returning to BETT 2019 to join the ranks of passionate educational providers in exploring ways in which we can work together to achieve greater success. We will also be providing the opportunity for attendees to experience our state-of-the-art simulator training; a major step forward in our goal to ensure that our teachers and leaders are at the forefront of the industry.
What is simulator training?
If you haven’t yet come across simulator training, it is a truly exciting development that is already providing unique avenues for advanced training and learning. Virtual simulation training allows teachers to ‘virtually rehearse’ challenging classroom skills and strategies, including behaviour management or differentiating instructional content. This cutting-edge technology allows educators to interact with avatars in real-time and engage in risk-free exchanges that help them discover the skills needed to successfully navigate complex and stressful exchanges or situations. The unique blend of artificial and human intelligence was ‘brought to life’ by TELLAL in partnership with synthetic reality developers Mursion INC and as a fully-customisable tool offers a safe and controlled environment for practice, reflection and learning; without having to rush into a real-life classroom situation. Participants can also receive immediate feedback on their performance, adjust their approach and re-do the scenario, multiple times if necessary; an opportunity one could never find in an actual classroom.
Simulation training is exactly the sort of innovation that BETT MEA hopes to encourage and celebrate. Innovations that help us improve our skills, expand our learning potential and ultimately improve the lives of our students will always be the priority of the event. Visitors from all over the world will come to BETT 2019 and this combination of regional and global participation will foster the continuing internationalising of educational practices for the betterment of our institutions and their capacity to support students.
If you would like to explore the potential of simulation training for your institution, you can visit the TELLAL stand at BETT MEA 2019 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org