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Abu Dhabi schools record high score in UAE-wide distance learning evaluation

ABU DHABI, 30th July, 2020 (WAM) — The positive overall performance of distance learning programmes implemented by Abu Dhabi’s private schools during pandemic is the direct result of "organisation, collaboration and inclusion" by schools, teachers, parents and inspection administrators, according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, ADEK.
"I am proud of the collective efforts of schools, teachers and parents in adapting to a very challenging education environment," said Sara Musallam, Chairperson of ADEK.
"Before the closure of schools, we identified organisation, collaboration and inclusion as our three core process metrics, and we worked diligently with parents and partners across the education ecosystem to ensure vital distance learning programmes could be implemented and the results reflect that," she said.
During the recently concluded 2019-20 academic year’s distance learning, 173 private schools were evaluated over seven weeks by 21 Emirati and 18 international inspectors.
The final evaluation results were overseen by 13 Quality Assurance officers. In total, 146 private schools, or 84 percent of all evaluated schools, scored the highest rating of ‘Developed’, with 27 private schools rated ‘Partially Developed’ (16 percent) and none rated ‘Not Developed’.
The UAE Unified Distance Learning Evaluation Tool focused on three main zones: ‘Student Distance Learning and Wellbeing’, ‘Teaching and Monitoring Students Learning’, and ‘Leading and Managing Students Learning’. Within the three Zones there were 13 themes and 39 indicators.
Over the course of the evaluation, ADEK inspectors analysed stakeholder questionnaires, conducted discussions with school leaders, and attended live sessions. School were also requested to submit work samples and other documents for review and assessment.
Two days before school closures, 160 Abu Dhabi-based private schools principals attended an ADEK workshop where they were updated on forthcoming closures and asked to submit a proactive distance learning strategy within 48 hours. Over 200 schools submitted plans, which were reviewed by ADEK and returned with next-stage feedback within five days.
To empower private schools’ infrastructure, ADEK harnessed partnerships with Alef Education, Microsoft Teams, Class Dojo, Amazon Web Services, MyOn and many others, to equip them with the required distance learning platforms and professional development needed.
ADEK also resolved more than 3,500 school enquiries via email and three telephone hotlines, while also compiling and updating dedicated online guides for educators, parents and stakeholders. Some schools were put into support network groups with stronger schools to ensure effective mentorship of the distance learning process.
Other ADEK measures included partnering with Zayed University to provide tutors to assist children of frontline workers at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City; and securing financial support via Ma’an to support eligible private school parents for tuition fee payments and learning devices.
Inclusion remained a primary objective and to ensure education continuation of programmes for Students of Determination, the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Special Education – New England Centre for Children, NECC, and Al Karamah School provided a range of outreach initiatives, including student therapy and virtual support sessions for parents widely welcomed by families. Source