Moral Education subject will serve objectives of Year of Giving: ADEC official
The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has said the pilot programme to impart Moral Education in schools, set to be launched with the start of the second trimester next Sunday (8th January), will help achieve the objectives of the ‘Year of Giving,’ declared by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, last week.
The programme will particularly focus on community services.
The subject is being included in school curricula following co-operation and co-ordination among the Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Education Council and other relevant institutions.
A plan to introduce Mandatory Moral Education for schoolchildren in the UAE was first announced in July by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Initially, Moral Education is being introduced as a subject in public and private schools in the form of a pilot programme to elicit feedback from parents and educators before it is finalised and officially launched.
The key elements in the subject include ethics, personal and community development, culture and heritage, civic education and human rights and responsibilities.
Emphasising the importance of values and morals in building nations, Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, Director-General of the ADEC, said, “The initiative aims to promote ethical values among school students as well as noble concepts, such as tolerance, respect and community participation. This will be achieved by developing scientific educational programmes and frameworks to ensure the subject is integrated with the national education curriculum.
“It seeks to develop a spirit of proactive and positive interaction and responsibility, and encourage a love of learning, creativity, innovation and ambition in students,” he added.
Dr. Al Nuaimi indicated that the challenges of the 21st century required government, educators and parents to work together to teach ethics and community values to young people, and build an educated, cultured society that is deeply committed to its national identity as well as cultural and moral values.
Sara Al Suwaidi, Acting Manager of Curriculum Division, ADEC, said the pilot project would be implemented as the second trimester begins next week in nine public and private schools.
”The subject will be taught under this pilot project to more than 2,000 Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 school students,” she revealed in an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM.
”The Moral Education curriculum comprises four units: Character and Morality; Individual and the Community; Civic Studies and Cultural Studies,” Al Suwaidi explained.
These units, she indicated, teach students values and concepts of fairness and affection, caring and honesty, tolerance and respect for difference, resilience and perseverance, equality and appreciation, thoughtfulness and co-operation, peace and responsibility, hard work and perseverance, cognitive and emotional apathy, similarities and differences, intercultural relationships, understanding UAE culture, and influence of trade and travel and communication on culture as well as global economy and globalisation.
The focus will also be on values such as taking responsibility, ethics in sports, physical health and diet, mental health, making good decisions, digital challenges, valuing diversity, dealing with conflict, financial awareness and literacy, moral character and the virtue of ethics, respect and tolerance in a diverse society, individual moral responsibilities and duties, human needs, morality in the context of communities, morality in the context of states and introduction to global ethics.
Students will also learn about how the UAE grew into a diverse and inclusive society, the importance of cultural exchange and the position of the UAE in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, growth of consultative governance in the UAE, governments and authority and the UAE judicial system.
Al Suwaidi added that the ADEC had organised a three-day training programme for teachers in preparation for the launch of the pilot phase of Moral Education as a subject across nine public and private schools.
The programme, which was organised as part of the Professional Development Week from 2nd-5th January, aimed to enhance teachers’ efficiency and to ensure they acquired the necessary knowledge and skills needed for teaching the newly introduced subject.
The training programme also aimed to introduce leaders and teachers of the Moral Education subject to its content and the pedagogy involved in teaching its units. It also offered educators an opportunity to reflect on the current methods of teaching in their schools and plans for launching the pilot programme.
The training programme also focused on the importance of a parent’s role and engagement.
”Moral Education will be taught as a subject once a week in the participating public and private schools as part of the Social Studies classes since both subjects include similar core objectives and topics,” Al Suwaidi told WAM.
As for the language of instruction, the subject will be delivered in Arabic in the public schools and in English in schools following foreign curricula.
”Introduction of Moral Education as a subject is part of the UAE Vision to provide a first-rate education system and build students with integrity of character,” she said.
The newly introduced subject reflects the ADEC’s mission to provide students with world-class education while also ensuring that students have a balanced and well-grounded personality that can be sustained by learning Moral Education as a subject.
The ADEC said proper training will be provided for teachers and school principals to introduce them to the programme as well as methods of application and assessment, which will focus on the practical side through hands-on projects and community service activities line with the ‘Year of Giving.’