All UAE teachers to take test for license

While the teachers have been asking their pupils to appear for class test or annual examination, it is now the teachers turn to go to school and get prepared for a qualifying test to prove their professional competence.

All teachers working in in the UAE will have to start preparing for obtaining a professional teachers license from the Ministry of Education and starting initially with 750 qualified teachers will be trained and prepared for an examination as part of a six month pilot project and those who pass the examination for federal licenses will only be able to teach.

The entry level qualification for a teacher will be minimum bachelor degree.

UAE Education Ministry has announced that starting next year, all teachers working in different schools, will be brought under the license system by 2021, education ministry officials told local media recently.

Two years ago, the UAE Education Ministry had alerted teachers to be prepared for a federal license system, and a unified teaching standard across the country.

The scheme will be introduced in different phases and in the first phase 750 teacher will be prepared for the professional licensing examination next year.

Similar to the licensing scheme for doctors, the teachers training and professional licensing system will cover more than 60,000 teachers in the UAE.

"The new system will be implemented over five years such that all teachers will be licensed by 2021, in line with the requirements of the UAE National Agenda," Dr Thani Al Mehairi, director general of National Qualifications Authority (NQA) was quoted in the media.

Reports said the Ministry will the professional licensing system for teachers, introduced to enhance quality of education and professional competence of teachers, will be completed by 2015. “Within the next five years all teachers will be brought under the professional licensing system and there will be a common examination for teachers and only those who pass the professional competence examination will get professional teachers license, according to the Ministry of Education. Two years ago, Ministry of Education Undersecretary Marwan Al Sawaleh said that teachers will have to enroll for a teachers training and examination and that the Education Ministry was submitting final details of the teacher licensing system to the UAE cabinet.

License will be mandatory for teachers of various government and private schools, vice principals, principals, cluster managers.

The National Qualifications Authority (NQA), the Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and the Institute of Applied Technology will be coordinating efforts to implement the teacher license system.

By introducing the license system, the UAE Ministry of Education intends to enhance the quality of education by bringing well qualified and professionally competent teachers. This will also address the problem of employing teachers without proper qualification or those who are rejected in many other areas end up as school teachers. In some schools, housewives are employed as teachers, paying very small salaries, thereby affecting the quality of education provided to the young generation. It can also address the problem of differences in pay scale as different schools pay different salary for teachers and even within the same school some teachers get paid more than the others.

“It is a welcome move and I don’t know how many of our teachers will pass the teacher license examination. I hope there will not be a shortage of teachers in the UAE,” said a parent.   

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