Category Archives: UAE

GEMS Threaten To Close Down Schools in Dubai

According to The National Newspaper, Sunny Varkey has written a letter to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority mentioning the possibility of shutting down schools if they go ahead with the school fee freeze.

We have refrained from sensationalising the issue by using the verb threaten. Mr. Varkey is certainly stating a concern. He believes that the freeze on the school fees would not allow the schools to function within the quality standards set by GEMS and/or KHDA for that matter. However, there certainly is a very loud “or else” in there.

This move is not in any way a shock to this publication nor to anyone in the circle of education in Dubai. It has been lurking since the first confrontation between GEMS and KHDA which stemmed from the freeze on fee hikes of Dubai Modern School as it moved from an old location to new, purpose built facilities. Sunny Varkey is a seasoned strategist and would not lay down conditions that were not thought through. So why now ?

KHDA is still formulating their reply. Both have been thinking about this turn of events long before it happened. These are the scenarios as we see them:

1-KHDA stays firm on its decision. This will force GEMS to proceed with the timely closures of the schools in question. From Mr. Varkey’s letter, one can derive the possibility of closing down the schools and re-opening them under a new fee structure. This would require new licenses. Those are issued by the KHDA. If they proceed with issuing the new licenses, then the schools would have had a freeze on fees for two years and everything is “back to normal.” If KHDA does not issue these licenses, GEMS would have to accept that their growth in Dubai has now been capped. Abu Dhabi has a substantial need for “Indian Schools,” Could GEMS be thinking of moving the expansion there? What would Dubai need to do to fill the need for the students left behind? There are two years in which plans may be made to have other schools open, maybe even in the same locations, by another group. Pause for thought.

2-KHDA accepts to allow certain schools to raise their fees. What will those exceptions include? Where will the lines be drawn? This is the KHDA’s first major confrontation, backing down will have its repercussions. Holding firm will mean either a victory for two years, or the loss of a major school operator and a large employer.

3-GEMS backs down. This is highly unlikely. As we mentioned before, Mr. Varkey has not built a large company by being prone to quick, emotional decisions. Rather, his history brings forth an image of a very meticulously calculating and strategy-planning individual. He would not launch an ultimatum that he is not willing to uphold.

Since KHDA is planning a response soon, we shall hold some of the analysis until the official rebuttal. This is certainly an issue requiring a close watch.

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Filed under Dubai, School Operators, Staff, UAE

ADEC and AdvancED

There is no doubt that the Abu Dhabi Education Council is hard at work trying to improve the level of education in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The adoption of the Public Private Partnership where the public schools are run by private companies is one example of the Council’s willingness to bring in bona fide experience to help out with the reform being undertaken.

Whereas we totally believe in the experience of all the operators selected for the PPP project, we have always wondered on the marriage of the different schools of thought and attitudes that exist in such cooperations. When ADEC introduced the school inspections, a little later than the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the authority overseeing education in the Emirate of Dubai, they decided to keep the results private. Contrary to the the KHDA’s choice to make those results public.

But the reason for this article is not the comparison between the two councils. The reason for this article is the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ADEC and Advanced Education Inc. for the accreditation of schools in Abu Dhabi. It is not very clear what the MoU plans to achieve. Are AdvancED going to play an advisory role to help ADEC set accreditation criteria? or are they going to be the accreditation authority for the schools?

With goodwill and a good budget, there is a lot you can do. ADEC has both. AdvancED will be offered the location and all the supplies they need. Their experience is unchallenged. But here’s a thought:

The United States is currently in a whirlwind of assessment and criticism of its own educational system. we have no doubt that AdvancED will not be strangers to the discussions and suggestions and will certainly have a role in the outcome of this storm. It would certainly be very interesting to compare the ideas they will share in the US and in the UAE as to the standards and requirements needed for, what they believe, is quality education. It would be interesting to learn their views on segregated education, on religious studies, on professional development. it will be very interesting to learn how they will view the differences in a teacher from Wisconsin and a teacher from Roueiss.

The blond and blue-eyed consultant still carries an added advantage to many people in the region, but the time has long been here for the locals to learn, adapt, and implement according to the needs that they alone are extremely aware of.

We believe that it would have been a much better use of funds to set up a group of young, energetic Emiratis to be sent to work at different accreditation authorities around the globe. They would be able to learn the different processes involved in setting accreditation criteria and they would have been able to design an accreditation process born and bred in Abu Dhabi.

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Filed under Abu Dhabi, School Reform, Staff, UAE


It seems that the GEMS – KHDA confrontation is heating up. This is certainly an interesting development that could spur constructive outcomes.
I tend to see the point that both are making. Intervention ? or regulation ? This is going to be covered by the magazine very soon.
Not having an authority intervening in private schooling “business” and letting the market force its rule is certainly desirable. But that can only be achieved when you do not have a flagrant abuse of certain, obviously temporary, market conditions. Had there not been an abuse of fee structuring, there would not have been a need for intervention.

I shall explain this point for clarity.

In the time of Dubai’s stellar boom, practically all schools followed a fee structure that was more in line with highest profit margin than with sustained, long-term growth. Had these schools offered a good balance of education to cost, they would not have raised the need for a governing body to intervene. The high demand for schools, generated by the high rate of population influx into the country, was what permitted those schools to command the fees that they have.

It would not be accurate to say that these schools were not providing some justification for those fees. State-of-the-art facilities, qualified teaching bodies, accreditation, and then some. But it would also be very difficult to completely discard the feeling that the thought was more geared towards what can justify fees rather than the other way around.

The MEE shall closely monitor this situation and its developments. Stay tuned.

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Filed under School Operators, School Reform, UAE

In Cat’s Way

We’re contemplating starting a section called InCATW. Interesting conversations along the way. Something like this:

We had an interesting conversation with a gentleman I shall not name. He was at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair on behalf of an international association that represents publishers and is responsible for their promotion. The gentleman was obviously impressed by the apparent boom you can sense in Abu Dhabi and wanted to see how that might translate into business for the numerous publishers his association represents.
Oblivious to our nationalities, he assumed that we were Emirati. It was not easy to decipher in his conversation whether the use of “here” meant the UAE or the Gulf region or the whole Arab world. The gentleman explained to me that he was passionate about education and the advancement of that education “here.” He gave me advice on how the governments should present their curricula to the publishing world and have the publishers compete in producing textbooks for the market. He enticed me with the amount of business that can be generated by their publishers and how much they care about the market.
I suggested to the guardian of publishers’ interests that they should grasp an understanding of the market if they need to a piece of it. He assured with a lot of emotion that they are adamant about understanding it. I suggested that he subscribe to the only magazine on education in the Arab world. Dismayed that he might not understand the language, I informed him that in fact, it was published in English.
But he thought that 180 US Dollars for a yearly subscription was a lot of money !

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Filed under Abu Dhabi, InCATW, UAE

Do You Speak English ?

The message is clear. English is the right vehicle for education and the passport for entry into a competitive global economy. Teaching it is undergoing change. Embracing change is a tough challenge. Are you up to it?

 Albert Einstein once said: “Technological change is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.” So much has changed in the way learning occurs. Nowadays we can learn a new language over the Internet. Teachers could go inside a virtual world where they attend live seminars and conferences and network with their peers or other industry leaders. Children are increasingly using interactive whiteboards and tablets to communicate information with their peers and teachers. Even parents are learning about their children’s scholastic performance by accessing portals where information about grades, attendance, participation and various other indicators are systematically downloaded by teachers and administrators. But just as candles are not obsolete, it is unlikely that teachers will be sidelined. However, they will either need to harness the change or remain in the past, living a present that has no future.

The Abu Dhabi conference on “Managing Change in English Language Teaching (ELT)” held last January 27- 28 aimed at tackling, among other issues, how learning occurs, how teachers become better teachers, how students become better learners, and how to make change happen. Teachers and managers were learning together, under the same roof. These are times of change,” said Jeremy Harmer, an experienced methodology writer and the author of Practice of English Language Teaching. “How do we respond to change like that? Do we embrace it or do we stay in the comfort zone?”

The conference, a combined effort between Abu Dhabi University, The British Council and the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) certainly sent the message that change in English language teaching is underway and unless teachers, managers and governments embrace it, they risk being left behind. “We have to start training teachers. We can’t just assume that because we have teachers, they will necessarily have the practice and correct methodology to teach students,” says Sandra Zaher, director of the English Language Institute (ELI) at Abu Dhabi University. Since 1985, Zaher has seen the UAE’s meteoric rise as a country and nation and watched education grow and develop with it. “All education systems in the world go through peaks and valleys, but this country’s leaders have put tremendous emphasis on English language learning not just with teachers but also with the administration and where it counts most, with students who are the future leaders and decision makers,” Zaher said.

But Zaher also indicated that in 2015, the majority of the world will be speaking English. Also, most will not be native speakers; so again, there is a great demand for the UAE and the region to move forward. “There is an international need to speak English proficiently and in this country that’s what it’s going to take or we will fall behind and that’s not what ADU or the government wants,” Zaher said. The conference brought together over 40 speakers who addressed how to reconstruct education, how to reconstruct English and how to make a country and its people more marketable. Zaher said that fitting in the global community isn’t just about learning English, but rather about learning, in general. “We need the same strategies across the board in Arabic, math, science and other areas,” Zaher said.

Salam Affouneh, the Curriculum Coordinator at ADU’s ELI and IATEFL’s ELT Special Interest Group (SIG) was the person behind the idea of the conference. Seeing that IATEFL had no representation in this region despite the organization’s 99 affiliates and 3500 members worldwide, Affouneh was able to convince the conference organizers of the need to hold such an event at a time when the UAE was spending close to 30% of its budget on education. “At this point we need to prepare people for the change taking place with the creation of Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and Abu Dhabi Education Zone (ADEZ), public private partnerships (PPP) and resulting restructuring of curricula and teaching methods,” Affouneh said. For those students and teachers not accustomed to modern ways, the change has, as expected, been difficult to manage. “At ADU, we get students who learned the traditional way. These students are used to memorization. Our teachers are now implementing student-centered techniques, introducing collaborative learning, problem-solving and critical thinking as a learning platform, but it’s a tough process for both teachers and students,” Affouneh remarked.

IATEFL ELT Management SIG Coordinator George Pickering said the event came about because the association’s mission is to link, develop and support teachers throughout the world. In collaboration with the British Council, IATEFL helps promote and develop English Language teachers through teacher associations. “What we found pleasing about this conference is that it does actually build a bridge between managers and teachers; a rarity since you often find that they each follow a different path towards their professional development,” Pickering said. He added that teachers have to embrace technology and have to want and be able to make changes in the way they teach, such as to make teaching as student-centered as possible. “We are all aware today that education is results-driven. We need to demonstrate that the method used by teachers is an effective one,” Pickering said. Teachers can develop professionally by attending seminars and conferences, observing their peers in the classroom and producing reflective journals and portfolios of the work they have done. The process is best monitored when schools and institutions have professional development review sessions.

Three things are for sure. One is that traditional ways of teaching and learning are increasingly questioned and beginning to look very ineffective in today’s hi-tech environment. Second, people are taking more interest in learning English. “I notice tremendous changes communicating with people on the street,” said Peter Williams, BC’s Branch Manager at Abu Dhabi’s training center. He explained that people’s needs are changing from wanting to attend a traditional English class to being increasingly interested in professional writing, advancing their careers or supporting their academic careers. IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, measures one’s ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. The test is for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication. “IELTS is becoming huge. People are measuring their English Language skills against international standards and doing well,” Williams asserted. Lastly, the UK will continue backing English learning initiatives as the country has a vested interest in attracting foreign students to its campuses. “The UK government is interested in foreign students studying in the country’s tertiary system of education. That’s why you see the universities there becoming more internationalist in their curriculum and more international,” Pickering said.

The British Council has also initiated a program to link UAE schools with UK schools in a joint curriculum program, particularly ELT. Ultimately, the project will link 600 schools in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Iraq, Yemen and the UK representing a student community of 400,000 pupils. “There is a lot of expertise in the GCC countries and very similar problems, so pooling expertise makes a lot of sense; this is a sign of how serious this region is on straddling the global stage in terms of education,” Williams said.

IATEFL & the British Council-Partners in EL Learning

The International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) was founded in 1967 with a mission to link, develop and support English Language Teaching professionals throughout the world. They do this through:

• a range of regular publications including their own Voices magazine

• holding an Annual International Conference with an extensive program of talks and workshops attracting over 1,400 delegates;

• offering members the chance to join any number of 14 Special Interest Groups (SIGs);

• linking with associated organizations in other countries;

• providing help to others in forming a local teachers’ organization.

Founded in 1934, the British Council is the UK’s public diplomacy and cultural organization, working in 109 countries, in arts, education, governance, and science. Fiscal year 2005—06 achievements:

• Worked in 233 towns and cities in 109 countries;

• Employed over 2000 teachers who taught 1.1 million class hours of English to 325,000 learners in 53 countries;

• Delivered 1.3 million UK exams to 925,000 candidates worldwide;

• Supported a production of Love’s Labours Lost; the first performance of a Shakespeare play in Afghanistan for over 17 years;

• Awarded Communications and Humanity 2005 prize by the prestigious Principe de Asturias Foundation, in acknowledgement of their int’l work in communications and humanitarianism.

IATEFL & the British Council-Partners in EL learning


ADU-A legacy in the making

ADU is a forward-thinking private university that created an opportunity for English language learning to grow with the demands of the UAE. The conference which was spearheaded by ADU received the support of the university board and the go-ahead despite the sizable cost estimated at AED 450,000. “Everyone needs learning so we thought why not bring the first international conference to Abu Dhabi and we did thanks to a wonderful university leadership that looked at this and said: yes this is where we want to go!” Sandra Zaher, director of the English Language Institute (ELI) at Abu Dhabi University said. The event was originally planned to be held at ADU’s newest campus. “We have a large contract with the government for teaching English Proficiency to 1500 Department of Civil Service students and in February we host a job seekers program attracting 2000 students from the UAE, so we had to move the venue to a hotel,” said Zaher. More than 26 new English Language classrooms will be built to accommodate these studies. “By May 2007, ADU will be the largest English Language institute in the UAE; we will have 95 English Language TESOL instructors working for us,” Zaher said. When all 4 phases of the new AED 500 million campus is complete, ADU will have a capacity of 10,000 students. “One hundred years from now, people will say they remember their grandmother or grandfather as being the first graduates here and it all comes back to globalization, Emiratization and PPP initiatives,” Zaher said.


Filed under Abu Dhabi, British Council, Conferences, ELT, Hadi Khatib, Issue 3

PPP in Abu Dhabi

In September 2006, the PPP pilot project was officially launched in 30 K-5 Schools of which 12 are located in Al Ain, 12 in Abu Dhabi and 6 in Al Gharbiya. “How do we fulfill our objectives? Is it by privatizing schools? Do we create independent schools or do we partner with private international education companies? The decision was to partner with private operators who had proven their competency in other countries,” Mubarak Al-Shamesi, Director General of ADEC said. Of the many that had applied, four operators were chosen: CfBT, Intered/Sabis, Mosaica and Nord Anglia. ADEC’s media office informed the Middle East Educator that two different operators will operate 30 new schools for grades 6 to 9 for a period of 3 years beginning September 2007. These school locations and their distribution among the new providers are yet to be determined. “We are trying to give operators the chance to start before the end of the current year, so as to familiarize themselves with the environment, principals and students, while leaving the summer for preparation in terms of staff, equipment, etcetera,” Al Shamesi said.

All operators are required to abide by curriculum standards designed by Tafe Global, the New South Wales Department of Education and Training, which put together a curriculum based on international best practices. For the first time, the standards were not just made for subject matters like Math, Science, English, and Social Studies, but also for Music, Sports, PE, Health and Safety. The bidders also had to answer detailed questions about organizational capacity, increasing student achievement, increasing parent and community involvement in public education, strengthening the quality and quantity of Abu Dhabi national instructors and administrators, and preserving and promoting heritage and culture. As for the actual curriculum to be taught in those schools, Dr. Hanif Hassan, Minister of education for the UAE said: “The students will learn English, Science and Math — all in the English language. Students will also be taught Arabic, Islamic Studies and National Studies, according to the ministry’s curricula using new methods for teaching and learning.”

According to Al Shamesi, education providers may use their own curriculum, textbooks and professional development (PD) techniques with teachers. “Provider “X” might decide to use 6 books, but he realizes that one of his schools is weaker than another, so he may add extra staffing, use different educational resources or choose to concentrate on PD. ADEC does not interfere here,” Al Shamesi said. ADEC assists by helping the operator understand the system better and make the necessary adjustments. “We do check the books to see if they are suitable for students in terms of culture or religion. But today, learning is not dependent on books, so we need resources and a staff professionally developed to deliver in English,” Al Shamesi said. However, what role does ADEC play in the PPP project implementation and who is in control of it? “In order for the council to make sure that the operator meets its requirements, we had to take several steps beginning with the development of the curriculum standards which all operators have to abide by,” Al Shamesi said. ADEC then hired a monitoring agency, Penta International, to evaluate partnership schools in the emirate.

Penta International undertakes the evaluation of the needs of the partnership schools as well as tests the academic performance of the students in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the western region. “Rather than the operator coming to me and saying this school is not functioning, or this principal is not meeting our expectations, I have a monitoring agency that will give me a second opinion,” Al Shamesi said. Penta, which conducts both scheduled and unscheduled visits, also assists the staff for both operators and schools. “We don’t want to wait until the end of the contract or the end of the year to measure progress. We find out where the gaps are early on and we fix them,” Al Shamesi said. On the strength of their international education record, Nord Anglia, a UKbased education provider, won a contract to operate six primary schools in the emirate for three years with a contract estimated at $5.7 million per annum. The company already offers advice and management services to schools, colleges and governments in a number of countries including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It actually generates more income outside the UK, such as in Eastern Europe, the Far East and now in the Gulf. “Around $134 million of our $230 million in turnover will come from overseas operations,” said David Singleton, Principal Education Advisor with Nord Anglia. The company, for example, is now developing a curriculum for Chinese children based on an English curriculum but very much within the values and beliefs of the Chinese. “They are very sensitive to cultural issues. There is strong commonality in China, Korea, Scandinavia and the UK, with emphasis on learning through play, role play and engaging the children,” said Ann Yeonus, Education Advisor for Nord Anglia. She added that wherever Nord Anglia operates, the idea is always to create continuity after their contract ends. “Like the old saying ‘Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime’,” Yeonus said.

For Abu Dhabi’s PPP project, Singleton said that the Australian curriculum standards offered primary school students a modern practice with two strong elements: a core curriculum taught entirely in English and the removal of textbooks where teachers dominate the learning environment. Like the International Baccalaureate program, the curriculum is engaging and takes advantage of the fact that children learn first through play by exploring their environment. “It was obvious from the start that our biggest role was actually training and educating the teachers, especially when a significant aspect of the project is to have a high proportion of national teachers,” Singleton said.

Nord Anglia has 30 advisory teachers who model best practices and 24 teacher assistants who support national teachers and advise them in the classroom. “The two keywords in this project are Sustainability, i.e. to develop a functioning model when we leave and the second is Capacity Building, where performance management plays a role in succession and promotion,” Singleton added. Nord Anglia’s project director Helen Kavanagh said teachers of Arabic are now requesting to share in the pedagogies of training and teaching for English teachers. “English is the first big mountain, then a new curriculum and new pedagogies. We have textbooks, but not for page by page and day by day usage and we now have assessment reporting instead of tests,” Kavanagh said. With principals being mostly Emirati women, Nord Anglia has also created a support group around them, gaining their trust and confidence and easing any fears they might have. “This is their school; we are here to help and not take it away from them.”

The challenge was also to gain the confidence of all stakeholders i.e. the government, teachers, students, parents and the community as a whole. “Parents really care about their kids’ education and it shows in their 80 percent attendance during school meetings,” Kavanagh said. The new project is activity-based with the assessment matched to the child’s level, as compared to everyday homework using textbooks. “That’s the big shift. A lot of the PPP project work is about matching the level of difficulty in the classroom. Before you added to 10 and then 20 and took homework to solve math problems. Now, depending on their level, kids might be sent home with varying hands-on tasks,” Yeonus said. She gave the example of a teacher who was teaching students to jump on numbers 4, 6 or 9 spread on the ground. “Here’s a great example of a visual, physical and oral application of a new teaching method which works miracles compared to traditional learning,” Yeonus said. In this system, catering to individual needs and levels helps retain slow learners in the same class as high achievers, where as before weak students were kept back a year. Building on its experience as the contractor for the British government to carry out school and quality inspections, and with Singleton being an ex-deputy director of Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education), Nord Anglia has also developed an inspection framework for Abu Dhabi that starts with an evaluation project for Adult Education Centers (literacy and acquisition of English). These are centers for students who left school early and did not complete their education. “When ADEC rolls out all 300 schools, it will be very demanding to keep this high quality education,” Yeonus said.

The Emirate will need to have an inspection body to check if every student is doing well enough and if the teaching supports the curriculum or whether teachers have the proper mechanics. “We hope to devise a model similar to the UK, which is based on schools’ self- evaluation, enabling them to know and manage themselves.” CfBT (Centre for British Teachers for Education ), which won a contract to take over the management of eight schools and four kindergartens in four clusters located in Abu Dhabi, Shahama, Al Ain and Madinat Zayed, began teacher training workshops for about 400 teachers, principals and senior management as a first step towards facilitating school improvement last June. “Quite a number of teachers could speak English to some extent. Children don’t need the confidence to try but teachers do as they have some sensitivity towards making mistakes,” said Jan Reid, director of the PPP program. Teachers with CfBT undergo 2 to 3 professional development sessions per week, attending training workshops on teaching methodology, behaviors, strategies and curriculum development. “The teachers in the schools are working so hard, they are the ones who are making the change,” Reid said. CfBT is also inviting principals to a big conference in the UK in June. “Although not part of the contract, it is an opportunity for the principals to go visit some UK schools and head teachers, share ideas, look at certain areas of teaching practice and hopefully enjoy themselves,” Reid added. Within their Learning Resource Center, CfBT is training teachers on how to use interactive whiteboards and introducing English resources and English reading books. “One of the problems in introducing English books is that you have to get the right level and density. If English is your second language and you opened a math book with far too many instructions in English, you wouldn’t know where to start,” Reid said.

Introducing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is part of the project requirements. Interestingly enough, some schools under CfBT had more than a dozen interactive whiteboards which were being used cosmetically. “We are installing networks, ICT equipment and lots of other technology which we’re training the staff on, including the principals,” Reid said. CfBT’s 12 schools are currently connected via Intranet, enabling teachers to share lessons and best practices, while students are wirelessly connected to the internet but access is controlled to prevent misuse. Andrew Herriot, the regional director of CfBT said that the organization had done a PPP project with Qatar and is already seeking similar opportunities with other governments. “Qatar was our first project with PPP in 2002. Under the auspices of Sheikha Mozah, we helped the Supreme Education Council develop the new curriculum standards for teachers of math and sciences from KG to grade 12,” Herriot said. As a result of that, CfBT was invited to train a cadre of teachers with a Postgraduate Degree in Education- a British teacher qualification. “In the first year we worked with the University of Southampton to develop a course for about 17 teachers who, after graduation, would be able to teach in the so-called independent schools using the curriculum we devised,” Herriot said.

CfBT also helped develop programs that all providers involved in running independent schools would be able to use. The center also headed training sessions held for senior leaders, principals, middle managers, heads of departments, subject leaders and others. “On the strength of our expertise, we bid for all 30 schools in the UAE PPP when we arrived in 2006. This, for us, demonstrates commitment,” said Herriot. So what is the role of the UAE’s ministry of education in all this? An essential one it seems, as both H.E. Dr. Hanif Hassan, Minister of Education and Mohammed Salem Dhahiri, head of the Abu Dhabi Education Zone are board members of ADEC. “There is also close cooperation between ADEC’s employees and MoE employees, to discuss PPP evaluation, share studies that are conducted by ADEC or the ministry, and exchange expertise,” Al-Shamesi said.

That leaves the question of when the rollout phase of the 300 schools will begin. “I cannot say that I can proceed with the rollout until we look at each project in ADEC and study it before we proceed. I am satisfied with the progress being made with the partnership, but will I be 100% convinced once the school year is over? This is hard to say,” Al-Shamesi said. As for grades 10-12, Al-Shamesi indicated that ADEC is planning to launch the program in 2008. “Some people might say that since we started with these operators then we need to give them the next contract, but I say no. We will say that any operator in the PPP will continue using the standards until his contract ends in three years,” Al-Shamesi indicated. Are three years enough? “I don’t know,” said Reid, “ All operators are working to have a sustainable model, but I would hate to think that teachers who are now working very hard may find that at the end of three years they are unable to sustain their efforts.”

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Filed under Abu Dhabi, Hadi Khatib, Issue 4, Public Private Partnership, School Operators, School Reform