• Patricia Mezu, LL.M., M.A

UAE - New Licensing Rules for Teachers


With a new requirement regarding the licensing of educators, in the United Arab Emirates, it's back to class for all the teachers and leaders. I see it as another step towards enhancing quality provision within early childhood education and the higher levels of course. But since I’m an ECE specialist, I will stick to my area of expertise.

The new system is called the 'Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards and Licensing Programme’ ('TELS UAE'). A little bit of a mouthful, but easy to decipher. The immediate question I had when I heard about it back in 2016, was - what will the process be for licensing teachers and leaders?

In the last year, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority ('KHDA') has started a pilot scheme. Ms. Rashenah Walker, the Head of Elementary at Virginia School, Abu Dhabi, was part of the pilot and has confirmed that her staff went through the process successfully.  It is a one year programme and after attending a number of lectures and sitting an exam, they received the status of licensed teachers within the scheme.

What We Know so Far

I believe that information is power and I also believe in the importance of preparation. The facts:

  1. The new programme is a requirement of the UAE National Agenda. For any lawyers out there that will satisfy the point that this is all legal.

  2. It is clear that a great deal of thought has gone into establishing TELS UAE, as it has been developed by a number of authorities, namely:

  • National Qualifications Authority (NQA)

  • Ministry of Education (‘MoE’)

  • Knowledge and Human Development Authority (‘KHDA’)

  • Department of Education and Knowledge (Abu Dhabi) 

  • Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education & Training (‘ADVETI’) and;

  • The Institute of Applied Technology.

3.The scheme was formally introduced in 2017 and is expected to be fully implemented by 2021

4. The system will be implemented in both public and private schools; therefore both Emirati and expatriate teachers/leaders will have to be licensed

5. TELS UAE aims to standardise teaching qualifications. I consider this to be a welcome development in a country where teachers come from so very many different countries. Diversity is a great thing, however when it comes to teaching standards, there can be considerable differences. The plan to standardise, is progress.

6. Teachers and leaders will have to pass a national examination and show a portfolio of evidence

It will be interesting to witness the development of the programme. I expect that it will have a positive impact on teaching and learning within the sector, which will hopefully lead to improved pupils achievement levels.

Please click on the icon below for further information with respect to teachers qualifications in the UAE.

Professional Minds is able to assist with preparing portfolios and coaching teachers and leaders, for improvement.

Patricia Mezu is the Director of Professional Minds FZ LLC, a Dubai based early childhood education consultancy.

www.prminds.org | info@prminds.org

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