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KHDA CEO Dr. Abdulla Al Karam visits Victory Heights Primary School

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On 31st October 2016, Victory Heights primary School (VHPS) welcomed KHDA CEO, Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, to officially open the “Ground to plate” project. The concept around “Ground to Plate” is a health and wellness awareness initiative aimed at teaching our children how to grow their own food and to consider sustainability.

The inspiration came from a presentation by Stephen Ritz, the Founder of Green Bronx Machine, when he visited the UAE with the aim of fostering sustainability, teaching the students the benefits of self-supporting communities and producing their own food. VHPS were so inspired that the children wanted to start their own garden. Sandy Seeds provided the children with their own grow bags. In time the children’s seeds grew into plants and are now eagerly awaiting further growth in our school garden. Most importantly the children are excited to taste their own vegetables and show their parents how hard they have worked on the project. 

VHPS Principal, Ms. Sasha Crabb, has worked along with Sandy Seeds Health and Awareness CEO and Founder, Justine Bain, to launch this initiative in the UAE to achieve our “Ground to Plate” goals. Sandy Seeds is building a network of Edible School Gardens around the UAE, each one engaging our children in healthy eating, food education, entrepreneurism and most importantly, allowing children to get hands on with a Garden Project. 

The “Ground to Plate” initiative coincides with the UAE’s 2021 goal to make the UAE a leader in happiness and produce an educational system that harnesses human potential through cultivating wellbeing. The initiative also complements our curriculum in Science education.  VHPS has a healthy eating policy that aims to provide an environment that supports a positive and healthy approach to eating practices. We aim to create an awareness of the importance of healthy eating and the benefits this brings. We later hope to see the produce at our Market day and to sell it to our canteen providers and even start making our own compost in the near future.

Victory Heights Primary School will continue to instill the importance of health and well-being through hands-on sustainability education in an environment where every day is a magical voyage of discovery for children

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November 1, 2016 |

THE MILLENNIUM SCHOOL SMILES. Students form first ever human smiley in U.A.E.

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The Millennium School, Dubai in keeping with the UAE’s vision of being “the happiest city in the world” observed ‘Happiness Week’ from 4th to 8th September 2016 which culminated with the formation of the human smiley face on the school turf.

For the first time ever in the U.A.E., about 1000 students in bright yellow and black garb gathered together in an upbeat atmosphere of music and fun to form the all-too-familiar smiley emoticon which has become an icon of the pop culture of the day.

Describing the school as a “happy place to be,” the Executive Principal Mr. Michael Guzder said that the school strives to create a culture of happiness among the students. “True happiness comes from making someone happy and with our motto ‘we choose to care’ we conduct numerous campaigns that revolve around putting a smile on people’s faces,” he said.

Multi-coloured post-its bearing testimonials from parents, teachers, students and support staff greet everyone who walks into the foyer where a ‘Happiness Board’ has been put up to showcase the happy school  that The Millennium is.

The School which celebrates its sixteenth anniversary this week had organized several events from spreading awareness on the nation’s agenda on happiness to Project Sa’adah where students distributed fruit baskets among the support staff of the school. The sacrifice and service of the teaching community were also recognized at the Teachers’ Day celebrations, also held during the week. There was also a Counselling Workshop for parents on ‘Raising them Happy’ to carry forward the message of happiness at home.

October 5, 2016 |

Best ever A-level results for Aldar Academies’ Al Yasmina Academy

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Mohammed & Suma from Al Yasmina Academy Collecting their A level Results

Al Yasmina Academy, part of Aldar Academies, the UAE’s leading provider of private

education, is celebrating its students’ best-ever A-level results.

Among those finishing the final year of A-levels, 74% percent achieved one or more A* to B grades, a 10%

increase over 2015. Meanwhile, 35% of pupils earned all A* or A grades, a rise of 30% compared to last year.

The Abu Dhabi-based educator is also celebrating a 100% pass rate overall.

“We are absolutely delighted to celebrate this year’s best ever post-16 examination results” commented Dr.

Tim Hughes, Al Yasmina Academy’s Principal. “Students achieved a 100% pass rate in the A-level examinations,

with our top three students, from UAE Mohammed Al Hashmi (1A* – 3A) from Iraq Suma Al Baytee (1A* – 2A)

and Lebanese Fawzi Hreiki (2A* – 1B) achieving at the highest level. It’s a real joy to see the incredible hard

work of our students, teachers, and parents reap such high rewards. Many congratulations go to all of our

pupils for their exceptional results, and we wish them every success at their first choice university.”

Mohammed, a UAE citizen, has already earned himself a scholarship from the Abu Dhabi Education Council

(ADEC), and plans to study mechanical engineering at the University of Bath, England. “Eventually, I’d like to be

involved with the UAE space programme – or [Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy organization] Masdar” said

Mohammed on his ambitions. “As for my time at Al Yasmina Academy, I’ve been here seven years and

developed a lot, not just academically but personally as well, and that’s thanks to the teachers” he added.

Meanwhile, Suma plans to go to New Zealand to study dentistry at the University of Otago. “I would definitely

recommend Al Yasmina” she commented. “I didn’t start studying here until Year 10, and instantly found the

ethos to be different. You were always encouraged to work hard but in a fun way. We had assemblies every

couple of weeks which were so inspiring, and the teachers always made you feel like they wanted to help.”

Pupils studying the sciences – biology, chemistry, and physics – were particularly successful this year. Students

secured a 100% pass rate in the subjects, with 80% gaining one or more A* to C grades. Those studying

mathematics and further mathematics also excelled, as 80% earned one or more A* to C grades. This reflects

the institution’s strong focus on the STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics)

as it strives to deliver a highly relevant education.

“A-level and International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) exams open the door to university. It is commendable

that, once again, students in Al Yasmina and Al Bateen academies have excelled in such important

assessments”, commented Peter Carpenter, Aldar Academies’ Director of Education.

“Our IB Diploma Programme results were published earlier in 2016 and our Year 13 pupils at Al Bateen have

achieved very highly. Similarly, at Al Yasmina, the 2016 A-level results have exceeded those of previous years,

with many students progressing to their preferred universities across the world. It’s also good to see many of

our past pupils enter careers such as medicine, engineering, business and Sciences” he added.

“Our teaching staff work closely with parents to make sure each academy’s results meet and exceed the very

best private schools internationally. It’s admirable that our hard working and dedicated students have once

again excelled in their graduating classes. We are incredibly proud of them".

The 2015/16 year saw more students enroll for A-levels as a result of Al Yasmina Academy’s past growth. And

this year, pupils had access to wider educational opportunities with the addition of more subjects including

computer science and technology to the students’ A-level options.

August 18, 2016 |

Kings’ Education launches scholarships: Offering outstanding education for exceptional pupils

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Kings’ Education is proud to offer its first ever scholarship initiative to exceptional pupils. We want to attract and nurture the most gifted children through our scholarship programme.

This initiative follows the recent announcement from the Dubai School Inspection Bureau awarding Kings’ School Dubai the ‘outstanding’ rating for the eighth consecutive year. Kings’ is the only school group to achieve ‘outstanding’ since the inception of the KHDA ratings.

“Building on the Kings’ success story to date, we feel it is a natural progression to support our learning community by encouraging children who are gifted in sporting and academic areas an opportunity to share and contribute to the unique Kings’ experience,” says Dr Pablo Fetter, CEO of Kings’ Education.

Initially, there will be two age groups for the scholarships: one, the Middle Years’ Scholarship for academic and/or sporting excellence, will be available for pupils attending Year 6 in the academic year 2016/17. The GCSE Scholarship for academic excellence, will be aimed at pupils starting Year 10 in September 2016. Scholarships will be available in all our Kings’ schools.

Both scholarships will be highly selective, with up to three scholarships available per age group. The scholarships will include a 50% discount off school fees for a period of two years and offer the opportunity to take on an ambassadorial role for Kings’ values.

Kings’ schools continue to offer outstanding educational programmes, teaching capabilities and world class facilities that deliver ‘the best by every child’.

For more information visit: www.kingsdubai.com/scholarships

May 27, 2016 |

KHDA: Read with your kids and win prizes

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read-for-children

A social media challenge announced by Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) hopes to encourage parents to establish regular reading habits with their children.

Starting today, the challenge will invite parents to promise to read with their kids for at least 10 minutes on 10 different days between April 10 and May 10. To win the #10Minutes10Days challenge, parents will have to upload an image to Twitter or Instagram showing them reading with their children.

Mouza Al Suwaidi, KHDA’s Chief of Engagement, said: “We know that reading regularly is one of the best ways for parents and children to spend quality time together. We hope that this challenge will encourage parents to give their kids the gift of reading.”

The #10Minutes10Days challenge is being run with the support of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Winners of the challenge will receive one free book for themselves, and one free book for their child, every month for a whole year.

How to take part in #10Minutes10Days

You can enter in 3 easy steps:

  1. Go to the KHDA website and sign the pledge promising to read to your child for 10 minutes on 10 separate days on any 10 days between April 10 and May 10.
  2. Do it!
  3. Upload at least one photo with you reading to your kids to social media.Make sure to use the #10Minutes10Days hashtag, and mention @KHDADubai if you’re uploading to Instagram, or @KHDA for Twitter.
- KHDA Media
April 10, 2016 |

GEMS Education sets aside 4% of its seats to benefit 3,000 students through educational endowment

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GEMS Education has announced its support to the Dubai Awqaf & Endowment vision announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, through the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, to meet the Arab world’s social needs.

Accordingly, GEMS Education will set aside 4 per cent of its school seats, which is equivalent to providing educational opportunity for 3,000 students, who are unable to pay fees, through an educational endowment. This will further strengthen the UAE’s education sector.

Honouring its commitment to the community and to inspire other private sector educational providers, GEMS Education received the Dubai Awqaf & Endowment Sign from the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.

Sunny Varkey, Founder & Chairman of GEMS Education, said: “We are proud to support the community we serve in, and as a private entity, we look forward to strengthening our partnership in promoting the welfare of the community through various initiatives. The announcement of the global Awqaf and Endowment initiative by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has offered a strong platform for the private sector to support the community effectively.

“We have therefore decided to work with the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy and highlight our role in supporting the educational sector through our new endowment. We chose the educational endowment as it is the sector we work in and we are confident of making a positive impact in the community.”

Dr. Hamad Al Hammadi, Secretary General of Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, said: “We are delighted with the prompt response of GEMS Education in supporting the initiative by setting aside seats for students. The Dubai Awqaf & Endowment Sign presented to GEMS Education from the Centre highlights their effective role in making a difference to the community.”

He added that the website of the Centre, www.MBRgcec.ae welcomes queries from individuals and organisations that are ready to receive the Dubai Awqaf & Endowment Sign. The Centre will provide consultancy to government and private sector entities in supporting the community through this new initiative.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy as part of the MBR Global Initiatives. It is the largest international initiative for the endowments. It will aim to achieve its global vision through empowering Awqaf and Endowments to meet the social needs of the Arab world.

It provides free-of-charge services to individuals as well as local, regional and international institutions to transform Awqaf and Endowments into one of the most prominent initiatives for development in the Arab world. The Centre also endeavours to provide consultancy for establishing and managing Awqaf and Endowment institutions based on global best practices. It focuses on Awqaf and Endowment knowledge management by conducting and managing research, studies, conferences, workshops and establishing relevant partnerships.

April 3, 2016 |

KHDA’s Overview of Private Education in Dubai 2016

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The KHDA has published an informative infographic report on private education in Dubai, which covers 2015/16. The data in the report is dedicated to teachers, parents and students and covers areas such as the number of schools by curriculum, available spaces and special programmes that have been implemented that focus on students’ continued academic success and overall well-being among other useful data.

March 16, 2016 |

ADEC: 56 private schools opened in the past five years

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56 private schools opened in the past five years and 17 new schools within the next two years

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In its efforts to keep up with the growing demand for private schools, Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC’s) Private Schools and Quality Assurance Sector (PSQA) has added an extra 19,944 school seats in the 2015/2016 school year.

Out of the 19,944 school seats, 16,044 seats have been allocated to 11 new private schools of different curricula’s (four American, three British, two MoE, two Indian), whereas 3,900 school seats have been allocated across three existing schools that have expanded their buildings (one American, two Indian).

There are currently 236,800 students enrolled in 186 private schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with an additional 17 new private schools under construction and expected to open within the next two school years. It is estimated that within the next two years more than 24,000 school seats will be available.

His Excellency Dr. Ali Rashed Al Noaimi, ADEC’s Director General, said that ADEC’s strategies focus on providing students with equal educational opportunities, while ensuring access to affordable high quality education in a suitable school environment. H.E. pointed out that ADEC’s PSQA sector has taken rapid strides towards the improvement of the education sector across the Emirate.

ADEC’s Director General emphasized that PSQA is keen to promote partnerships with private schools in Abu Dhabi, while providing support to run private educational institutions in order to achieve the goals and vision of the Abu Dhabi government to establish a knowledge based economy.

His Excellency Engineer Hamad Al Dhaheri, Executive Director at ADEC’s PSQA sector, said that PSQA’s strategic plan 2013-2017 aims to provide students with access to high quality affordable education for all private schools across the Emirate alike in accordance to the best international standards.

“Out of the total number of students enrolled in Abu Dhabi private schools, 60 percent attend low fee private schools. ADEC is keen on promoting a strong sense of national identity, culture and heritage among students, while focusing on three major priorities including quality & academic educational outcomes; non-academic outcomes & national identity; and providing access to affordable educational opportunities for all,” said Engineer Al Dhaheri.

He added that in past five years, there has been an evident increase in the number of student enrollments across private schools by seven percent, with an expected increase of another five per cent over the next few years. “In order to meet the increasing demand, the private sector, being ADEC’s strategic partner, has injected investments worth more than Dh3.4 billion to help build 56 schools accommodating 775,000 schools seats. Work is currently under progress to build 17 new schools, which are expected to operate in the next two years.”

Eng. Al Dhaheri visited Amity private school (British Curriculum), Private Modern School (Moe Curriculum), the Virginia Private School (American Curriculum) and Global Indian International School (Indian Curriculum), where he met with the school owners and leaders to request about the overall operational process across each of the schools.

“The private school sector in ADEC will continue to support additional school seats in efforts to close the gap between market supply and demand while ensuring quality education in a sustainable school environment,” concluded Engineer Al Dhaheri.

- ADEC Media
March 9, 2016 |

ADEC launches an online approval system for extracurricular school activities

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In its efforts to promote extracurricular activities conducted by private schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has introduced a new online system to approve extracurricular activities for schools. This comes in line with ADEC’s strategy to provide students with various learning experiences that help develop their potential & talents, gain more knowledge, and enrich their observation and investigation skills, while allowing them to pursue further education.

Eng. Hamad Al Dhaheri, ADEC’s Private Schools & Quality Assurance Executive Director said that the new online service is designed to promote a paperless work environment, assist schools to apply online and get prompt approvals on extracurricular activities, facilitate procedures related to submission of such applications and follow them up online.

Eng. Al-Dhaheri added that since January 2015, ADEC has asked all private schools wanting to conduct any extracurricular activity to submit their applications via email.

Guidelines governing private school applications to conduct extra-curricular activities have been developed to enable schools to submit the required documents allowing ADEC relevant teams to review such requests and communicate with concerned authorities to obtain the necessary approvals in light of the applicable bylaws & guidelines.

Since December 2015, the PSQA team has met with a number of principals, activity coordinators and school leaderships, who operate a chain of schools in Abu Dhabi to brief them on the proposed online system, review the new procedures and collect their feedback. Being its strategic partner, ADEC was keen to include feedback received from various schools in order to provide students with best learning opportunities and ensure their safety and security.

The new online service that will be launched officially on March 15th 2016 will allow schools to submit their applications through ADEC’s portal throughout trimesters.

Due to the existing online applications such as e-SIS and private school-based staff system, schools are no longer required to re-submit students or supervisors documents as applied earlier; they are however required to enter student/supervisor ID number’s and data saved in the system, that will be automatically released.

Eng. Al-Dhaheri pointed out that ADEC’s guidelines seek to organize extra-curricular activities, ensure students safety and security and protect parents’ rights, adding that ADEC has received a number of complaints from parents concerning individual cases of unacceptable practices which include safety and security issues, collecting unjustified fees as well as issues related to violation of UAE customs and traditions.

The new service will be posted on ADEC’s portal in Arabic and English; online technical assistance will be provided, while the new service manual will be sent to all schools. The new service will also allow schools to request prompt approvals where necessary.

In addition, the new service allows schools to apply for special requests that require PSQA’s Executive Director’s approval subject to terms and conditions that have been provided in the activities guide.

PSQA’s Executive Director lauded private schools for their strong commitment to the holistic development of the educational process and valued their efforts to achieving ADEC’s vision to providing students with high quality education. Eng. Al-Dhaheri urged schools to maintain their continuous cooperation and coordination with ADEC in order to ensure health & safety for students, while preserving rights of parents.

March 7, 2016 |

GETEX 2016 to unveil prime education & training opportunities to over 35,000 visitors

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The latest edition of the Gulf Education and Training Exhibition (GETEX), the leading student recruitment platform in the Middle East and Asia, is expected to attract 35,000 visitors from April 13 to 15, 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. During its three-day run, GETEX 2016 will focus on topics such as General Education, Residential Schools, Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education, Occupational and Industry Education, Professional Development, Continuing Education and Training, as well as host a Student Counselling and Career Advisory Forum.

GETEX 2016 will target various student groups based on their preferences, ensuring that it maintains an exceptional year-on-year exhibitor retention rate of over 90 percent. The hosted seminars and presentations on subjects that bridge the gap between education and industry will reinforce ties with the business community. Unlike other advertising mediums, GETEX offers tangible returns on exhibitor investments as much of the recruitment happens on the exhibition floor. Students across all age groups will have access to more than 2,500 international academic, training and vocational programs during the three-day event.

Anselm Godinho, Managing Director of International Conferences & Exhibitions, the organizer of GETEX, said: “For nearly three decades, GETEX has provided a vital link between learners and professionals seeking prime education and education providers, offering the best study programmes for aspiring students. The 2016 edition of GETEX will cater to a broader audience in response to growing demand in specific industry sectors such as Medicine, Engineering and Finance along with a host of vocational trades. School officials, faculty, parents and students of all ages will appreciate the vast array of study options that GETEX has to offer. Exhibitors, on the other hand, will have an easier time pursuing their admissions targets and enrolment quotas courtesy of the show.”

GETEX is the Middle East’s longest running student sourcing event. It is organized by International Conferences & Exhibitions (IC&E), one of the longest standing international exhibition houses in the region. Last year’s edition received 35,500 visitors, 63 per cent of whom were high school students looking for undergraduate programmes, 23 per cent mature learners seeking postgraduate education options, 12 per cent professionals interested in occupational education and training courses, and 2 per cent faculty, career guidance counsellors and visitors from education regulatory authorities around the Middle East. Entrance to the upcoming show is free. For more information, please visit http://www.mygetex.com.

March 7, 2016 |
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