Teaching in classical Arabic compulsory in schools
It will now be mandatory for teachers in private and public schools across the UAE to teach in classical (standard) Arabic for subjects that are taught in the mother tongue. This is to avoid different dialects being taught across the board.
The UAE Ministry of Education took to Twitter to make the announcement on Saturday, as per a ministerial decree No (263) of 2017 which was issued to the effect on April 17, making it obligatory to teach and speak in classical Arabic language.
The rule applies to all government and private schools across the country at all grades.
In a series of tweets announcing the decision, Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education said: "Sanctioning the 'classical Arabic language' to be used to teach the school subjects, shall contribute to our efforts, and will have an effect on the development of student's academic performance."
The Arabic language is the medium that "brings together our legacy, heritage, history, identity and civilization, and taking care of it and devoting it to the next generations is a pressing need", he added.
"Approving the Arabic language to be used in teaching is derived from the ministry's keenness to cement the national efforts, which aims at bringing the language of Dhad back to its firm position," one tweet read.
Also taking to Twitter to back the decision was His Higness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Using the official Twitter handle for the recently launched 'Mohamed Bin Zayed Award for Best GCC Teacher' (@mbzaward), he tweeted: "The teacher is the cornerstone of the educational system. (We need to empower) him/her to perform his/her national duty in preparing a generation that is armed with science and knowledge."
The new decree has been issued after reviewing federal law No (1) of 1972, Federal law by Decree No (11) of 2008, federal law by Decree No (15) of 2016, and the cabinet decision No (13) of 2012 and the cabinet decision No (28) of 2016, and the ministerial decree No (699) of 2016 pertaining to Human resources and ministry of education and teaching and training.
Article No (1) of the new decree states that teachers of school subjects, who teach in Arabic language at government and private schools, are committed to teach and speak with students inside the classroom in the classical (standard) Arabic language. This criteria would apply to the accreditation and control, professional licensing, recruitment and assessment of teachers' performance.
"The ministry of education and Abu Dhabi Education zone are keen on empowering students and make them proficient in the mother tongue language, and boost the connection between students to the vocabularies of the Arabic language, and make it always present in our day-to-day dealings," tweeted Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) on Saturday.
"We will be striving to consolidate the importance of preserving and maintaining the Arabic language, and will assess how important and proficient the Arabic language is amongst students," A Nuaimi tweeted.
"The Arabic language bears extreme aesthetic values. The language of Dhad (an alphabetical letter in Arabic) hosts numerous vocabularies and profound meanings. Applying decision to use the classical Arabic language falls in with our belief to the significance the language, which mirrors our identity and heritage.," he added in another tweet.