UAE to soon introduce licensing system for teachers

UAE will soon introduce a licensing system for teachers whereby almost every teacher will have to take a training course, pass a test and obtain a teaching licence.

The new regime, similar to licensing for doctors and healthcare professionals, is expected to be introduced next year and fully implemented by 2021, The National has reported.

Teachers are already required to have at least a bachelor’s or equivalent university degree.
Once implemented, all expatriate and Emirati teachers at both public and private schools will be required to register for a course and complete a test to qualify for the licence.

New system to be implemented in five years

“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,” said Dr Thani Al Mehairi, director general of National Qualifications Authority (NQA).

“Under the proposals, schoolteachers, vice-principals, principals and cluster managers working in public and private schools will be subject to licensing, and teachers will have to pass a national examination and show a portfolio of evidence,” said Dr Al Mehairi.

An opportunity for teachers to prepare themselves

Minister of Education Hussain Al Hammadi said licensing will be phased in to give “an opportunity for teachers to prepare themselves”.

“We are working with universities to make sure there is a training programme that will be available for teachers when we implement the full licence.”

The six-month pilot project will involve about 750 teachers, about one per cent of the nation’s teachers, and could be introduced this year if the approvals come through in time, according to the NQA.

The entry requirements for teachers under the new system will be a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and qualification, according to the NQA.

Other requirements will be announced at a later date by the licensing committee members.

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