One of Abu Dhabi Education Council's (ADEC's) most important gatherings occurred yesterday, where Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Director General at ADEC, expressed appreciation and admiration to an audience of public and private school leaders, regarding their participation and support in two pivotal international studies that will help shape the future of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
The meeting was held for school leaders from across 232 public and private schools in Abu Dhabi, where 10,000 students are participating in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) from February until May 2015. Additionally, school leaders from across 117 schools in Abu Dhabi which represents 5,000 students participating in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), were also present at the town hall meeting.
"Education is vital for the economic prosperity of a nation, is a key pillar of the UAE's growth and is among the top priorities for our UAE's leadership. Your schools participation in TIMSS and PISA will not only help shape the future for Abu Dhabi and the UAE, but will result in demonstrating the improving quality of our education system to the world," said Her Excellency.
TIMSS is an international study of student achievement in Mathematics and Science that has a strong curriculum focus. This year, a sample of sections in Grades 4 and 8 from selected public and private schools are participating in the study assessment. Their participation will help identify background factors that may influence achievement and inform education policies and directions.
PISA on the other hand, is an international study of student achievement in Reading Literacy, Mathematics and Science, and is mainly focused on the application of skills to real life situations. This year, a sample of 15 year old students in Grades 9 to 11 from selected public and private schools are participating in PISA 2015.
"TIMSS and PISA are not examinations; they are studies that have a strategic role within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, since both assessments support the human capital strategies of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. ADEC is proud of each of your schools for participating in such an important initiative which will not only help reform the education system but will also help identify strengths and weaknesses in each of your schools in comparison to more than 60 other education systems across the world," said Dr. Al Qubaisi.
She emphasised the pivotal role played by school leaders in highlighting the importance of these studies within the entire school community (teachers, students and parents).
"Students idealise their teachers, thus a teachers role is critical in encouraging students to willingly participate in the studies. Parents should also be well informed on all steps and procedures regarding the assessments, so that they can further encourage their children to feel proud of representing the Emirate. You must always remember that your schools will help inspire future generations and other schools to take part in these essential studies," said ADEC's Director General.
Dr. Al Qubaisi explained that different countries and education systems participate in TIMSS and PISA due to providing excellent opportunities to benchmark levels of learning achievement in education, while identifying background factors that are influencing achievement within an education system.
"Policies, practices and achievements across different educational systems in the world are compared in these important study assessments, which will help the UAE determine where it stands and how it can further improve on certain aspects," she concluded.