ABU DHABI - The Ministry of Education has completed a comprehensive evaluation of the distance learning programme applied in public schools nationwide and private schools in Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah, based on the recommendations of the Education and Human Resources Council.
The process to evaluate and improve the learning experiences and wellbeing of students using distance learning is in response to the prevailing exceptional circumstances. It is part of the Ministry of Education's efforts to monitor the performance of schools and to ensure the effectiveness of their implementation of the distance learning programme.
Evaluation teams at the Ministry of Education visited 29 percent of public schools, and all private schools in Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah.
According to the evaluation results, 22 percent of public schools received a ‘Developed’ judgement while 78 percent of schools received a ‘Partially Developed’ judgement. No public school received the ‘Not Developed’ judgement.
With regards to private schools, 4 percent in Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah received a ‘Developed’ judgement, while 84 percent received a ‘Partially Developed’ judgement. The percentage of schools that received a ‘Not Developed’ judgement was 12 percent.
The key strengths of the distance learning programme seen by the evaluation teams were in students’ attendance rates, students’ knowledge of the concepts of cyberbullying and their need to protect their privacy on the internet while working on distance learning programmes and platforms. Additionally, investment in different learning resources and platforms, teachers planning and implementation of distance learning lessons with learning outcomes that match the curriculum expectations were also key strengths.
The Ministry of Education said that evaluation teams witnessed some areas where schools need more support and training. "These include the use of evaluation methods by teachers to enhance learning opportunities and ensuring equity of access to various learning platforms and programmes through the development of technical skills for all students. The effective participation of students and their interaction with their peers in virtual classes, targeted learning activities in a broader range of learning opportunities that develop their experiences and fit their different learning needs are also areas where schools require more support and training," it added.
The evaluation of the distance learning programme in public and private schools is a significant step considering the growing importance of providing smart and quality learning for students. This is required to continue the learning process and move to a new way of learning due to these exceptional circumstances.
The Ministry further stated that evaluation of the programme aims to monitor the quality of distance learning provided to students through a set of relevant and specific criteria. "The criteria relates to mechanisms for applying this type of education to improve distance learning practices. The standards of the distance learning evaluation framework include: students’ distance learning and wellbeing, teaching and monitoring students’ learning, and leading and managing students’ learning," it noted.
"These standards are in line with international educational benchmarks and practices that focus on sustaining education in times of crisis as well as future and strategic planning. These also focus on supporting the mental health of students, families, and teachers, and ensuring a sense of integrity and safety," according to the Ministry.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.