Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has launched the UAE’s first National Identity Mark, an annual school ratings system aimed at providing parents with complete transparency on the quality of national identity programs in private schools across the emirate.
The system’s goal is to enhance Emirati students’ deep-rooted understanding of the UAE’s traditions, customs, and values, enabling them to navigate the diverse global landscape with a strong foundation based on their own cultural background.
The evaluation framework consists of three main domains, each with three relevant dimensions: Culture, Values, and Citizenship. Culture includes history, heritage, and the Arabic language, which is a key focus area within the framework. Values include respect, compassion, and global understanding, while Citizenship covers belonging, volunteering, and conservation.
Ms. Sara Musallam, ADEK Chairman, stated that “the reinforcement of national identity via education is of critical importance as it helps instil in their children a sense of belonging and pride.” ADEK Chairman further added that strengthening national identity through educational programs supports students in appreciating their roots, traditions, and values. The National Identity Mark will increase transparency and accountability, enabling parents to make informed decisions about their children’s education and develop well-rounded individuals who are proud of their Emirati identity.
The National Identity Mark rankings will be evaluated separately from ADEK’s annual Irtiqa’a Inspection, which covers the performance standards of private schools in the emirate and provides recommendations for improved performance. The ratings for Phase 1 will be announced at the end of the current academic year. Schools will be ranked as Outstanding, Good, Acceptable, or Weak based on the quality of their national identity programs.
Implementation of the new rating system will ensure educational equity, transparency, and accountability across all Abu Dhabi private schools that have Emirati students enrolled. In addition, schools without national enrolment can request an evaluation if they have relevant programs and activities that immerse expatriate students in the rich heritage of the country.