Abu Dhabi Education Council

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Abu Dhabi Education Council
File:Abu Dhabi Education Council Logo.gif
"Education First"
Type Governmental organization
Purpose Education
Official language
Arabic, English
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Website https://www.adec.ac.ae/en/

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Arabic: مجلس أبو ظبي التعليم) (ADEC) is the educational authority for the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates and the home of the country's capital city. Organized in 2005 by the UAE's president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ADEC is responsible primarily for the management and administration of the emirate's public schools.[1] Additionally, ADEC issues licenses, monitors, and inspects the emirate's many different private schools. Since 2009, ADEC has implemented its New School Model, a project to improve teaching standards in the emirate by increasing the quality of teaching, curriculum, and administration.[2] As part of the New School Model, ADEC has recruited thousands of licensed teachers from native English speaking countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.[3]


Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is currently the sitting chairman of ADEC.[4] Below him is the Director General of ADEC, Dr. Mugheer al Khalili, who has administered ADEC since 2005.

ADEC governs public schools, private schools, and higher education in the Abu Dhabi emirate. These three tiers are divided into three educational zones. Abu Dhabi zone includes the capital city and the surrounding coastal areas, ending its authority near Al Khatim, halfway between Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, and the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border. The Al Ain zone includes Al Ain city and all schools north of Al Ain until the Abu Dhabi emirate-Dubai border, all schools south of Al Ain to Saudi Arabia, and all schools west of Al Ain until Al Khatim on the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi road. Finally, the Western Zone, known as al Gharbia, is the largest by territory but smallest by population. It includes all schools in Abu Dhabi's western region, including some schools on outlying islands.

The public school system is divided into three cycles. Cycle 1 is made up of grades 1-5, Cycle 2 of grade 6-9, and Cycle 3 of grades 10-12. All public schools are segregated by sex, except in cycle one. Curriculum from grades 1-9 is currently the New School Model. ADEC curriculum is implemented to varying degrees in Cycle 3, with the exception of grade 12, where students continue to be given examinations based on the federal Ministry of Education's requirements. The emirate currently has 265 public schools.[5]

Private schools must abide by ADEC governing rules and guidelines and are inspected once a year. However, they may operate using any approved curriculum they choose, including the United States, Canada, Pakistan, France, and the United Kingdom. There are 185 private schools in the emirate.[6]

Higher education in the emirate also falls under ADEC's authority. There are currently 18 higher education institutions.[7]

Criticism and Controversy

In September 2012, apartments provided by ADEC suffered a courtyard collapse, rendering the site unsafe for several months. Staff were evacuated to new accommodations provided by ADEC.[8]

Local newspapers routinely report high instances of cheating in public schools and universities under ADEC supervision. No program yet exists to address academic dishonesty.[9]

Students are reported to have assaulted staff members, including teachers, without police action or administrative involvement from ADEC.[10]

The English language newspaper The National Abu Dhabi wrote about poor student behavior as a factor into why some newly arrived teachers left the country without completing their contracts.[11]

Administrative competence in public schools is reported to be low, interfering routinely with school operations.[12]