ABU DHABI, The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has welcomed 579 students from 15 different nationalities into the pilot phase of its first Virtual Charter School, a visionary new education option for Abu Dhabi-based expatriate students from lower-income families who were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Designed to provide quality education free-of-charge to students forced to leave private schools when their parents could no longer afford the fees, the Abu Dhabi Virtual Charter School was launched in October 2020 and currently follows the Ministry of Education (MoE) private school curriculum with potential expansion plans for wider curriculum diversity based on identified needs.
Offering a hybrid learning experience, the new Virtual Charter School is operated by Edurizon Education Services, a subsidiary of AlephYa Education, the pan-regional education investment company focused on delivering affordable and high-quality education across the GCC. Oversight, management and regulatory guidance are delivered by ADEK’s Education Partnerships Sector, which is also responsible for the emirate’s successful Charter School model, the third educational model anchored in student centricity.
With the Virtual Charter School catering to students from Grades 5 to 11 and supplying loaned digital devices on a complimentary basis, students are permitted transfers to alternative private schools under ADEK rules and policies. However, parents financially affected by COVID-19 who have enrolled their children in the Virtual Charter School must pledge to pay all outstanding amounts to their children’s previous private school and settle fee arrears before re-enrolling children in the private school system.
“The Virtual Charter School is open to students of all nationalities whose families have been financially impacted by COVID-19. This not-for-profit public-private partnership model offers alternative education delivery which redresses learning loss in a pandemic and provides an invaluable bridge for students to continue their education,” explained Sara Musallam, ADEK’s Chairman.
“This inclusive approach enhances our commitment to ensure quality education for all and is in line with our strategic priority of building an attractive education ecosystem that reinforces Abu Dhabi’s position as a pioneering regional and international education hub delivering distinctive and appropriate opportunities for all learners accessing education services. The school is also aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” she added.
Saeed Al Hajeri, Edurizon Board member, said, “We know the critical importance of quality education and we were immediately on board to support an initiative that solves a real education need. The Virtual Charter School model leverages the power of ADEK, which will monitor the project’s implementation and operation, and Edurizon, which will operate and manage the school and the learning services.”
“There is the potential to expand the Virtual Charter School model to include wider curriculum diversity based on identified needs and we encourage more private sector companies to utilize their resources and expertise to serve communities who directly benefit from non-profit solutions,” he added.
Source: Emirates News Agency