by Belinda Breeze

The Al Futtaim Education Foundation (AFEF) stands as a beacon of educational innovation and empowerment in the United Arab Emirates. Established under the patronage of the Al Futtaim family, renowned for their diverse contributions across various sectors, this foundation has emerged as a catalyst for educational excellence and societal development.

DISCOVER, DREAM ACHIEVE One of the key pillars of AFEF is its dedication to providing accessible, high quality education across various levels.From early childhood learning initiatives to comprehensive K-12 programmes and vocational training, the Foundation has a multifaceted approach, catering to diverse educational needs at its two well-regarded schools, Deira International School and Universal American School.

EMPOWERING EDUCATION THROUGH INNOVATIVE TEACHING Innovative teaching methodologies are at the heart of the Foundation’s educational framework. This framework embraces modern… and interdisciplinary approaches into the curriculum. Such approach aims to equip students with the critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability skills essential for success in a rapidly evolving world.

BEYOND ACADEMICS: DISCOVERING TALENTS, CREATING LEADERS Beyond academic excellence, the Foundation prioritises holistic development. It champions extracurricular activities, sports, arts, and community service, recognising the significance of a well-rounded education in shaping well adjusted, empathetic individuals poised to contribute meaningfully to society.

PRESERVING HERITAGE, EMBRACING ARABIC EXCELLENCE but aligned to it, Project AGHSAN) (texts aimed at children aged 3-11+ by 2026 and 500 titles of AGHSAN will be available for use in the academic year 2024/2025. The programme was conceived to address and tackle several challenges posed by existing Arabic reading material, including material not matching the reading ability of children, content being more skewed to non-fiction, content that is not relatable to 21st-century life, and the absence of a unified system for levelling children’s books.

ARABIC: A TAPESTRY OF CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION AFEF is committed to supporting bilingualism in Arabic and English by providing an immersive bilingual educational track that can improve cognitive outcomes for students whose ‘home’ language is Arabic; ensure that students achieve linguistic mastery (without compromising polyglotism); build capacity for a bilingual IB Diploma outcome for all.

TRAIN TO HIRE At AFEF, they believe that Emirati youths should be active agents in shaping the future of the UAE across all sectors of the economy and human activity. It is paramount, therefore, that Emirati children being educated at private international schools can identify Emirati role models at school who act in several capacities, including teaching. To achieve this, AFEF has teamed up with the University of Birmingham, the top-rated university in the UAE, to offer a fully funded Train-to-Hire Programme for selected applicants.

DIVERSE VOICES, ONE COMMUNITY Central to AFEF’s mission is the belief that education transcends borders. The Foundation embraces diversity, promotes inclusivity, and celebrates cultural exchange, nurturing a global mindset among its students. This approach prepares them to navigate a multicultural world with understanding and respect.

LEADING THE WAY IN GLOBAL EDUCATION STANDARDS In essence, the Al Futtaim Education Foundation stands as a cornerstone in the UAE’s educational landscape. Its unwavering commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and holistic development paves the way for a brighter, more empowered generation, poised to lead and excel in the ever-changing global landscape.