The group of international education experts is led by Dr. Monique Seefried, Chair of the IB Board of Governors, and includes IB Director General, Mr. Jeffrey Beard and Mr. Andrew Bollington, the IB’s Regional Director for Africa, Europe and Middle East.
The IB Board and senior management meet twice annually in key locations in order to discuss the strategic direction of the IB and meet with local schools and education officials.
The visit to Dubai will include visits to local IB World Schools such as the Dubai American Academy, Dubai International Academy and Emirates International School, and will culminate with the IB Community Dinner in Dubai on 21 November that will be held under the theme “International-mindedness and the Arabic-speaking world”.
Currently there are more than 663,000 IB students at 2,419 schools in 131 countries. They include students in 32 schools in the GCC region – 11 of them in the UAE, 8 in Bahrain, 6 in Qatar, 2 in Kuwait, 2 in Oman and 3 in Saudi Arabia.
Another 20 schools including 12 in the UAE have been designated “Candidate” status, which means they will have to pass an intensive and stringent process before becoming an “authorised” IB school.
The IB is unique in that it offers a continuum of education, consisting of three programmes – the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Year Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme – for students aged 3 to 19.
Schools that have been authorized to offer one or more programmes are known as “IB World Schools”.
Commenting on the visit of the IB team to the UAE, Dr. Monique Seefried, said:
“In this 40th anniversary year of the IB, we are excited to be here in the UAE to participate in our governance meeting. The International Baccalaureate is encouraged by the great interest shown in IB programmes by schools in the GCC region, and our decision to hold this governance meeting and the IB Community Dinner in Dubai is to acknowledge this important fact.”
She added: “The IB is proud of its long-standing reputation for high-quality education, and although we have traditionally seen growth in English-speaking countries, we are keen to develop access to IB programmes in other parts of the world such as this region, which we have identified as a key growth area”.
Speaking of the schools that have implemented IB programmes in the UAE, IB Director General, Mr. Jeffrey Beard, said:
“We are pleased with the progress made by IB schools in the UAE. The cosmopolitan setting, and the unity in cultural diversity that prevails in the UAE have much in common with the fundamental themes of the IB – respect for, and awareness of different cultures, international-mindedness and learning to live together – that aim to develop citizens of the world. We would like to commend the schools that have opted for the IB concept of education, as they continue to pursue the best international education for their students.”
Mr. Beard also expressed his profound thanks on behalf of the IB to five important sponsors from the local education community for their support to the IB community dinner, namely Al Habtoor Group; Dubai International Academy, Education Services Overseas Limited (ESOL), GEMS Education, and Taaleem.
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