IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT, the nonprofit developer of the ACT® test and other assessments taken by millions of individuals worldwide, announced today that it was selected by the Crown Prince Court in Abu Dhabi to provide the Moral Education Standardized Assessment (MESA) for the Moral Education program in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
ACT will leverage the expertise of its US-based research and test development teams to create the assessment, which will also utilize the latest theory and principles of social and emotional learning (SEL) throughout the development process.
“We are thrilled to be supporting a holistic approach to student success,” said ACT Chief Commercial Officer Suzana Delanghe. “We know that social and emotional learning skills are crucial to success in school and life and these skills can be taught and developed over time. With their learning and measurement expertise, our teams will create a world-class assessment that measures UAE student readiness, so teachers can more effectively foster the shared cultural values across UAE’s diverse communities.”
Blending academic content with an exploration of character and ethics, the program has been designed as a progressive series of units to be taught over twelve years of schooling, beginning in first grade.
“Moral Education is an innovative, engaging curriculum designed to develop young people of all nationalities and ages in the UAE with universal principles and values that reflect the shared experiences of humanity,” said Director of the Education Affairs Office at the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Khalifa Al Nuaimi. “The curriculum was introduced in the UAE in 2017 in an initiative from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Through the MESA, we plan to assess the impact of Moral Education over time in an independent and standardized manner. Beyond testing the students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts, we aim to measure their awareness of the character traits and values underpinning the Moral Education Program”
ACT will work with its regional partner, ConnecME Education, to create an item bank that will cover each relevant grade, which will then receive a different assessment with grade-appropriate items, to be taken during school hours. The assessment will be delivered to students in April 2019.
“We are very proud to be working with ACT to meet the needs of the Crown Prince Court as it continues its mission in providing world class education and assessment to the students of the UAE,” said ConnecME CEO Mohammad Shadid. “Furthermore, this endeavor is a critical one, as we share the Crown Prince Court’s vision of not only academic growth but also of character, morality, community, civic history and cultural studies—presenting a student with a high level of engagement.”
ConnecME Education has a long-standing presence in the UAE region. Along with its partner, ACT, it aims to continue its primary mission of empowering youth through education and assisting local and international bodies in this shared goal.