Formal education starts at the age of 5 and is compulsory up to the age of 16 (Grade 10; the final class of junior secondary education). The language of instruction is Urdu.
The education system in Abu Dhabi is divided into:
- Pre-school KG 1 & KG 2 (April-March)
- Primary (Grades 1-5)- (April-March)
- Middle (Grades 6-8) - (April-March)
- High School Grade 9 (April-March) & Grade 10 (May-May) leading to the Secondary School Certificate (SSC)
- Intermediate Grades 11-12(September-July) leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC)
In Senior Secondary Education students choose one of the following tracks: Science, Humanities, General, Pre-Medical, Pre-Engineering, Medical Technology Or Home Economics (only for girls).
The curriculum in all tracks consists of 4 compulsory subjects, namely English, Urdu, Islamic Studies/Civics (for non-Muslims) and Pakistan Studies. In addition, students at this level are taught 3 subjects belonging to the chosen trace mentioned above.
A Higher Secondary School Certificate or Intermediate School Certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the program.
How does a student achieve the Shahadat Al-Thanawiya Al-Amma (Equivalency)?
The following conditions for equivalency applies:
- Students must pass the UAE Ministry of Education Arabic Studies exam in Grade 12. This can be taken as either Native Arabic Studies (for students of Arab Nationality as shown on their passport) or as Non-Native Arabic Studies (for students of non-Arab Nationality as shown on their passport).
- Students must pass the UAE Ministry of Education Islamic Studies exam which is only applicable to Muslim students in Grade 12. This can be taken as either Native Islamic Studies (for students of Arab Nationality as shown on their passport) or as Non-Native Islamic Studies (for students of non-Arab Nationality as shown on their passport).
- The school has to apply the curriculum applied in their country of origin.
- The school has to synchronize their test schedules & timings with those of their native country.
- Certificates carrying the name of the school have to be issued by the Education Board or Ministry of Education of their native country.