• A central pillar of ADEK’s inclusion strategy for Students of Determination, the new Institute represents a milestone for the wider Abu Dhabi Comprehensive Strategy for People of Determination

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has formally inaugurated the all-new Al Karamah Training Institute (AKTI), a tailored education center providing the emirate’s Students of Determination with an increasing level of independence and access to vocational training in eight main areas of specialization. Al Karamah Training Institute was officially opened during a tour attended by HE Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD); HE Sara Musallam, Chairman of ADEK; and HE Ali Rashid Al Ketbi, Chairman of the Department of Government Support – Abu Dhabi (DGS).

The Institute is designed to empower Students of Determination – specifically those with autism – with future pathways for independent living and employment opportunities. The opening coincides with April’s World Autism Month, which aims to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism and foster greater worldwide support.

After welcoming its first cohort of autistic students in November 2020, Al Karamah Training Institute, which works with students aged 15-years-old and above, is engaging in a series of vocational workshops designed to foster hands-on practical learning experiences in key industries linked to the UAE’s future human capital needs.افتتاح معهد الكرامة للتدريب التابع لدائرة التعليم والمعرفة

To ensure that students gain the necessary experience that will equip them with future-ready skills, Al Karamah Training Institute is providing a number of workshops in eight key areas: Electronics & Robotics, Hydroponics & Aeroponics, Culinary & Hospitality, Creative Arts, Business Administration, Print & Design, Gaming & E-sports and Video Production & Editing.

Al Karamah Training Institute has also partnered with major industry leaders to create a cache of specialist certified vocational courses. With students able to gain recognized qualifications from UK award bodies including Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) and the National Open College Network (NOCN), the UAE-wide inclusion initiatives have already seen some of the national companies, such as Mubadala companies Strata Manufacturing and Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre enlist as industry partners and commit to recruit and train Students of Determination to join their workforces.

HE Dr. Al Khaili, Chairman of DCD, said: “We applaud the launch of Al Karamah Training Institute and its efforts to support People of Determination. The result of our wise leadership’s efforts to make Abu Dhabi an inclusive and empowering community for all, this inspiring new facility contributes to the continuous role of People of Determination in our society. By enhancing educational infrastructure and boosting creative skills, People of Determination can serve as motivators and catalysts for transformative social and fostering a truly inclusive community.”

HE Musallam, ADEK’s Chairman, added: “We are dedicated to enabling high-quality education and future career pathway opportunities for the UAE’s Students of Determination, and are committed to empowering students to live independent lives. The opening of Al Karamah Training Institute underpins this commitment and is in-line with Abu Dhabi’s comprehensive People of Determination strategy. A progressive stride forward that extends options for families across the emirate, the new institute will provide critical vocational opportunities for students, which will provide them with the knowledge and skills to play an important role in our inclusive society.”

H.E. Ali Al Ketbi, Chairman of the Government Support Department, praised the efforts made to open Al Karamah institute, which will provide an integrated training experience for Students of Determination which helps them develop their skills and abilities through a curriculum that develops competencies and covers a variety of areas. Al Ketbi said: “Empowering and developing human capital is one of our strategic priorities to prepare a generation capable of keeping pace with future changes.” Al Ketbi added: “The Institute will play an important role in enhancing the skills and abilities of people of determination, enabling them to join the work force and contribute actively to society.”

The brand-new, purpose-built campus in the grounds of Al Karamah School Abu Dhabi consists of state-of-the-art specialist facilities including innovation rooms, a gaming room, a video production and editing studio, an industrial kitchen, creative studios and a sensory garden. The school and training Institute are operated by the UK’s Priory Education and Children’s Services, an independent education provider for Students of Determination and part of the world-famous Priory Group.

Trevor Torrington, CEO of Priory Group, said: “Helping to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of hundreds of Students of Determination is at the heart of what we do in the UAE. We are proud and honoured to be able to extend The Priory Group’s outstanding working relationship with ADEK, following the opening of Al Karamah School last year. The extension of our education services, through this new purpose built, state-of-the-art facility, draws on Priory’s expertise and experience, established over decades as a specialist education and behavioural care provider in the UK.

Through our partnership with ADEK, we will be able to take the educational development of Students of Determination in Abu Dhabi to another level. The vision for Al Karamah School was always to be able to offer students a pathway to their employment of choice, and to open doors, post-education, into the industries and professions they choose. We are extremely pleased that they will now be able to receive first-rate support, and expertise, along the way to realising their ambitions – enabling them to find greater levels of independence and opportunity.”

Families of Students of Determination who have already progressed from Al Karamah School to Al Karamah Training Institute have responded favorably to the increased options for their relatives. M.L., the mother of a student, Eissa Al Dhahri, said: “My son was not happy in his mainstream school, but since he shifted to Al Karamah, he has made great progress. We were thrilled when he was offered a job after attending the Training Institute, we are so grateful to the school and really appreciate the efforts and levels of support for our children.”

Amna Al Akbari, the sister of Ahmed Al Akbari, another student at Al Karamah Institute, added: “Since joining the Institute, we have noticed great changes in my brother’s personality, he loves the Institute and enjoys spending time with us.”

Khalifa Al Menhali, a 20-year-old student, said: “I have taken part in Electrical, Hydroponics, Arts, and Creativity workshops at Al Karamah Institute; I have learnt a lot and I now have a range of practical knowledge and skills – from how to design and build an electrical convertor, to the methods and techniques required for planting a variety of vegetables. In addition, the Institute has taught me important life skills which I use every day. I believe I can do anything and be anything I aspire to be, I would love to be an architect.”

Hamad Al Kaabi, a 19-year student, also expressed: “I’m grateful to Al Karamah Training Institute as I’ve gained invaluable skills, knowledge, and experience. This has enabled me to successfully secure employment at Mubadala Healthcare.”

About Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is the Education Sector regulator across the Emirate. It oversees and provides services throughout a learner’s journey from early education to university and beyond. It also champions inclusivity for People of Determination in the mainstream schooling system and by providing specialized schools.

Across Early Childhood and K-12, ADEK licenses and regulates nurseries and private schools in Abu Dhabi while also legislating, mandating and managing its own Charter Schools and 2 schools for People of Determination.

ADEK also annually provides distinguished Abu Dhabi students with full scholarships and support to study at the best universities around the world. In addition, the Department audits and enhances the delivery of Higher Education in Abu Dhabi, attracting Higher Education Institutions to open the required programs or schools that serve Abu Dhabi’s needs while championing a student and faculty-friendly ecosystem in the Emirate.

With a vision to Empower Education. Empower Minds. Empower the Future, ADEK recognizes that every learner is different, and a diversity of teaching methods are essential for students to succeed. To that effect, ADEK partners with stakeholders to enable a great education system to flourish in Abu Dhabi and nurture future-ready graduates who have the 21st century skills required to sustain and carry forward Abu Dhabi’s vision.

About Priory Education and Children’s Services

Priory Education and Children’s Services is a world-class provider of independent specialist education and care services, currently operating 38 schools and colleges, as well as a network of children’s homes and fostering services in the UK for children and young people with a range of needs. This includes social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and associated conditions. The division also operates Al Karamah School and training institute in partnership with ADEK in the UAE. Our specialist services provide the highest quality of education and care in safe and nurturing environments in which children and young people aged 5 to 25 years can achieve the best possible outcomes. In the UK, our nationwide network of services means a high-quality education, proven experience in delivering first-class residential care, exceptional and quality outcomes, and a stimulating and engaging curriculum, including vocational routes into sustainable employment, nationally recognised qualifications and accreditations.

About Priory Group

Priory Education and Children’s Services is part of the Priory Group, the leading provider of behavioural care in the UK, caring for around 30,000 people a year for conditions including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The Group is organised into four divisions – healthcare, education and children’s services, adult care and the Middle East. The Priory Group is owned by NASDAQ-listed Acadia Healthcare, which is recognised as a global leader in behavioural health.