ADEK announces new Dhs6 million awards for schools and educational professionals in Abu Dhabi

The annual ADEK Awards will recognise top performing schools and individuals across the emirate’s education ecosystem in 11 categories  

Abu Dhabi, June 20, 2023: Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has announced ‘ADEK Awards’ to reward schools and education professionals across the emirate for their outstanding achievements. 

Open to all public, private and charter schools in the emirate, the winners of ‘ADEK Awards’ will receive recognition and cash prizes with a total value of more than Dhs6 million.  

The awards are aimed at recognising achievements, innovation and best practices while nurturing a continuous improvement cycle through healthy competition among schools. The school award prize value is to be spent towards the winning schools’ improvement initiatives.

“This new awards programme will celebrate schools and individuals who improve and adopt best practices and help attain Abu Dhabi’s aspiration of a world-class education system where every student – regardless of their background and learning needs – can realise their full potential and become active and productive global citizens,”  says Sara Awadh Issa Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education, Chairman of the Federal Agency of Early Education and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge.

The School Awards include 11 sub-categories namely: the Best Parental Engagement Award, Best Inclusion Practice Award, Best Professional Development Programme Award, Most Improved Award, Best Student Well-being Programme Award, Best Literacy Programme Award, and Best Arabic Programme Award. The School Awards also recognise outstanding progress in four standardised assessments, with each category featuring different cycles and subjects.  

The Individual Awards will cover three sub-categories for the inaugural year, including Principal of the Year Award, Outstanding Teacher Award and Unsung Hero Award.

“The ADEK Awards will recognise those of outstanding merit who contribute to building an education ecosystem which nurtures the next generation of lifelong learners,” says Musallam.

“Realising these aspirations would not be possible without the tremendous efforts of dedicated teachers, passionate educators and tireless support staff who raise the bar every day in their commitment to support opportunities which improve the quality of learning and elevate education standards. These are the people we wish to recognise, and the awards will support the diversity of education initiatives, highlight the outstanding work of education professionals, and acknowledge their critical role as role models for the wider sector,” adds Musallam.

ADEK has confirmed that the awards will be expanded in the future. “As the categories grow over time, we hope they continue to inspire the emergence of meaningful initiatives that further boost the quality of education provision and encourage educators to continue to strive to enhance learning experiences across our ecosystem,” says Musallam.  

Next year’s editions will see the introduction of international assessment categories including the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).   

Submissions to the awards will open until 29 September 2023. An expert judging panel will assess each submission to verify its compliancy with the set criteria and standards, before announcing the winners in a special ceremony. For more details about the “ADEK Awards” and its criteria please visit 

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