Professional Development Needs and Challenges Faced by K-12 Teachers in Delivering Effective Online Education in the United Arab Emirates


  • Hamdy A. Abdelaziz
  • Ahmed Ankit
  • Abdurrahman G. Almekhlafi
  • Semiyu Aderibigbe
  • Athra Alawani
  • Apollos Bitrus Goyol


online education; professional development needs and challenges, public school teachers, online pedagogical trends, UAE


During the COVID-19 outbreak, online mode of education, schooling from home and the absence of any fully operational educational facilities became the new norm of the education sector, mainly when the pandemic reached its peak.  The transition to online teaching for the K-12 teachers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was made seamless. The Ministry of Education (MoE) extended its full support to schools, nationwide. For the transition to be sustainably effective, there was the need to examine the professional development needs of the K-12 teachers and the possible challenges that they may confront. This study, therefore, explored the challenges of adopting online education and professional development (PD) needs of K-12 teachers in the UAE. The study employed a descriptive research design using a well-developed and validated survey to collect quantitative and qualitative data involving 1,110 teachers and focusing on their shared and subjective views. Data analyses were done using a variety of descriptive statistics for the closed-ended questions and thematic coding of the open-ended questions. The results reveal significant differences between the surveyed teachers’ as they recognized their needs, the application of emerging trends in online education, and perceived challenges due to the teacher’s grade levels (educational level). The study suggests the need to customize professional development training for K-12 teachers based on their grade levels, exposing them to cutting-edge technologies and other mentoring schemes, as a method of preparing them to combat the challenges.


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