Change is in the air

DUBAI - Educational institutions in the UAE find the environment conducive for progress but maintained that some discrepancies need to be addressed.

By Afshan Ahmed

Published: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 1:24 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:16 AM

“There has been a significant progress in the tertiary education in the recent years but there’s a need to overhaul the education at the school level,” said Raymi van der Spek, Vice-President at the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

The methodology of learning should be the focus of change he added.

“It is often noticed that critical thinking and language literacy skills are below par because the environment is of rote learning. We would like to see that definitely change.”

Nitin Anand, head of academic support services at Skyline University College in Sharjah believes the Council of Academic Accreditation (CAA) policy ensures high standards of quality education in the UAE and must be applicable to all universities.

“It has immensely improved education. However, there is a need to take on more research in the area of education enhancement,” he said.

Education providers unanimously agree that there should be a more unified policy of education in place to avoid pockets of slow development.

“When students move from an emirate that does not have good schools to Dubai, a difference in their capabilities is noticeable. If you see in the US, it is divided into four regions and each region has a centralised system, but UAE is a small country,” said Deeb Abdullah, principal of Dar Al Marefa School in Dubai.

Every country works within the framework of both federal and state policies. KHDA, education governing body in Dubai works in co-ordination with the Ministry of Education but decentralises some of its operations.

“This is an issue in many countries where the policies are not aligned. It is a new area of progress in the UAE and policy makers can work with long terms education institutions that are aware of the jurisdiction to iron out the differences,” said Vanderspek.

Private institutions also said that they would support the educational initiatives laid down by the government. “We strongly believe that it is the key factor in developing a knowledge-based society and in addressing the challenges of the UAE job market,” said Richard Forbes, Director, Communications & Marketing GEMS Education.

More news from