School issues to be addressed: Nahyan

DUBAI — Minister of Education Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan has assured that his ministry will soon address all challenges and issues facing private schools in the country, in the interest of both nationals and non-national students.

By Meraj Rizvi

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Published: Thu 9 Dec 2004, 11:52 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:24 PM

“We will work closely with the schools towards the benefit of the students who are the future of this country,” said Shaikh Nahyan while talking to your favourite No. 1 newspaper after his first meeting with the heads of private schools in the country.

He said he is yet to receive reports from private schools on issues of concerns related to education.

“However, I want to assure the private schools that the ministry is not to retard or hamper the work of the private schools, but to support, enhance and help improve the services they provide to the students and their families throughout the country,” he added.

Replying to a question on whether the new ministry would consider lifting the compulsion on private foreign schools to offer Arabic as mandatory subject up to grade 12, he said: “The ministry will study suggestions made by private schools, following the initial meeting held with the private school representatives.”

He also assured that the ministry would study proposals related to improvement in the salaries of teachers of private schools in the country.

Earlier, addressing representatives of the 305 private Arabic and foreign schools in the country, Shaikh Nahyan said that he will encourage open and continuing dialogue between the ministry and private schools.

He stressed upon the important role of the Ministry of Education in private education which involves right from ensuring health and safety of children, value for money to parents, setting basic learning goals for students, and a responsibility to make sure that private schools are responsive to the communities that they serve.

“At this point, the ministry will be engaged in ensuring that every child in the country has the opportunity to attend a school that is safe, secure and healthy; teachers, principals and others who work in schools are employed legally and have fair contracts of employment; parents receive value for the money they pay in tuition; education offered in private schools meets high standards of quality; and private schools become leaders in this country's education system, working with us to ensure that the UAE becomes known far beyond our borders for a creative, vibrant and highly effective system of private and government schools.”

The education minister asserted that quality in all aspects of educational standards was important to meet international expectations and requirements.

“I envision a formal process of self-study and self-evaluation complemented by the zone and ministry's supervision to improve school programmes and its assessment, enhance internal communication and develop a sense of ownership and commitment by administrators and teachers. In this process, the various issues surrounding national and international accreditation will be fully addressed,” he added.

He welcomed the owners and leaders of private schools to be involved with the ministry and make their voices heard with ideas, suggestions and proposals.

Shaikh Nahyan reiterated that he was committed to a relationship with private schools that emphasises efficiency, transparency and open communication.

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