The UAE speeds up educational reforms

Government keen on early childhood development in keeping pace with the times

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Published: Tue 7 Jun 2022, 11:01 PM

The UAE has wasted no time in reforming the education system ground up after appointing new ministers last month. There is an increased focus on science, mathematics, and technology in schools with more private participation. What must be noted here is the government is keen on early childhood development in keeping pace with the times. And it will be free for Emirati students.

Quality education at zero tuition fees from the primary level is the goal of this exercise, and the government is sparing no effort to make it happen with the right teaching talent, funding, and infrastructure.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, said the Ajyal or Generation schools model will benefit 14,000 students in the first phase of execution. It will be implemented from the academic year 2022-2023 in partnership with the private sector. It will follow best global practices, and aims to raise the standards of public schools. The new model adopts advanced learning outcomes that “combines the best of national and international curricula,” according to our report.

The national curricula will include the Arabic language, Islamic education, moral education, and social studies, while the international one will include mathematics, science, and others.

The announcement by Sheikh Mohammed on Monday is a continuation of the reform exercise that is being undertaken in the sector. In a major revamp of the ministry last month, Ahmed Al Falasi, formerly Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, was appointed Minister of Education. He was tasked to oversee public and private schools and universities in the country.

In a bid to give the sector a technological edge, Sara Al Amiri, who guided the UAE’s space and Mars missions, was made Minister of State for Public Education and Future Technology. She was also made chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Schools Establishment.

This new model provides students with more options. It is innovative at its core and gives pupils a head start keeping in mind the future needs of industry. The UAE intends to become a knowledge economy as it diversifies from oil. These educational reforms will make students think, question, and make the technological leap that is required of them. The minister summed it well when she said: “It is for a generation of students who will create the future.”

At the business level, private-government partnerships are here to stay and will give the sector the much-needed boost after the pandemic that disrupted education. A new template for education is being laid in the UAE. Teachers’ salaries are expected to rise and the best teaching talent from all over the world will consider the country as an option. A liberal education system with Emirati values is now a reality.

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