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KT edit: Dubai Schools addresses a key demand

Filed on March 10, 2021

In the last two decades, a number of Emirati students in Dubai have been opting for private education as opposed to learning at a public school that offers free education.

The essence of a good education system is to prepare young minds for varied opportunities and challenges in life. It is also to educate pupils on their shared history, value systems, and equip the young with the power of reasoning. In a city like Dubai, which is a melting pot of nationalities, schools following different curricula also act as cultural ambassadors of their land, helping build links with international students from a very young age. While most children attend schools from their home countries, many also opt for more established and popular Western curricula to improve their chances of studying in universities in foreign lands. However enriching the experience is, schools following foreign curriculum often miss out on teaching children about the history and value systems of their home countries. The recent roll out of two Dubai Schools by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, aims to address this gap for the Emiratis and Arabs. The two new schools will work on a public-private partnership model and follow the American curriculum, with a focus on Arabic literacy, science and technology, the UAE’s culture, and Islamic studies. It aims to educate the Emiratis and Arabs on their shared history and acquaint them with the greatness of their previous generations and civilisation.

In the last two decades, a number of Emirati students in Dubai have been opting for private education as opposed to learning at a public school that offers free education. In January last year, Hamad Al Rahoumi, a member of the Federal National Council from Dubai, highlighted how the number of Emiratis opting for Dubai’s private schools have more than doubled since 2001, citing poor standards of education and learning in public schools. This announcement could be a significant step in addressing this grievance and opening more schools that offer education based on popular Western models while integrating Emirati and Arabic value systems to the learnings.

Our modern world suffers with historical amnesia in regards to the achievements and contributions made by the Muslim world in the field of education, philosophy, healthcare, and science. A lot of good work done in the past by Arabs has been forgotten, as the present has taken refuge in going by the ways established by the West. Sheikh Hamdan rightly pointed out that developing human capital is key to shaping a bright future for the UAE. By establishing schools that focus on rich Emirati culture and way of life, the UAE is setting strong foundations for children who will learn to respect the world and pluralistic societies but also remain strongly grounded in their roots. Only when we know who we truly are and how far we have come can we confidently chart a path for a greater future.





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