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UAE: Expert hails major plans to change education system

From regulations for self-education to vocational schools, the reforms will allow students to lean towards entrepreneurship



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FIle photo
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 5:44 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 6:15 PM

The Ministry of Education had recently announced that it was looking to make changes in the UAE's educational system.

These changes include obtaining of school certificates online from outside the country, issuing regulations to allow self-education in the country, establishing schools for talented individuals, and expanding vocational schools.

A regional education expert said that the MoE’s major plans in the country’s educational system are a step in encouraging students to lean towards entrepreneurship and understand opportunities in evolving fields such as space, technology, and advanced science.

Soraya Beheshti, Regional Director of Crimson Education Middle East, Africa, and Turkey says these changes to the regulatory framework of the UAE’s education system would place the UAE amongst the most progressive and innovative countries in the world.

“The planned changes will send a strong signal that the country stands behind its unique and ambitious vision for the future, and is willing to make strong amendments to the infrastructure of the country to bring them to life,” she told Khaleej Times.

Beheshti pointed out that some online schools, for instance, are making a number of innovative changes that are in line with the UAE leadership's ‘Next 50’ goals, which emphasise on entrepreneurial and applied education, design and innovation, and research.

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She noted that Crimson Global Academy (CGA), a newer player in the online space has an ability-centric approach to classifying students into classes. It also teaches students skills like entrepreneurship, 3D game design, investment management, web development and design, robotics, debate, public speaking, coding, data science, and career skills in addition to the traditional British and American curricula.

In addition to standard GCSE, A Level and AP classes, CGA offers subjects such as Creative Engineering Design, Coding with Python and Business Economics, among others.

“Students are able to learn at their level, in classrooms guided by the best teachers all over the globe. Without online learning, this would not be possible. In an online classroom, students wanting to accelerate their learning and take classes above their level can do so without needing to adhere to static requirements around the number of years they must spend in school,” said Beheshti.

She explained that given the high proportion of expats in the UAE, many of the country’s school students will have attended schools in two or more countries.

“Some of them will have attended as many as five or six. Starting over in new schools, sometimes with new curricula and subjects, can be challenging for many children,” said the education expert.

“Recognising online education will allow such families to enroll their children in quality schools that could provide a sense of consistency and stability to an otherwise unsettled experience, and thereby help ensure a seamless transition for these families.”

Before the changes, according to Beheshti, families might have hesitated for fear that their online schooling would not be recognised by the education regulators in the UAE.

The expert noted that the changes will also bring confidence to private sector companies that have been concerned about a gap in the labour market between some in-demand skills and local supply.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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