UAE’s Educational Miracle


Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

HH. Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Education plays very important role in the socio-economic development of a country and UAE portrays a rare success in this field. High qualitative education has already enabled Emiratis to compete in regional markets and international slots with ease and full of confidence. It is crystal clear that right from the beginning UAE under the visionary leadership of his successive rulers and pragmatic political leaders, education has had been their foremost priority. Now, the vast network of qualitative educational institutions of local as well as web of international colleges and universities campus in UAE verifies its central role in as a hub of learning, excel, connectivity and above all research.

The miracle transformation of UAE society, civic, politics and business is achieved with the torch of education and passions of erudition. Every year UAE uses to allocate substantial funds for education sector. In the Federal Budget of UAE 2010, 22.5 percent allocation on education sector gives a clear-cut indication of the leadership’s emphasis on developing the country’s youth. Dh7.2 billion, a 16.5 percent share of the budget has been allocated to the ministry of education to continue its development plans within government schools. These include a number of initiatives such as the ‘schools of tomorrow’ and ‘teacher of the century’ programmes, as well as various educational infrastructure projects in ICT, health and safety, curriculum reform, facilities development and several projects to serve students with special needs. Moreover, Dh2.7 billion, a 6.2 percent share, will be spent in areas of higher education, research and development, supporting the different plans, programmes. These include overseas scholarships for UAE citizens, Emiratisation of the educational sector as well as the development of facilities within the UAE’s many universities.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Strategically, it is better for UAE onward march of socio-economic development not to rely on foreign workforce for the longer time. The UAE leadership is working seriously to provide every possible facility of education and knowledge to its population. More educational and research scholarships are generated which will be befitting for its educational community. More focus is now being given to modern education, result oriented disciplines, technical skills, public relations and above all information technology which would open new windows of opportunities and enlarge horizons of operations and services in the days to come. It would also be beneficial to civil service, middle management, entrepreneurship, and above all good governance.

Due to ongoing global economic recession and financial crisis, job markets have been limited, underperformed and scared. Competitiveness of the job markets need diversification of educational expertise and dynamical professional experiences and educational can play crucial role in this regard. The visionary leaders of UAE are taking all possible measures to get its population and human talent educated well trained and conversant with the modern trends of education and research in the world. Public-private partnership can be instrumental to achieve these ends in UAE and to institutionalize strong skills and a sound work ethic in order to flourish and be promoted. Highly acknowledged and approved syllabus of international standards is being advised to follow in UAE at every level. Scrutiny, inspection, regulations are made transparent and tough to maintain high standards of education and teaching practice throughout the UAE.

Paradigm Shift

Educational structure of UAE extends every possible help to its womanhood. The noticeable excel and active participation of women in every fields of society proves that high qualitative and quantitative educational facilities have made their wings strong and graceful. Women‘s enrollment in higher education and Ph.Ds are the resultant of continuous result-oriented and progressive educational policies and priorities. They are now teachers, doctors, engineers, public relations experts, marketing gurus, financial pundits, professional bankers, civil servants and the last not the least dutiful diplomats. The recent appointment of a female diplomat in the Vatican City is the prime example of women healthy and contributory role in every sphere of life and sector of economy alike.

According to the statistics of educational ministry, UAE, the Emirati children starting school in the early 1980’s about 60 percent of the girls and 30 percent of the boys eventually entered higher education. The UAE University has more than 18,000 students and well over half are women. It is encouraging sign in UAE that about 60-65 percent of the HCT female graduates are currently employed and employers are seeking more graduates. Dubai Women’s College graduates impress their employers in organisations like Citibank, British Bank, Emirates Bank International, Mashreq Bank, EPPCO, Emirates, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Economics Department, Dubai Health Department, ETISALAT and many others.

Qualitative Education

It is one of the biggest lessons of modern political taught and secrets of rise and fall of human civilizations and nations that education and more precisely qualitative education has had been driving force of domination, development and the last not the least, socio-economic prominence. Keeping in view its vitality and effectiveness in the realms of globalization and free market arenas the government of UAE is embraced throughout its national history at every level. The visionary leaders of UAE always call for a qualitative improvement in education and school infrastructure. They discourage the old syllabus relied excessively on learning by rote, and would not help the UAE population to reach their true potential.

The success of any educational reform is the ability to think for oneself, and to avoid defining education as simple learning of repetitive facts. More interactive teaching methods are being applied in schools of UAE to infuse true spirits of learning, wisdom and knowledge. Efforts are also made to encourage more research at the university and college level. Research is vital for the well-being of a country’s educational establishment and its institutional ability to plan ahead, because research is about the skills and technologies of the future.

Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research,

In this regard, Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, recently advised to Federal National Council about the Ministry of Higher Education’s plans to turn the universities in the UAE into leading research centres for the region. “Our goal is quality scientific research focused on issues of interest to the community, with students being involved in research and developing the research culture at all levels in the country,” he further elaborated. He stressed the need to have public-private partnership to promote research work. He assured that the government would put up some money for research programme. He proudly shared that the ministry had launched the National Authority for Scientific Research, with an annual budget of Dh100 million. He emphasized that more funding would be required and would have to come from a variety of sources, including competitive research grants, industrial sources and philanthropic donors. He was keen to seek this involvement from different sectors of the UAE, since it will make the money go further and also ensure that future research meets the demands of UAE businesses and society.

Concluding Remarks

Education is the key of rapid socio-economic development. It is the open secret of onward march and achieving goals. Research is necessary for maintaining and exploring new avenues of success and potentialities. It also plays counterproductive role in the times of crises and national calamities. The increasing numbers of educated population of UAE is nothing but adding new hopes of getting and materializing unaccomplished dreams of its visionary leaders and people alike. Education has already transformed its economics, thinking, politics, diplomacy, societal behavior and above all governance and it is hoped that it would be driving force towards infinite voyage of dignity, productivity, survival and efficacy in the years to come.

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