Health & Education

UAE: Local Skillsets and Innovators

The UAE is keen to foster local skillsets and innovators capable of realizing its sustainable development goals (SDGs). The education system is thus close to the government’s heart, and already showing tangible advances toward achieving the national vision.

In June 2022, the Education Ministry of the UAE announced that work was underway to rejig the education system for better alignment with, ‘future national strategies and plans.’

In a combined effort on all fronts the initiative was to be led by the Education and Human Resources Council, Federal Authority for Quality of Education, Ministry of Education, Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education and the Emirates Schools Establishment, as well as the individual local educational authorities of respective Emirates. And neither are the teachers, parents, and students themselves left out of the loop.

Who Does What?

At the cutting edge, the Ministry of Education continues drafting policies, strategies and legislation pertaining to public and higher education. While managing and developing the general education framework and mandatory curricula, it will issue licenses to educational institutions that meet its stipulations and monitor private schools in tandem with public education policy.

The Ministry oversees international exams taken on its soil, in coordination with respective authorities. It also confirms the applicability of certificates and overseas qualifications.

The new Federal Authority for Early Education is tasked with easing the very young into a nurturing educational environment. Freshly minted, the Federal Authority for Quality and Standards of Education, affiliated to the UAE Cabinet, is responsible for measuring educational performance over time. It will also audit public education and importantly, its output from kindergarten through to higher education. Furthermore, the Authority will report on policy proposals, strategies, legislation and the components of the curricula.

The restructured Education and Human Resources Council, chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, supervises the national Future of Education project. As well as refining the objectives of the national education sector and developing policies and legislation, the Council traces day-to-day performance.

Then comes the Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education, a new entity specialized in early childhood education, and that will trace the trajectory of the child through to fourth grade. It’s mandate, again, is to formulate strategy, programs and the policy required to implement them.

It will also monitor set standards while working with parents to foster a more active role in early childhood learning. And finally, the Emirates Schools Establishment, operating under the UAE Cabinet, will ensure the consistent efficiency of state nurseries and schools and implement maintain overall educational standards.

Raising “People of the Era”

A key component of the new system is the “Ajyal Schools” model that enters service in the 2022-2023 academic year. Alluding in name to being of the time, these schools will feel the pulse of wider economic realities to produce citizens best qualified to take the reins as adults.

In providing diverse specializations the model will lean on the experience of the private sector. In the first batch, 5,000 students commence their learning within the in Ajyal Schools model this academic year, with that number rising to 14,000 students after three years by official estimates.

Blast Off!

Ras Al Khaimah’s WellSpring School has is literally reaching for the stars in a first for the MENA region. A LifePlus International School located in Ras Al Khaimah, The Wellspring School is introducing youngsters to space exploration as well as the mysteries of the universe, along with more down to earth, real-world practicalities such as coding and the physical sciences.

Continuing the UAE’s commitment to hands-on schooling, students recently coded practical experiments that were then uploaded to the International Space Station. Back in 2015 the school had launched its program spanning kindergarten to 12th Grade per the American Curriculum.

It comes as no surprise that the school is committed to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) excellence. And a real-world objective lies at the heart of such education. In this case, it is the UAE’s positioning to become a global player in space exploration. And it fully intends its own citizens to achieve the glory.

In brief then, the UAE is adamant about achieving superlative academic standards to man its economic ambitions, and a recent success bodes particularly well for the country. Because Khalifa University has, for the fifth consecutive year, ranked first in the UAE out of 11 assessed universities. It holds the 37th spot in the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings 2022, which features 616 universities from 31 countries.