A Wise Initiative That Reflects Astute Vision

  • 27 August 2008

The latest initiative by His Highness General Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed Aal Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of UAE Armed Forces regarding higher education enrollments was a wise step in the service of the UAE and its future. He directed that 526 graduating high school students from the 2007-2008 academic year who were not qualified to enter college be rehabilitated with a remedial program in English, computers, and leadership courses by the Abu Dhabi Educational Council and enrolled in the Emirate's private and public colleges. They were otherwise destined to just "sit at home," according to ADEC's Director General Dr. Mughir Khamis al-Khaili. Instead, Shaikh Mohammad's intervention will allow them to finish their studies at government and private universities and institutes.

This wise initiative has more than one meaning. First, there is a realization on the leadership's part of education's importance and focal role in the country's development drive and of making it a priority and ambition among others as it looks to the future. Dr. al-Khaili's statement that the Crown Prince's "insistence on assuring educational opportunities at both pre- and college levels for all citizens in the Emirate" makes this quite clear.

Second, the initiative shows the leadership's acknowledgment of the importance of people and of providing the best opportunities for their training so that they can participate fully in designing the development process and leading it, particularly since the human dimension is one of the most important and expensive in the UAE. Education is the natural course for preparing people to shoulder the big responsibilities that await them in many fields.

Third, the initiative highlights the extent of the relationship between the leadership and citizenry in the UAE. The former is quick to respond to the latter's concerns and to make available all abilities and means to address them. This is what paves the way for citizens to forge their way into the future with ambition and hope.

Excellence in different nations' experiences has depended on education as key toward progress and success. The more a society devotes to education the better its chances in the global race to the top. This is what underlies the big importance the UAE gives to education at its different stages and the wise leadership's insistence on providing the best opportunities to everyone because it believes that knowledge is the true vehicle in the twenty-first century.