An Action Plan for Modern Education

  • 10 October 2010

Discussions held during the First Annual Conference on Education – organized by The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) from October 5-6 on the Education in the UAE: Current Status and Future Development – under the kind patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and President of ECSSR confirms that the Center is aware of the enormity of the challenge facing the country’s education system. The subject was chosen because it is closely connected to a comprehensive approach to development and its relevance to the interests of the Emirati society at all levels.

The importance of the subject was also evident in the broad participation as well as fruitful discussions that took place during the conference. Several research papers shed light on the various aspects of education process at various levels even as questions were raised and recommendations were made in several areas. Perhaps what gave the conference extraordinary vitality is the fact that it combined new ideas with practical experience. Since participants included experts and specialists in the field of education the theses and ideas that they submitted were characterized by comprehension, depth and transparency. There was a consensus that the subject of discussion is not an ordinary issue but something that the community might face in the modern era.

Recommendations made during the conference tell a tale of its success in correctly diagnosing the problems facing education in the UAE in its entirety. Consequently it was able to put guidelines in place to deal with such a situation and handle areas where more effort is needed in times to come. This was revealed in the recommendations made with regard to “an action plan for education” especially its call for a curriculum based on participation, critical thinking, and giving mother tongue priority in non-scientific specialties. Importance of the English language was also stressed as part of the long-term strategic planning for the development of the curricula and school environment.

Recommendations were also made with regard to the improvement of the performance of the teaching staff, maintaining UAE’s cultural heritage, enhancing service conditions of teachers and providing appropriate environment for education. The other important recommendation made during the two-day conference was for greater emphasis on humanities studies that give proper emphasis on the development of human kind. The conference also highlighted the strong foundation built by the authorities in the country to achieve the country’s vision under the leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan whose aim is to create a distinguished and a pioneering education system in both its regional and international framework.