Education as Compass for the Present and the Future

  • 4 October 2010

Education is the key to development, progress and advancement in all fields. This has been the truth in the past and remains relevant in the present and the future. Nations which are aware of the importance of education put it on top of their list of priorities and make it the foundation of all competition at a global level. The importance of the first annual education conference organized by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) from October 5-6 should be seen in this context. Entitled Education in the UAE: Current Status and Future Development, the conference was held under the 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. The topics and the level of participation at the conference prove the importance of the contribution being made by ECSSR in discussing issues of national importance that are on top of the wise leadership’s priorities.

The first annual education conference is important because it will analyze the entire process of education in the UAE from three different dimensions – strategies and policies governing education, schooling and higher education and prospects for the education process. The discussions would take place between Emirati and foreign experts and specialists that are fully aware of education issues in the UAE and abroad. They will exchange ideas on all issues related to education in the country thereby making this conference an important event. The ECSSR’s initiative to organize this conference, in addition to its annual conference on energy, refers to the role that research institutes can play in discussing means to deal with the nation’s issues. This also reflects the realization of the importance of education in the country’s ambitious development and the need to further improve it. This can only be done by tackling all the aspects of it, through research and studies, by understanding the experiences of other countries and making use of these in accordance with the requirements of the Emirati society.

The UAE’s interest in achieving sustainable development on the basis of knowledge makes education a pillar of development. Therein lies the keenness to provide all that is necessary to promote education in all its phases and to link it to the society’s development needs through modernization of curricula and encouragement to complete pending tasks. There is also a keenness to further improve educational institutions and continue its focus on imparting meaningful education that gives the country its due in the league of nations. Education is the means adopted by societies around the world to break out of backwardness and in opening new horizon of progress. No nation can sustain development and focus confidently on the future without making education its weapon. The UAE has acknowledged this since its inception and has followed it consistently in recent years. The ECSSR annual conference on education symbolizes this line of thought.