The Basic Approach to Progress and Development

  • 7 June 2009

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, made a statement at the contract-signing ceremony between Khalifa University and Etisalat over establishment of infrastructure for the UAE's Advanced Network for Research and Education (Ankabut) last Sunday, that shed light on the directions of many developmental initiatives that focus on education and scientific research and their role in the development process.

The first distinguishing feature lies in the advancement of scientific research, in making it part of the general culture at universities and scientific institutions, and in seeking to take advantage of the scientific benefits and sources of knowledge. This is considered one of the most important pillars in the overall development strategy and the great development of the UAE.

The second feature pertains to the importance of cooperation between government institutions and the private sector in the education and scientific research fields. Use of various useful sources of knowledge that benefit various institutions and organizations, places the State among developed countries in the field of technology.

The third point pertains to the importance of proportionality between the educational output and the requirements of the labor market for technical competence, as well as academic and technical expertise. These directions reflect the depth of vision in the present and future, and come as an assurance that the UAE leadership understands that education is the basis for development in all areas at all levels. There has been no nation, in ancient or modern times, that has reached progress and prosperity without accessing education and promoting its development. The private sector has also played a vital role in the advancement of education and scientific research within the framework of comprehensive developmental affiliation with the government in the development process.

The determination by the State to give considerable attention to education and scientific research, and to allocate all necessary resources to promoting education in the society and in the decision-making process, the support for centers of creativity and innovation, encouragement to scientists, stimulation of scientific excellence, and support inventions, to encourage the private sector to cooperate with the government in this field.

The purpose behind all this is to develop a creative national cadre capable of transforming the theoretical scientific achievements into practical applications in the service of the community.

There is a dangerous deficit in the field of education and scientific research in the Arab world, which has been pointed out by the Annual Human Development report issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in addition to reports by various Arab human development organizations over the past years.

Therefore, when the UAE showed its interest in making education its main platform for development, as indicated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it points to the real cause of the lack of development in many other Arab countries. The UAE is striving to overcome this problem and taking the right path for achieving progress by following the proper route.