UAE mulls educational curricula revamp
Dubai, February 27, 2010
The UAE Ministry of Education has proposed the restructuring of educational curricula and improving competencies of the academic staff as part of its new education strategy for 2010-2020.
The Ministry said the new strategy includes 50 initiatives which will be implemented over the next 10 years to coincide with a student’s educational journey and provide sufficient time to achieve the desired results.
The strategy is student-focused and reflects international best practices with the aim of elevating performance levels to achieve the highest academic standards of excellence through quality education, explained Hamid Al-Qatami, UAE Minister of Education.
A large number of the initiatives included in the strategy focus on improving the educational attainments of students to match the highest global levels through curricula restructuring, and improving the competencies of teaching staff, he added.
The ministry, Al Qatami said, has identified a range of initiatives that address the process of restructuring the educational curricula.
'These include curriculum development using practical methods, allowing students to gain real life skills; achieving a balance between knowledge and educational material in subjects like science, mathematics and English; reducing the foundation year in universities and integrating it into the educational process and development of basic skills in the Arabic language.'
The restructuring of kindergarten, primary and secondary education including elective courses and learning pathways for students besides improving adult education programs through increased schooling hours and dividing study materials and improving technical education are also being reviewed under the strategy.
Al Qatami said a proposal to encourage the use of modern technology in curricula development and develop the Islamic education curriculum in order to promote multi-cultural tolerance amongst young Muslims is also being studied.
In addition, the strategy also sets out initiatives directed at improving staff competencies.
'These include the development of a recruitment system for educational staff in public and private schools; development of performance evaluation tools for educational institutions linked to a training plan for each individual; preparing a technical and administrative hierarchy and introducing incentive systems linked to performance.'
Other initiatives include development, implementation of training programs for teachers; the provision of manuals and activation of educational research; increasing proportion of male teachers; development of legislation and regulations related to the education process with regards to registration, admissions, eligibility and so on; and developing a program to groom school leaders.
According to the ministry, the new strategy is ready for implementation.
'Results will be measured through tracking improvements in educational attainment and the knowledge of students, creating an appropriate school environment with equal opportunities and developing a sense of citizenship amongst students,' Al Qatami observed.
This strategy is distinct in its focus on quality in implementing initiatives and achieving goals, leading to improvement in scientific output and the elevation of the UAE’s global position in the educational sphere, he added.
The strategy, Al Qatami said, plans to set up a nurturing environment for students as they are the nation’s real wealth – in the present and the future – and aims to raise a generation that is aware of national issues, confident and able to collectively achieve the nation’s aspirations, and who stands by the country’s leadership and contributes to building a strong and competitive national economy.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has called upon all educational professionals, Ministry of Education officials, educational staff and the community at large to actualize this strategy with dedication and seriousness of purpose.-TradeArabia News Service