SIT, Edexcel, CIS to enhance vocational education
Sharjah, December 21, 2011
Edexcel, Sharjah Institute of Technology (SIT) and Cambridge International School (CIS) have forged a three-way partnership to enhance vocational education in the UAE.
Mark Andrews, regional director, Mena/Caribbean, Edexcel, said: “Fresh university graduates continue to be less valuable to employers in the UAE than their counterparts who would have completed vocational education.”
Through this partnership, CIS will offer BTech engineering programmes at SIT centre. Edexcel’s exclusive BTech qualifications provide a practical, real-world approach to learning alongside a theoretical background, a statement from the company said.
They are designed both to replicate the professional working environment and provide learners with the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to succeed in the current job market.
Reham Mustafa, external relations & strategic alliances manager, SIT, said: “Parents in the UAE are usually hesitant to choose vocational education and every year the number of unskilled university graduates increases. We at SIT aim at raising public awareness of the advantages of vocational education.”
“Vocational education is a worthwhile alternative for individuals who are more inclined to learn through practical instruction either at high school or university, those who cannot afford a university education, those who wish to join the workforce sooner, older individuals who are aiming for a career change or wish to update their skills, people who are not interested in pursuing an academic education and employees interested in continuing professional development.” Andrews added.
“Vocational or technical education in the UAE can transform future generations into well-prepared youth who could deal with the changes and requirements of the labour market and participate in the development plans of the nation. Society as a whole is recognising the role of qualified technical talent as the basis to building a sustainable workforce,” Mustafa said.
Sandra A J Carter, head of senior school, Cambridge International School (CIS) said: “We are at the forefront of vocational education in Dubai being the first school to offer BTech qualifications in the UAE. We have started this year by working in partnership with Sharjah Institute of Technology to offer BTEC Electrical Engineering to our Year 9 students.”
In the past academic year SIT introduced the concept of vocational tasters in middle schools across Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman where students would visit SIT on a weekly basis to experience all fields of engineering, the statement said.
One of these schools was Cambridge International School that joined the SIT tasters program with 29 students. The first group of 8 students joined the electronics engineering taster and the second group of 11 Students joined the mechanical gngineering Taster. The last group joined the Civil Engineering Taster, it said.
“Vocational education should be viewed in the Arab world as it is in Europe: as a viable alternative to traditional academic education. Through its use of practical, experiential learning techniques, vocational educational helps people acquire essential employability skills which academic education, that is theoretical in nature, does not. Moreover, because vocational qualifications are created specifically to meet employer and industry requirements, graduates obtain the practical skills and knowledge employers require,” Mustafa added.
Working together, SIT and Edexcel are eager to support the partnership between the government, education and industry which will consequently strengthen national reforms in education and technical training in the region. – TradeArabia News Service
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