Event Organized by Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Dubai-UAE: March 13, 2017: The First UAE Public Policy Forum, themed ‘Future Directions of Education Policy', organized by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, discussed a spectrum of challenges and opportunities for education policies in the UAE today.
As part of the two day forum, an education policy dialogue titled, “Paradigm Shift in UAE Education Policies” on Day 1, drew the participation of His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, His Excellency Dr Ali Rashid Al Noaimi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Education Council, His Excellency Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, and Professor Mohamed Albaili, Vice Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University.
Moderated by His Excellency Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, the panelists discussed key changes that have taken place in the UAE education sector and how these changes have impacted public/private partnerships, accelerators and the quality of education.
The participants reiterated that the education sector in the UAE has undergone several reforms over the past 45 years and change is still an ongoing aspect of shaping the education landscape. They noted that in recent years, there has been a shift in focus to early childhood education being considered integral to the overall level of attainment among students in the UAE. In addition, there have been shifts away from product based curricula to more process oriented approaches that foster a holistic approach to education.
As the UAE strives to meet the goals of its National Agenda, the panelists debated the changes that are still required to guide the education agenda of the future. The panelists explained that as the reliance on oil diminishes, the United Arab Emirates must transform the education sector to meet the demands of a knowledge based economy. Education is a key pillar to ensure a successful society and the government needs to continuously evolve and assess its education policies to ensure the UAE's education sector meets international best practice standards, empowers future generations and attracts high quality talent to ensure that the needs of various industries are met.
His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education stated: “In order to achieve our National Agenda goals by 2030, we need to enhance the training of teachers and ensure that educators are equipped with the right tools – only then can we expect students to succeed within and beyond the classroom. The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government has been vital in helping us gather insightful research and data to understand how we should improve our policies and advance our education system.”
His Excellency Dr Ali Rashid Al Noaimi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Education Council also stressed: “In order to create an education system that is on par with best international standards, we need to rapidly advance our methodologies to positively impact our future generations. Approximately 40% of jobs will cease to exist in the next five to 10 years and we must be prepared for these challenges. Education must adapt to these rapid changes.”
The involvement of the private sector in education was also discussed and the panelists emphasized that private and public sectors should not consider themselves as competitors, but rather as partners. As the number of educational options increase, syllabi and curricula need to be unified in order to ensure that students are equally exposed to all aspects of education - in particular, Mathematics and Science.
The panelists were also asked about their expectations for the future and specified that while creating a highly qualified workforce is a priority, education policies should instill a passion for learning. His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education said: “Not only will the education system evolve into one of the best in the world, but the idea of ‘learn anytime, anywhere' will be ingrained in our society and ensure that students lead the learning process.”
The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) is hosting the first UAE Public Policy Forum on March 12 and 13 at the Sheikh Maktoum Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The forum, held over two days, features various panel discussions among leading local and international education experts and specialists, as well as top decision makers in the field.
The UAE Public Policy Forum has partnered with several organizations, including the UAE Ministry of Education, GEMS Education, Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance and United Nations Development Programme, to develop the framework of public education policies. The forum is taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre's Sheikh Maktoum Hall from March 12 to 13. Those wishing to participate can register at the forum's website.