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Policy for Better Education in the Face of Covid - 19

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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 EDUCATION, UAE, Post-Covid 19, Policy

Policy For Better Education In The Face Of Covid - 19

The UAE's Ministry of Education (MOE) has developed Education 2020 Strategy, which is a series of ambitious five-year plans designed to bring significant qualitative improvement in the education system, especially in the way teachers teach and students learn. Smart learning programmes, new teachers' codes, licensing and evaluations systems, as well as curriculum revision, including teaching maths and science in English, are all part of the strategy. A key area of focus has been to transform the K-12 programme, to ensure that students are fully prepared to attend universities around the world and compete in the global marketplace.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme was launched aiming to shape a new learning environment and culture in government schools in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. The government promoted technology in schools to foster future employment and 21st century among today's youth, in line with its strategy to introduce computers and tablets in all schools.

The Government of the UAE strongly supports education and learning services for students with special needs. The Federal Law No. 29 of 2006, is the first law in the UAE to protect the rights of people.

Ministry of Education Strategic Plan 2017-2021: The ministry developed an innovative Education System for a knowledge and global competitive society, that includes all age groups to meet future labour market demand, by ensuring quality of the ministry of education outputs, and provision of best services for internal and external customers. The core values are as follows:

  • Citizenship and Responsibility: Enhance national citizenship and social responsibility.
  • The Principles and Values of Islam: Ensure human values in discussion, tolerance, moderation, peace and volunteering.
  • Commitment and Transparency: Commit to professional and transparent performance.
  • Equality and Justice: Commit to community partnership and accountability in the education process.
  • Participation and Accountability: Ensure equal educational opportunities for all.
  • Science, Technology and Innovation: Encourage a society that is driven by science, technology and innovation.

Ministry of Education Strategic Objectives:

  • Ensure inclusive quality education including pre-school education.
  • Achieve excellent leadership and educational efficiency.
  • Ensure quality, efficiency and good governance of educational and institutional performance, including the delivery of teaching.
  • Ensure safe, conducive and challenging learning environments.
  • Attract and prepare students to enrol in higher education internally and externally, in light of labour market needs.
  • Strengthen the capacity for scientific research and innovation in accordance with the quality, efficiency and transparency standards.
  • Provision of quality, efficient and transparent administrative services, in accordance with the quality, efficiency and transparency standards.
  • Establish a culture of innovation in an institutional working environment.

50x50 Initiative - Involving the Students in Planning the next 50 years: This plan involved holding 50 interactive workshops to gather ideas to further develop the UAE in the 50 years from 2021; following the Golden Jubilee of the UAE’s formation. The workshops engaged government and private school students to get their ideas, opinions and aspirations on various vital topics that will contribute to the preparation of the plan for the next 50 years.

 This plan was launched by Ministry of Education (MOE) in October 2020. The MoE engaged students from over 1,200 government and private schools in several digital interactive workshops. The sessions focused on involving students in the plan, by exploring their views on various vital topics that will contribute to the preparation of the plan for the next 50 years. The initiative resulted in 7,066 ideas and 357 documented workshops.

Advance skill strategy: In November 2018, during the UAE Government’s second Annual Meetings, Ministry of Education launched the Advanced Skills Strategy. The Advanced Skills Strategy is based on a forword-thinking approach and sets out the national framework aimed at consolidating the concept of life-long learning for citizens and residents of the UAE to achieve the goals of Centennial Plan 2071.

 The strategy targets three categories of audience: students in schools and universities, the new higher education graduates and the experienced employees. The strategy identifies four main categories for future skills: basic skills, competencies, personality traits and specialized skills to provide life-long learners and students with flexible skills applicable along different professions and sector.

 National Advanced Sciences Agenda 2031: In April 2018, the UAE government launched the National Advanced Sciences Agenda 2031 and the 2021 AdvancedScience Strategy, which falls under the Agenda 2031. The 2031 Agenda sets out eight scientific priorities up to 2031 and 30 scientific targets up to 2021. The eight scientific priorities aim to make the most of all strategic natural resources in the country through:

  • national capacity-building
  • promoting the sustainable energy sector
  • enhancing water security using advanced and clean technology
  • developing advanced scientific food security system
  • addressing health challenges in the UAE through a national scientific system
  • developing advanced industries sector
  • building a system of logistical support based on scientific studies and data
  • creating a strategic industries complex.

 The agenda also aims to develop four enablers which are:

  • economic information services
  • a coherent scientific community
  • a supportive technology
  • an entrepreneurship in science and technology.

 Key achievements towards 'Quality Education'

  • Providing free education to UAE citizens in public schools all the way until higher education
  • Operating public and private education school system offering over 16 curricula to serve different nationalities living in the UAE
  • Having a wide range of highly accredited universities, both public and private
  • Having special facilities for adults learning, continuing education
  • Dropping the illiteracy rate in the UAE to less than 1 per cent
  • Signing an agreement with software company Microsoft to follow best practices in education to support smart education programme.
  • Signing the UN's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol 
  • Adoption of the 'National Qualifications Framework Handbook 2012', for all educational tracks
  • The existence of certified educational and training facilities to offer national professional qualifications
  • Developing national professional qualifications in various economic fields according to the needs of the labour market.

   Protocols for operating schools and other educational facilities amid COVID - 19: Ministry of Education launched the seventh edition of protocols and procedures that all educational establishments should abide by, while operating for the academic year 2021-2022. The scope of the document covers all educational establishments in the UAE, including kindergartens, public and private educational establishments, public and private higher education institutions, training institutes and centres, university services offices and educational consulting offices.

Reforming the teaching system: The UAE has a new systems for teachers which is called ‘Teacher and Educational Leadership Standards (TELS UAE) and Licensing Programme’.

The professional licensing scheme for teachers was introduced in 2017 and expected to be fully implemented by 2021, in line with the requirements of the UAE National Agenda.

The system will standardize qualifications for Emigration and expatriate teachers in private and public schools.Teachers will have to pass a national examination and show a portfolio of evidence.The system is co-developed by National Qualifications Authority (NQA), Ministry of Education, the Department of Education and Knowledge, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Institute of Applied Technology.

 The UAE's regional support to education: The UAE hosts the Regional Centre for Educational Planning (RCEP) - UNESCO  which is the technical arm of the UAE’s Ministry of Education that is responsible for building individual capacities, developing human resources and disseminating knowledge in the areas of planning and policies to fulfil national priorities in line with the international best practices.

The RCEP’s governing board has adopted a strategic plan in which education in 2030 is a strategic objective with stand-alone resources. In 2016, RCEP committed to developing an educational road map for the region, by allying with national and regional organizations that foster inclusive education across the broadest spectrum of incomes and ages in the Arab world.

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