Analysis and Evaluation of the Structure andOrganization of the Educational System in the UAEAcademic EssayByFathi NimrawiContentsIntroduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………........................................ 1The Emirati Society Before the Union …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2The Impact of the Union on the Emirati educational System …………………………………………………………. 3Efforts paid to Encourage Education Among the Emirati Citizens …………………………………………………… 4Initiating Educational Institutions and Organizations …………………………………………………………………….. 5The Role of Educational institutions and Organizations in Creating a Knowledge Society ……………… 7Sustaining Knowledge Societies Within the Ethical and Cultural Values of the Society …………………..8Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9References ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
IntroductionEducation includes curriculum, teachers, students and institutions such as schools colleges anduniversities is a comprehensive system that reflects the progress and development of any nation .Italso shows how strong a nation is attached to its past and how it looks to its future with great hopeand expectation. The UAE leaders have long recognized the importance of developing an up to dateand flexible educational system that can meet the needs demands of a newly born community andbe able to cope with and absorb the international changes. They believed that to be able to createa diverse and competitive economy, they should focus on improving the efficiency and quality ofeducation. So the idea was creating well educated individuals and train them to be able to run thefoundations of the country and be the future leaders. For this purpose ,the government generouslyallocated a huge cut of its budget to the benefit of education, it also put forward developmentalplans that aimed at locating the UAE among the most developed countries in the world. An exampleon these plans are the UAE Vision 2021, the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, and the Dubai Strategic Vision2015. The design makers also reached a convection that says it is good to make use of othersexperiences although these experiences may not necessarily provide the same results. So it wasessential to rely on the country’s heritage of Islamic civilization and social values when formulatingan educational policyTo achieve that goal, efforts of all parties involved in the educational process should be joinedtogether to create a solid and flexible educational system that will contribute in establishing strongand safe country and knowledgeable and innovative individuals who will play an essential role inbuilding a competitive and resilient economy . The result would be a thrived and a cohesive societybonded to its identity in the highest living standards and a sustainable environment.The First AnnualEducation Conference of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), "Educationin the UAE: Current Status and Future Developments," was held on 5–6 October, 2010, in order torespond to various challenges of educational advancement on which the success of the country’sgoals over the coming decades depends. Such challenges include not only diversifying the studentpopulation, schools and curricula; improving the quality of the school environment; overcoming thelimitations of traditional methods of education; creating effective approaches to development,evaluation and assessment; improving educational guidance for students; and achieving greaterfamily involvement in the educational process in order to promote high levels of educationalattainment, but also self-confidence, a strong sense of citizenship and a culture of moderation andtolerance. To this end, the UAE Ministry of Education has devised a ten-year strategic plan that aimsto reform the education sector and raise student attainment by providing an environment conduciveto educational excellence; promoting equal educational opportunities; strengthening nationals’sense of citizenship; and improving administrative efficiency.
The Emirati society before the unionPeople in the Arabian peninsula in general and the people of what was referred to as the Omanicoast in specific had to encounter many challenges starting from foreign Portuguese and Britishoccupation reaching the inside sovereignty conflicts that divided the area into small cantons each ofwhich has its own ruler and its own laws and regulations.Demographically speaking people in all thedisputed regions shared the same culture, religion and heritage; it was a disputation over power , aconflict between strong families and a conflict of loyalty between the common people.The very harsh nature of the area plus poverty , ignorance and literacy are other challenges that thepeople of this area had to face . these factors altogether deprived the people from getting thesimplest sort of education available at that time and indulged them in darkness. The absence ofeducation doesn’t mean that knowledge didn’t exist; the question is what did they know? and howdid they now it . knowledge at that time was limited to everyday life .For example, people of thepast were divide between three areas desert, coast and mountains each group of people hadaknowledge in certain field that kept them going .The coastal areas inhabitants ,for example wereprofessionals in jobs related to the sea such as fishing ,pearl hunting ,ships construction and sailing;they had good knowledge of the sea. This knowledge was obtained frequently from father to son.People of the desert were specialized in raising animals; they were in permanent quest for water andgrass for their animals which were the backbone of their life. They knew everything they need toknow about their animals and their surrounding environment . this kind of knowledge was passedverbally from one generation to another The concept of education for if existed was limited toleaning the holy Quran.The third population which was an agriculture one that used to live on the mountains wasprofessional in water management and agricultural skills. They learnt to grow crops and dig wells;they hardly get any education .These three communities were tribe based communities and theywere to some extent related their loyalty was divided between strong families that had ambitions toform a state with the help of their alliance the British. Domination on land and humans was theironly concern, consequently seven interfered conflicted emirates were established on the Omanicoast These emirates were divided according to people’s loyalty this why they were geographicallynot connected.At that time illiteracy rate was at its climax ;you could barely find an individual who could read orwrite most people were busy finding food for their families not to mention wars between the tribesthemselves on the one hand and between the tribes and colonist the British and the Portuguese onthe other. So there was no time to even think of having education if available.After things settled down to some extent and people started to live a relatively peaceful life ; theImams of the mosque took the initiative and held the responsibility of creating a system ofeducation that was later called Al- Motawaa’. Although it was an extremely strict system that wasbased on obedience ,it was highly acceptedby people .
The impact of the union on the Emirati Educational systemIt is clear that the impact of the union was very great on all aspects of people’s life in the area .it ledto the dramatic transformation that the UAE is witnessing these days. The first and outstandingchange was the formation of one and united state that included all the people of the disturbedareas in one country this challenge that was overcome due to the persistence of the leaders and theambition and hope of the people made it easy for them to conquer any other challenges that mightarise later on. The modest start of the schooling system due to the lake of experience ,lake ofmanpower (teachers) and somehow the vague vision that engulfed the economic ,social and politicalstatues of the Arab region as a whole was faced by a strong will and wisely put decisions by theleaders. It is true that wealth played a major role in accelerating the process of establishing a systemthat covers every aspect the educational system in specific needed more than wealth to come to life.Since the 2ndof December 1971 ,the nonstop developmental projects covered all areas of thecountry ;every UAE citizen benefited from this development. Within a relatively short period withendless support of the leaders the country became an example to be followed all over the world.The factors that made this example a reality were simply the dedication of the people and theleaders and the huge wealth that was resulted from discovering oil in early 1958.The educational sector in specific ,as a result of the union, witnessed tremendous changes over thepast 40 years ;these changes were characterized in the number of schools built all over the countryand the high quality of education presented in these schools . Schools were built and equipped tobe an attractive environment that ,besides education, they take care for the students mental,physical and social health. These schools are equipped with the latest educational technology,gymnasiums, theaters, dining halls chemistry, physics labs and computer labs ; all students haveaccess to the internet . Before the union, children were taught in the open or in places that were notoriginally made to be schools such as mosques ,or sheds under a tree. You can barely find a schooldedicated and equipped specially for children. Although the Kuwaiti government contributed a lot inbuilding schools and in providing teachers and curriculum ,these schools were very few and not allstudents had a chance to join them. In terms of the curriculum , the Ministry of Education madesure to present the most recent school syllabus that satisfies the needs and ambitions of thestudents ;it covers the ideology that this country adopts and fosters the sense of patriotism andloyalty ;it teaches students how to be productive and responsible citizens and contribute to thewellbeing of the country. Furthermore, this curriculum enforces the spirit of the union and teachesstudents how to preserve it for generations to come. It also forces their understanding of thedomestic, regional and international issues that affects the stability of the country and above all, itpresents a clear passage to the future and gives students a clear idea about the labor market andwhat they can do to be able to compete . This curriculum which is a subject for modification orchange due to new inventions ,discoveries or even theories, gives students the chance to think,meditate and use the scientific approach to solve their problems .As for the teaching process ,modern teaching methodologies that promote thinking and self-reliance and that encouragestudents to search for information through proving them with the necessary tools such as theinternet are being adopted by teachers in every government school.Finally, the UAE has made several achievements in establishing and advancing higher educationsystem in a short period of time, thanks to the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al
Nahayan – may Allah rest his soul – who sensed , since the dawn of the UAE federation, that scienceand knowledge are the cornerstones of progress and development and that giving the UAE youththe opportunity to pursue quality higher education in all fields of knowledge so that they can facethe future challenges and play a major role in building their country is the key platform for successand guaranteed prosperity and stability .Efforts paid to encourage education among UAE citizensThe UAE Government gives special attention to the future generations. Hence, it will developteaching systems, methods and staff to ensure the reduction of student drop-out rates, andcontribute to the development of student skills. The Government will also develop student’sknowledge, instill learning and work values in them, and prepare them for college life. It will alsowork to improve the quality of higher education to ensure that it yields graduates who are equippedwith the skills required to fuel the growth of the country. The UAE Government’s strategic directionsto achieve a ﬁrst-rate education system are summarized as follows:• Develop students’ skills, knowledge, and readiness for higher education by implementing propergovernance in the education system, improving preschool education, school curriculum andassessment, enhancing the productivity and efﬁciency of administrative and academic staff,improving the learning experience, pursuing the accreditation of private and public schools, andapplying standard international examinations.• Promote student retention, educational attainment, and values by reducing student drop-outrates, promoting community and parental involvement in student education, encouraging extra-curricular activities, improving educational guidance and counseling in schools, promoting a cultureof self-education, work values and educational values, and encouraging sport culture andcompetitions in schools and universities.• Improve the quality of higher education and ensure accessibility by deﬁning and coordinating theroles of public universities, enhancing higher education curricula and teaching methods focused onempirical research, accrediting and monitoring public and private universities to global standards,encouraging university outreach programs, diversifying sources of funding for public highereducation institutions, and enhancing the effectiveness of Emirati student scholarship programsThe constitution of the UAE garnets equal opportunities of education for each and every Emirati; thisconstitution emphasizes on the fact that education should be of the highest quality money can buy.Vision 2021 indicates that all Emiratis will have equal and first-rate educational opportunities thatallows them to develop into well-rounded individuals ,enhance their educational attainment andachieve their true potential . The Ministry of Education paid great efforts to convince and encouragethe Emiratis to stay at schools and peruse their university education. This encouragement was in theform of material and Moral assistance .As for the martial assistance, schools provides children withbooks ,stationery school uniforms and pocket money in addition to two meals. Transportation to andfrom the school was available on a daily bases . As for the immaterial help ,the Ministry ofeducation lunched educational campaigns to educate the local society of the importance ofeducation for the future of their children and the future of the country .These campaigns focusedmostly on the inhabitance of rural and the desert areas . Although these campaigns needed a hugeefforts ,they were to some extant fruitful .As a result ,the rate of students joining school went up
and the rates of drop-out went down.The society’s understanding awareness and acceptance ofconcept of knowledge became clearer and education became an everyday task for children andtheir parents as well within a short time the Emirati society became ore attached to education ;thenumber of student who finished the secondary school and joined the university inside and outsidethe country was enormous . education from K-12 is free for the citizens of the UAE ;students havethe chance to choose any major they like in any university they like until they finish their PHD. Themoment they finish their education ,their jobs in one of the government institutions is waiting forthem. The UAE made a huge progress in all fields ,but Education got the highest attention and caresince the design makers believe that without education there will be no development ,and no onecan run the wheel of progress better than the country’s own children.Initiating educational institutions and organizationsAfter the union , the need for establishing high education institutions was urgent to cover theincreasing number of the secondary graduates who seek university education. For this purpose the aspecially addicted ministry called the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research which wasestablished by Federal Law No. (4) of 1992, to oversee higher education and scientific researchpolicies in the United Arab Emirates .The Ministry is responsible for the general planning of highereducation and scientific research in the UAE; licensing private institutions of higher education,accrediting their programs and overseeing them to ensure their quality standards within the contextof the master plan of higher education; preparing draft laws for the establishment of federalgovernmental institutions of higher education and scientific research and achieving coordination andintegration between federal institutions of higher education and scientific research in terms ofbudgets, fields of specialization and academic degrees awarded by each of them. The Ministry is alsoresponsible for coordinating students’ admission policies and the criteria for their placement in thevarious fields of specialization in the UAE higher education institutions in response to the needs ofthe community; accrediting foreign bodies and institutions of higher education and equalizing theircertificates; laying down the general policy of scholarships and academic aid, and following-up theiraffairs inside and outside the UAE, taking into account the needs of the community and thespecializations provided by the higher education institutions in the UAE . Developing scientificresearch institutions, transferring technologies in the context of developmental requirements of thecommunity, and coordinating between higher education and scientific research bodies andinstitutions on the one hand, and public education on the other. The Ministry coordinates with otherministries and with both government and private bodies in order to achieve the goals of the overalldevelopment, and participates with the ministries and stakeholders in laying down a licensingsystem for the practice of professions that require high qualifications. The Ministry also performsany other responsibilities entrusted to it pursuant to any laws and regulations.TheUAE university ,the first and oldest higher learning entity in the United Arab Emirates wasopened in 1976 in Al Ain. Other entities such as the Higher Colleges of Technology and ZayedUniversity were established later on . The UAEU is an accredited comprehensive research-basedinstitution providing research solutions to support the UAE and, through its global partners, thewider world. The university admits UAE nationals primarily, with about 15% of its student bodycoming predominantly from other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.From its inception and to thepresent, the UAEU has benefited from the exceptional foresight, wisdom, commitment, and vitalityof the leadership of the UAE and its progressive university administration.
The Higher Colleges of Technology HCT was established in 1988;it is the largest institution of higherlearning in the United Arab EmiratesUAE with over 18,000 students. During the 2012 – 2013academic year there were 11,232 female and 6,855 male students enrolled at 17 campusesthroughout the country. More than 55,000 UAE nationals are graduates of the institution.The HCT provides post-secondary education in Business, Education, Engineering Technology,Computer & Information Science, Applied Communications and Health Sciences.The HCT places a strong emphasis on an innovative, project-driven and student-centered curriculum.English is used as the medium of instruction, with faculty recruited from around the world.The HCT has formal alliances with a number of international tertiary education and traininginstitutions, and corporate partnerships with local and multinational companies. Some programshave international accreditation: for example, the HCTs Bachelor of Education degree wasdeveloped with, and is certified by the University of Melbourne.The CERT (Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training) is the commercial arm of theHigher Colleges of Technology, developing and providing education, training and applied technologyfor public and private sector clients. The Wharton Center for Family Business and EntrepreneurshipResearch for the Middle East is based at CERT. The University of Waterloo, Canada, offers dualdegrees in collaboration with HCT through CERT.The Chancellor of the HCT is His Excellency SheikhNahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, also UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. TheVice Chancellor, appointed in June 2005, is Dr. Tayeb A. Kamali.There are 17 campuses throughoutthe country, with separate colleges for male and female students. The central administration of theHCT is located in Abu Dhabi and includes the Vice Chancellors Office, Office of the Provost (Dr. MarkDrummond), Academic Central Services, Institutional Planning and Development (Dr. SenthilNathan), Human Resource division (Dr. Rudolph Young), and Central Finance and IT services.Zayed University (or ZU), established in 1998, is the newest of the three government sponsoredhigher educational institutions in the United Arab Emirates. The other two sister institutions are theHigher Colleges of Technology established in 1988 and the United Arab Emirates Universityestablished in 1976. Zayed University was named in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al NahZayed University (or ZU), established in 1998, is the newest of the three government sponsoredhigher educational institutions in the United Arab Emirates. The other two sister institutions are theHigher Colleges of Technology established in 1988 and the United Arab Emirates Universityestablished in 1976. Zayed University was named in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan AlNahayan, the countrys first president and founder.The main and most important reasons behind establishing these first class institutions is to spreadknowledge among the people of the UAE especially the younger generation, promote the concept ofeducation in the UAE society and provide the labor market with individuals who are highly qualified,well-educated and ambitious; individuals who have a deep understanding and awareness of thechanges and the challenges that this country ,the Arab region and the worldare going through. Theinvestment in man power, due to the recognition of the importance of well-trained nationals to runthe country , is another reason for establishing an educational system so comprehensive , so up-to-date that takes care of UAE students from day one on.
The role of the educational institutions and organizations in creating and enforcing a knowledgesocietyAs ammeter of fact educational institutions from its simplest form that was characterized in mosqueand churches to the most sophisticated ones which are characterized in universities collages andtraining centers have been playing a very essential role in shaping and socializing societies all overthe world .These institutions helped create a profound sense of enthusiasm for education andexploration among a large sector of the society who afterwards formed the core of a knowledgesociety. At the very first beginnings, churches and mosques were the only way for children to geteducation. Despite the fact that the education offered at that time didn’t exceed the religious typeof education, it changed the lives of so many children and transformed them totally.In the UAE educational institutions that were established immediately after the union such as UAEUhave the greatest role in shaping , organizing and improving the preparation of the Emirati societydimension.These institutions helped in spreading knowledge and education among the society andhelped in the extreme makeover of the society however, these universities had a moderate role indeveloping knowledge society and knowledge generation dimensions.Accordingly, these universities positioned a comprehensive and prestigious place in the society ascenters of radiation, science, development and every new knowledge and new ideas which stemfrom the opinions and thoughts of the professors, scientists and design makers who are consideredto be pioneers of reform and development and the holders of humanitarian civilization torch . Thesethoughts and ideas played a great and distinguished role in the scientific, economic and socialdevelopment Workers of all scientific levels and different position led this social progress followingpure scientific and technical approach where science is the only referenceGradually these educational institutions reflected on all aspects of people’s life and became anactive partner for the public and privet establishments and corporations in the country since theywere the main supplier for the trained and educated individuals , they also became cultural centersand a link of communication between the UAE society and other societies through exchangingexperiences. The role of these institutions became even larger since they took the responsibility ofbeing the corner stone in building a developed content society.
sustaining knowledge societies within the ethical and cultural valuesCreating a knowledge society out of a normal simple society that gives ethics morals and culturalvalues a priority ,and that builds its present ideologies on the heritage and the customs that wasinherited from the past is something extremely difficult. Keeping this accomplishment and nourish itto be a way of life for the society and individuals is the most difficult simply because people ingeneral fear change ,and look suspiciously to every new idea or major event that might affect theroutine of their lives . Governments concentrate on building societies that are capable of facing theeveryday life challenges through educating individuals.The first stepthat must be taken by the state is to focus on the quality of education presented to thecitizens and make sure that this portion of education is equally distributed among people regardlessgender ,race or religion. Enhance the love of knowledge among people through encouraging theelderly to join literacy empowering programs develop the existing pre-school programs to be moreentertaining and more attractive.Democracy and freedom of speech, thoughts and opinion as well astaking part in the political life and design making was granted for all the people of the UAE for thatpurpose the Federal National Council (FNC) was initiated in 1971 as a permanent component of thecountrys governing structure, which also includes the Supreme Council, President, Cabinet andJudiciary. The UAE established an independent judiciary system that treats people equally and that istotally ruled by constitutional laws and regulations . Equal and fair distribution of wealth can also bean important factor in promoting stability among the nation and in creating a healthier socialatmosphere that helps create people who are eager to learn and seek knowledge under anycircumstances. These elements altogether created a unique bond between the government and thenation, since people have full confident in their leadership and the leadership is being very generous,understanding and flexible to the people. This kind of a relationship led to a great andunprecedented progress in every aspect .After building a solid impenetrable country, the UAEgovernment based on its huge surplus of wealth ,started to export whatever technology and man-power the country needs for its advancement. Within forty years the UAE became the countrynumber one in economics, technology, tourism, industry and so on in the Arab region and a countrythat is pointed at and an example to follow all over the world.The UAE today is working so hard to elevate the performance of the government and the privetsectors through organizing training course and workshops and inviting the internationalorganization such as the UNISCO,WTO ,and other privet and government organizations to launchtheir operations from the UAE . The department monitoring the government departmentsperformance is an independent entity that reports directly to the prime ministry the purpose of thisdepartment is to measure the effectiveness and credibility of the government sector. In fact ,thegovernment motivation and vision is to be among the best countries in the world by 2021,places aheavy burden upon the shoulders of the progressive government in the UAE.
ConclusionEducational opportunities in the UAE have flourished since the establishment of the Federationwhen only a small population had access to formal education. Today, the UAE offers acomprehensive education to each and every Emirati citizen regardless gender from K-12 and from12- university. After the university , thousands of students, of both genders, are grantedscholarships to pursue courses of higher education in a foreign countries at the governmentexpense. with education for the country’s citizens being provided for free at all levels UAE studentshave no choice but to join schools . Education at primary and secondary levels is universal andcompulsory up to the ninth grade. This takes place in a four-tier process over 14 years: 4 to 5 year-olds attend kindergarten, 6 to 11 year-olds attend primary schools, the preparatory stage caters forchildren aged between 12 to 14 years, and 15 to 17 year-olds attend secondary schools There is alsoan extensive private education sector.in fact women get even more encouragement to get education so as to compensate for all the yearsthey have endured in darkness ,when they were deprived from any sort of education before theUnion. The leaders of the UAE in the decision making headquarters aim at involving women in thedevelopment of the country after educating and training them .The plan of transforming the Emiratiwomen was by all means successful , today you can find women in almost all fields and some ofthem are positioning high top ranks. Emirati women aptly occupy very important and very sensitivepositions; four UAE cabinet ministers are women ,nine women hold seats in the Federal NationalCouncil and two-thirds of all government workers are women. This shows the great progress and thehuge strides women have made over the past thirty years in the UAE.Now with the infrastructure is in place, the educational system’s focus is on formulating andimplementing a strategy that will ensure the youth of the country are ready to meet the challengesof the twenty-first century and to be able to function perfectly in the labor market . this strategymainly depends on two main axis , the first is the clear vision of the leaders of the country that takesthe ideals of the citizens into consideration and that looks forward to a bright future that the UAEcitizens are supposed to play a major role in shaping it. The second is based upon modernization andglobalization that aims at importing the most recent educational technology and integrate it in thelocal educational system to get the maximum benefit on the educational and technological levels.The educational system of the UAE with its all component s is globally unique ,because within arelatively short time it could flourish and stand independently. This system was built on a strongground of culture ,heritage , customs traditions, and most importantly on the clear vision ofdedicated leaders who took the responsibility from day one of the union to do whatever they can tocreate a model country with highly sophisticated and advanced educational system that makes everyUAE citizen proud and that reflects the true spirit of a united nation.
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