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Part II: Analytic Section

Introduction

Section II of the report provides an overview of the strategies and plans of action prepared and implemented in order to achieve the goals discussed in Section I, regarding preparatory education (early childhood), primary education, adult education, and lifelong education for better living. The report includes also a quick assessment of the main problems that have faced or are still facing the effective implementation of these strategies and plans of action, in addition to the progress made to overcome these problems. Then follows an evaluation of the progress made in the implementation of these strategies and plans of action.

Progress towards goals

Indicator 1: Gross enrollment in early childhood development programmes, including public, private, and community programmes, expressed as a percentage of the official age-group concerned, if any, otherwise the age-group 3 to 5.

Data were recently unveiled concerning the State's efforts in early childhood care and development. In order to evaluate the general level of children's participation in early childhood development programmes, and therefore to assess the State's capability to empower its youngest members to enroll in primary education, indicator 1 was used as a reference. This indicator reflects the gross enrollment in early childhood development programmes, as part of the activities undertaken by the Ministry of Education and Youth, expressed as a percentage of the age-group 3 to 5, according to the estimates of the Ministry of Planing. In addition to comparing 89/90 and 98/99 statistics, to evaluate the progress made in the provision of such educational services in the country (table 1 for 89/1990 illustrates this indicator).

  1. The initial analysis of the data of the previous table (89/90) shows that:
  1. The gross enrollment rate for males and females in the country didn't exceed 46.00%, with respectively 46.1% for males and 43.6% for females. However, these relatively low numbers don't reflect the real state of early childhood care in the UAE, but came as a result of some data, mainly:
  1. The demographic structure in the UAE and the presence of many foreign and Arab colonies that don't integrate their children in early childhood programmes due to their financial situation;
  2. The presence of children in the age of 5 enrolled in the primary cycle, mainly in private schools, which welcome children who have completed 5 years in primary grade 1.
  3. The statistics are based on population estimates, by estimating the number of children in the age of three or four and a half, and half their number at the age of five. These data and the information outlined in the introduction relating early childhood care efforts, show clearly that early childhood care services are outstanding, even if the figures didn't reflect exactly the same picture.
  1. The results of the gender equality indicator show that both genders benefit relatively from the same early childhood care services, at the ratio of 0.95. This proves the State's engagement to make no difference between genders, especially in a Muslim society as that of the Emirates, which treats both males and females equally. The results stress also the importance that should be given to the principal of equity in the access to such services, and the pivotal role that should be played by both genders to build their society. This reflects the families' perspective in the UAE and their awareness of the importance of early childhood care, for both males and females, and proves the civilized orientation of the developed society of the United Arab Emirates.

The previous information were further completed by the provision of statistical data on the gross enrollment rate in early childhood development programmes for 98/99, in order to assess the present percentage of the gross enrollment rate in early childhood development programmes (cf. Table 1 for 98/99 in the annex).

  1. The data show the following:
  1. Increase in the 98/99 gross enrollment rate in early childhood development programmes for males and females. Given the great development of the UAE, and in order to develop all services, in particular educational services related to kindergartens and childhood care programmes, the GER reached 46.31% for both males and females; with male GER being 45.82% and female GER 46.85%. These figures are in fact the result of the efforts made by the society, the families, and public and private organs to offer the best child care quality services since ten years now; despite the previous data which contribute to lessen the GER.
  2. The gender equity rate increased in 98/99 up to 1.02. This reflects perfectly the real image of early childhood care programmes, regardless of the child's gender. It anticipates also the equal participation of males and females in the building of the State in the coming future.

Indicator 2: Percentage of new entrants to primary grade 1 who have attended some form of organized early childhood development programme.

The statistics and percentages of the total number of new entrants to primary grade 1 who have attended early childhood development programmes in public and private education for the school-year 89/90, illustrated in table 2, show the following:

  1. The total percentage of male and female participants in childhood programmes and enrolled in primary grade 1 amounts to 51% in public education and 82% in private education. This disparity in percentages between public and private education resulted from a number of important factors, namely:
  1. Enrollment and admission list:
  2. 1/1- The ministerial decree n.2/20 of 1996 regarding the enrollment and admission list in public schools, stipulated in article 1 that the admission in the kindergarten cycle in public education is limited to the children of male and female citizens.

    1/2- The admission in public education was limited to the citizens and the Arab children corresponding to the terms of the above-mentioned enrollment and admission list. This explains the decrease of the percentage of new entrants to primary grade 1 compared to private education which encompasses, in addition to Emirati citizens and Arabs, many foreign nationalities, thus contributing to increasing the percentage of new entrants to primary grade 1 in private education.

    1/3- By virtue of article 1 of the enrollment and admission list, are admitted in primary grade 1 in public education those who have completed 6 years of age, and 5 years of age in private education. This factor increases the percentage of new entrants in private education, compared with the percentage of new entrants in public education.

  3. Demographic structure:
  4. The presence of a great number of foreign colonies who have created private schools corresponding to their cultures and languages, resulted in the increase in the number of children enrolled in primary grade 1 in private education who have participated in childhood development programmes.

  5. Private education:

1/3- Given the great number of private schools with different curricula (English – American – French…), some families preferred to register their children in these schools, to help them acquire a better scientific expertise and knowledge that match the present needs and the future perspectives. This trend increased the percentage of children enrolled in private education and lowered the percentage of children enrolled in primary grade 1 in public education.

2/3- The gender equity rate in private and public education reached 1.0; which proves the attachment of the State and the society as a whole to the provision of the educational services to both males and females in all fields of education in the country.

The progress of the percentages of new entrants in primary grade 1 who have participated in childhood development programmes in ten years (from 89/90 to 98/99) shows the following facts. In table 2 of 98/99, and based on the figures of the previous table, we note a decrease of the percentage of the total new entrants in primary grade 1 who have participated in childhood development programmes in public education to 51.5%; and an increase in those enrolled in private education to 91.9% for both males and females.

The above-mentioned factors explain this indicator, while stressing the fact that the increase in the number of private schools and the children enrolled in these schools, from all nationalities, exceeded the increase in the number of public schools or of the children enrolled in these schools, due to the limitations imposed by the enrollment and admission list (enrollment age, categories admitted).

Indicators 3 and 4: Apparent (gross) net intake rate:

The direct analysis of the data shown in the table, reveals the following:

  1. Apparent (gross) intake rate (AIR):
  2. The apparent or gross intake rate of new entrants in primary grade 1 for both males and females reached 104.9%.

    The increase in the AIR in general reflects the greater opportunities offered in primary education (demographic statistics) for the children of the school-entrance age (6-11) or those under that age (5 years in private education) or over 11 years of age.

  3. Net intake rate (NIR):

The NIR for new entrants in primary grade 1 of those of the school-entrance age (6-11) for both males and females reached 98.3%. This percentage reflects the great opportunities offered in primary education for the children of the official primary school-entrance age. It also shows the importance of compulsory education in primary education while providing quality education and learning services.

Given the importance of the evolution of the education sector, the AIR and NIR were calculated for the school-year 98/99 (table 3):

  1. Apparent (gross) intake rate:
  2. According to the data of table 3, the AIR in primary grade 1 decreased to 103.5% for both males and females, as a result of the continuous support by the State and the society to the development of the educational services provided in this grade, so as to make them accessible to the larger number of citizens. Even if the statistics showed the stabilization of the male AIR at 104.2% for 89/90 and 98/99; whereas the female AIR decreased from 105.7% to 102.7%.

  3. Net intake rate:

The NIR is a more important indicator because it is more precise than the AIR. Therefore, the male and female NIR reached 97% for the 98/99 school-year, thus proving the great opportunities offered in primary education for the children of the school-entrance age and primary school-entrance age.

Indicators 5 and 6: Gross enrollment ratio (GER) and net enrollment ratio (NER) in primary education:

The figures of the statistical tables of GER and NER in primary education for 89/90 show the following:

  1. Gross enrollment ratio:
  2. The gross enrollment ratio for both males and females in 89/90 reached 108.8%. This ratio reflects the general level of participation in primary education and its capacity to enroll those above or below the official school-entrance age in the primary cycle, which corresponds in the UAE to 6 to 11 years.

    This percentage was calculated based on the total number of those enrolled in all primary schools and the corresponding public or private education institutions. Therefore, it amounted to 100%, as it is necessary to lower the number of pupils below or above the official school-entrance age, to improve the access of those in the corresponding age-group to primary education. This requires the improvement of the internal efficiency of the public education system in the primary cycle, to limit the cases of failure and to make the pupils fit with the official school-entrance age.

  3. Net enrollment ratio:

The net enrollment ratio is a perfect reflection of the participation in primary education of the children corresponding to the adequate age-group in this cycle. It should be noted here that the increase in the NER for both males and females reached 97.1%, which proves that the State and the society managed to compel children to enroll in this cycle.

However, the NER may be relatively subject to some variables, mainly:

  1. Incompatibility between the registration date for the enrollment in primary cycle and the birth date of the children qualified to register in this cycle.
  2. Enrollment of large numbers of children in primary cycle who are below the school-entrance age, especially in private education.

The examination of the progress of the GER and NER in primary education in the UAE after ten years until 1998/99, shows that:

  1. Gross enrollment rate:
  2. The statistics in table 4 for 1999/98 shows that the gross enrollment in primary education was relatively stable at 103% for both males and females.

  3. Net enrollment rate:

The results of table 4 prove the increase in the net enrollment for males and females, amounting to 97.8%. The male NER increased to 97.9% in 1999/98 compared to 97.5% in 1990/89. This reflects the correspondence between the age of male pupils and the school-entrance age for this cycle; the latter being also subject to the increase in success cases and decrease of failure cases among male pupils. Whereas the female NER decreased from 98.3% in 1989/90 to 97.8% in 1998/99.

Indicator 7: Public current expenditure in primary education:

Expenditure in the education sector and the financial engagement are a priority in the UAE. This explains the high percentage of expenditure in education, given that the State pays particular attention to the provision of the best quality education and learning services to its future generations, builders of an energetic country. Table 5 illustrates the financial statistics of some expenditure indicators in education over a period of nine years (1990-1998).

  1. Public current expenditure in primary education as a percentage of GNP:
  2. According to the data of table 5, column 8, the public current expenditure in primary education as a percentage of GNP amounted to 1.2% in 1990, and 0.9% in 1998. This decrease is in fact due to the increase in GNP to 62%, without a similar increase in public current expenditure in primary education, with an increase of no more than 23%. This was due to the decrease of the number of pupils enrolled in 1998, as many preferred to enroll in private education. In addition to the political situation in the Gulf, when the number of pupils increased due to the Gulf war and the presence of many Kuwaiti families in the country.

    Whatever the case, a substantial percentage of GNP is earmarked to expenditure in primary education, given that there are many fields of expenditure in the country to provide the best possible services for each citizen.

  3. Public current expenditure in primary education as a percentage of GNP per capita:

Given the lack of pupils in primary education, public expenditure in primary education per pupil increased from 13.9% in 1990 to 16.3% in 1998. This contributed to the improvement of the quality of education by providing outstanding education and learning services.

Indicator 8: Public expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public expenditure on education:

The UAE provided expenditure at all levels of education and for all kinds of education. This is particularly clear in the high percentage dedicated to education in the general budget. Also by the fact that the education sector is supervised by the Ministry of Education and Youth on one hand, and the Ministry of Higher Education on the other, along with private education institutions providing the best services within the available amount of expenditure.

Table 5, column 7, illustrates the public current expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public expenditure on public education as a whole, which decreased from 45.9% in 1990 to 38.7% in 1998.

Despite the lack of precise financial statistics on expenditure on private education, the increase in the number of schools, especially primary schools, indicates that it is being taken into consideration in the assessment of this sector's expenditure on education.

Indicator 9: Percentage of primary school teachers having the required academic qualifications:

The teacher's specificity derives from the nature of his role in the education and learning processes and the importance of the outputs of his performance on the quality of the outputs of the whole education system. Therefore, the State focused in particular on employing qualified teachers, by giving the priority to those who received organized pre-service training (education faculties or institutes) or in-service training (specialized training sessions).

Table 6 illustrates the percentage of primary school teachers having the required academic qualifications, in public and private schools, in 1989/90 and 1998/99.

  1. Public education:
  2. According to the data of table 6 for 1989/90 and 1998/99, the percentage of teachers having the required academic qualifications, i.e. primary school teachers having academic qualifications, amounted to 78.9% of the total of primary school teachers. This percentage remained the same for the ten years covered by the statistics.

    Note the increase in the number and percentage of primary school female teachers compared to primary school male teachers in 1998/99. This is due to the feminization of the majority of lower primary schools, and the launching of the feminization process of primary grades 4 and 5. The percentage is therefore 80.5% female teachers compared to 19.5% male teachers.

  3. Private education:

Private education attracted a great number of pupils, whether citizens, Arabs or foreigners, making the private sector as important as the public sector. According to the statistics, the percentage of primary private school teachers having the required academic qualifications increased from 54.7% in 1989/90 to 58.4% in 1998/99. This relative increase reflects perfectly the attention given by the State to this kind of teaching and the improvement of its quality proportionally to the number of enrolled pupils.

Indicator 10:Percentage of primary school teachers who are certified to teach according to national standards:

The teacher is in charge of directing and orientating the educational skills acquired by the pupils, while acquiring the scientific knowledge and the skills contained in the school curriculum. Therefore, the academic qualifications of these teachers indicate the general level of the human capital invested in education in general and primary education in particular, given the importance of this cycle for the development of future generations.

The statistics of table 6 illustrates the state of qualified teachers licensed to teach in private and public schools in 1989/90 and 1998/99.

  1. Public education:
  2. The percentage of teachers having academic qualifications amounted to 21.1% in 1989/90 and remained the same in 1998/99.

  3. Private education:

The increase in the demand on enrollment in private schools had a positive impact on the quality of the teachers teaching in private schools. Indeed, the competencies of the teaching personnel in such schools were upgraded, while providing the best educationally and scientifically qualified personnel to guaranty the continuous enrollment of pupils in private schools.

According to the data of table 6 for 1989/90, the percentage of primary school teachers licensed to teach amounted to 45.3%; the percentage decreased to 41.7% in 1998/99.

Indicator 11: Pupil / teacher ratio (PTR):

The correspondence between the number of pupils and that of teachers is one of the most important factors contributing to the improvement of the qualitative outputs of the education system. These outputs being the level of education and learning skills and competencies acquired by the pupils.

The PTR statistics in private and public systems for 1998/99 show that:

  1. Public education:
  2. The PTR in 1989/90 reached 17.2%. This relatively low ratio gives an idea of the attention given by the teachers to every pupil during the semester; which will ultimately be reflected through the pupil's academic results. The ratio continued to decrease to 14.6% in 1998/99, underlining therefore the permanent willingness of the Ministry of Education and Youth to upgrade the education and learning processes and to guaranty the adequate environment to upgrade the teachers' performance on one hand and the pupils' beneficence on the other, by relieving the pressure on classes.

  3. Private education:

Private education tried, as public education, to ensure compatibility between the number of pupils and those of primary school teachers. The ratio decreased from 20.3% in 1989/90 to 18% in 1998/99.

Indicator 12: Repetition rates by cycle:

The internal performance of the primary cycle is affected by the repetition and the failure factors. Their negative effects have a direct repercussion on the system's capacity to have the expected number of graduates at the end of the cycle. Table 8 illustrates the data relative to the repetition rate in primary education for the school-years 1989/90 and 1998/99.

  1. Productive efficiency of education:

The data in table 8 help to assess the scope of the productive efficiency of the education system in 1989/1990:

  1. Primary grade 4 is a turning point at all levels. It entails a change in the curricula and the academic objectives, a change in the education system with the presence of a teacher for each course rather than a teacher for the entire semester, and a change in the evaluation and examination processes. The specificity of this grade was reflected through the repetition rate, the highest in the country, of 9.3% for all males and females.
  2. The lowest repetition rate, 5.9%, was registered in primary grade 3 for all males and females all over the country. It is partly due to the practice of automatic promotion in the lower primary cycle, regardless of the remedial exams for the promotion of pupils to the higher cycle or their success.
  3. Male repetition rates increased in all primary cycles and in all semesters, in particular in primary grade 4 which occupied the first position with a male repetition rate of 11.7%; while primary grade 3 registered the lowest male repetition rate with 5.8%. The female repetition rates decreased relatively compared to male repetition rates. However, the highest repetition rate was registered in primary grade 1, followed by primary grade 5.
  1. Evolution of the data on the educational process:

The repetition rates of 1997/98 were also assessed as part of the review of indicators, based on the time dimension to assess the changes and the evolution of the data on the educational process. The statistics of table 8 for the said year show:

  1. The growing interest in the internal efficiency factors of the education system had a positive impact on the decrease of repetition rates in general in the different semesters of the primary cycle. The highest repetition rate for both males and females reached 6.5% in primary grade 1, and the lowest one 3% in primary grade 6.
  2. The results show a clear increase in male repetition rates up to 9.8% in primary grade 4 and 8.2% in primary grade 5. This increase may be due to their willingness to be educated as well as to other environmental, educational, and familial factors.
  3. Female repetition rates in the primary cycle decreased down to 6.5% in primary grade 1. The lowest repetition rate was registered in primary grade 6 at 1.3%.

Note that the decrease of female repetition rates creates a certain balance in the education system and reflects the individual disparities in learning achievement. Therefore, we cannot link the increase in male repetition rates primarily to the nature of the education system, for it is the result of the combination of several other factors.

Indicator 13: Survival rate to grade 5:

Survival rate to primary grade 5 is of particular interest, because the completion of at least four years of schooling is commonly considered a prerequisite for a sustainable level of literacy.

The distinction between survival rate with or without repetition is necessary to determine the wastage due to drop-out and to repetition, and ultimately to assess the efficiency of the education system, in particular the internal efficiency.

This indicator is estimated using pupil cohort samples, in particular the rebuilt cohort model based on data relative to repetition, drop-out, and success rates in the primary cycle. These information will be used to calculate the three main pupil-flow rates, promotion to a higher class, and repetition and drop-out, in order to obtain the indicators of internal efficiency.

The calculation of the survival rate to grade 5 was based on the Guinea model to obtain the equivalent indicator for the UAE, as shown in table 9.

According to the statistics, the survival rate to primary grade 5 all over the country for males and females reached 95.4%. It is obviously a high rate reflecting the level of internal efficiency of the education system and the willingness of the State, the society, and individuals to join efforts in order to reach a better educational productivity.

Note the increase in female survival rate to grade 5 up to 96.1% compared with 94.7% for male survival rate to grade 5. This is due to several factors, mainly male drop-out and high male repetition and failure rates.

Indicator 14: Coefficient of efficiency:

According to the data of table 9, the coefficient of efficiency up to grade 5 reached 86.1% for both males and females all over the country. Although it is a relatively high percentage, it reflects the wastage in the education system due to drop-out, failure and repetition, which had a negative impact on the productivity of the education system at the end of the primary cycle.

This is particularly true in the case of males with a coefficient of efficiency of 83.4% in grade 5, compared to 88.8% for females.

Indicator 15: Percentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies:

The UAE focused their education, learning, and social efforts on the improvement of the internal and external efficiency of the education system, as well as the quality level of their graduate pupils. Therefore, the State helped the pupils to master basic learning competencies such as reading and writing, arithmetic and practical skills, sports and music.

Due to the lack of unified experiences to evaluate the mastery level of these basic competencies, the results of the final remedial exams in grade 4 of primary schooling for the school-year 1998/99 were used to assess the pupils' mastery of such competencies. A random sample representing 30% of the total number of pupils in the UAE was used. The results of the exams showed that they mastered 80% of the basic competencies. Table 10 illustrates the percentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies.

Based on these results, the mastery rate of the random sample of pupils of the reading and writing competencies was of 53.3% for both males and females in the State. Although it is a low percentage, it reflects actually the mastery level set at 80%. Have this percentage been a little bit lower, the percentage and number of pupils mastering this competency would have increased. However, the report calculated the mastery level at 53.5%, which is a relatively important percentage.

The arithmetic competency reached 51.5% for both males and females all over the country. The mastery rate of the other practical competencies increased to 71.9%. The mastery rate of practical competencies may be examined in relation to the reading, writing or arithmetic competencies, depending on the way in which the mastery of such competencies by the pupils is divided. It is more based on practical assessment and observation, rather than on written exams, which enables us to evaluate the pupils' mastering of each of these competencies.

Note that the percentage of males having mastered basic learning competencies decreased compared to the percentage of females. It reached 47.3% and 60% respectively for the mastering of the reading and writing competencies; 46.5% and 56.6% respectively for the mastering of the arithmetic competency; and finally, 67.1% and 76.8% respectively for the mastering of the practical competencies.

Indicator 16: Literacy rate of 15-24 years old:

A particular attention was given to the literacy rate of those aged 15 to 24 years old, because they represent a dynamic category of adult persons. The change in their literacy rate serves as an indicator for the efficiency of the schooling system in the last decade. It indicates, on the longer run, the increase or decrease of illiteracy rates in this category.

The chosen language is of particular interest in this regard. Therefore, the information regarding the mastering of literacy in languages other than Arabic helps to assess the mastering of literacy for large categories of the population. This is in fact the result of the economic and cultural openness in the State, which had an impact on the population's structure and the literacy assessment in these categories. Table 10 illustrates several statistic data related to these indicators.

The number of persons aged 15 to 24 was calculated based on the statistical estimates. Given that the educational process is deeply rooted in the populations of the world and that it has long been linked to the nations' thrive to civilization, the major part of those coming to the UAE who fall in this age-group benefited from education, even if they mastered only the principles of reading. Concerning the citizens, continuous efforts on the education and teaching levels are deployed since many years under a wise guidance, and with valuable educational and teaching ambitions to build a cultivated and educated generation. This was further proven by the remedial exams in adult literacy centers. Random samples representing the various regions were used to examine the results of this indicator.

The statistics of table 11 show that the literacy rate of persons aged 14 to 25 reached 57.4% for both males and females all over the country in 1990.

The rate increased to 98.5% in 1999, as a result of the successful education and teaching efforts aiming at improving literacy rates in the society. This was possible through the public and private services provided to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the education system, thereby enabling a large section of this age-group to master the basic competencies. This rate is also an indicator of adult literacy achievement and its future prospects.

Indicator 17: Adult literacy rate:

The adult literacy rate as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over enables us to assess their ability to read and write with understanding a short simple statement on their everyday life. Generally, the term "literacy" embraces also reading and numeracy skills.

The adult literacy rate reflects the accumulated achievement of primary education and adult literacy programmes in impairing basic literacy skills to the population, thereby enabling people to apply such skills in their daily life and to continue learning and communicating using the written word. Literacy represents a potential for the individual's further intellectual growth and enhanced contribution to socio-economic and cultural development of the society.

According to the data of table 11, literacy rate for the persons aged 15 years and over increased to 79.6% for both males and females all over the country in 1990, and to 87.4% in 1999. These numeral facts are an additional proof that education is one of the individual's rights which the State is thriving to provide to every citizen.

Indicator 18: Literacy gender parity Index:

The continuous attachment to achieving gender parity in rights and obligations in all fields resulted in achieving equal education opportunities for both genders in the two school-years under study, as shown in the literacy gender parity index in table 11.

Effectiveness of the strategy and plan of action

First – Effectiveness of the strategy, plan and programmes of early childhood care:

The childhood education strategy is the main strategy in the field of education. Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Youth paid a particular attention to the children in preparatory schooling. This is obvious through the quantitative assessment of kindergartens as shown in the following table on the increase in numbers over ten years from 1989/90 to 1998/99:

Quantitative development of kindergartens

School-year

1989/90

1998/99

Number of public kindergartens

42 + (27 common)

86 + (35 common)

Number of teachers

857

1234

Number of administrative personnel

210

309

Number of semesters

622

933

Number of children

16379

21494

A qualitative development is added to the quantitative one:

  1. Development of the curricula, methods, and activities.
  2. Training teachers and administrative personnel.
  3. Giving particular care to the school buildings and equipment.
  4. The Ministry understands the importance of development in this stage. Therefore, it created a kindergartens development center in coordination with the Arab Gulf Programme for the support of the United Nations Development Organizations, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The center's main goals are:
  1. Developing work in kindergartens.
  2. Elaborating a modern national curriculum.
  3. Providing modern training for those working in this field.
  4. Stirring the awareness of parents and local communities to the importance of this cycle.

Second – Efficiency of the strategy in basic education:

The continuous efforts of the Ministry of Education and Youth yielded great quantitative and qualitative results. The many studies and censuses undertaken in this regard by national and foreign researchers prove these facts. The main qualitative results of the goals set by the Ministry were as follows:

  1. Communication skills:
  2. The efforts enabled the children to acquire Arabic linguistic skills, including the linguistic arts of receiving and emitting, represented by the listening, talking, reading and writing skills each according to his age. They acquired also the basic English language skills.

  3. Knowledge:
  4. The pupils were introduced to the main aspects of their local, natural, social, and religious environment as well as the basic scientific principles.

  5. Growth:

They benefited from the adequate care services for the growth of their bodies, thinking, personalities, and national feeling, therefore developing their human sensitivity which is a common characteristic between all peoples around the world.

The following table is a quantitative assessment of the importance of the progress registered in the past three decades:

  1. Proposing a draft amended project of the 1972 federal law n.9, that avoids the shortcomings resulting from its implementation and responds to the present's facts and the future's expectations. The draft law has reached the last stage of its study following several legislative stages in preparation to its publishing.

Fourth – Effectiveness of the strategy and plan of action in the improvement of learning achievement:

The strategy elaborated by the administration of evaluation and examination is on the right track. The supportive plan of action is being fully implemented through the amendment of the evaluation and examination lists of the primary, preparatory, and secondary cycles.

  1. The administration of preparatory and secondary education is amending the evaluation and admission lists in public education schools to serve the public interest.
  2. The administration of technical training and educational rehabilitation organizes information training sessions for the new teachers at the beginning of the school-year; and activation and specialization training sessions for the new and ancient teachers.
  3. The administration of curricula and school manuals is amending the present curricula according to the present time requirements, in coordination with the Arab Education Bureau in the Gulf States, based on the unified curricula in the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Fifth – Effectiveness of the strategy, plans, and programmes in adult education:

The realism of the strategy, plans, and programmes is very ambitious and is based on the achievements registered so far in this vital sector. According to this strategy, the illiterate persons are very beneficial in the modern productive sectors which require the acquisition of reading and numeracy skills, the capability to deal with newly emerging cultural concepts and therefore understanding the related scientific principles, laws and scope of application. A clearly defined strategy is therefore needed to reach the set goal.

The best illustration of the success and efficiency of the adult literacy strategy is the decrease of the number of learners in the centers in the past ten years as shown in the following table:

Development of adult literacy and education centers

Statement

Learners

Centers

Semesters

Teachers

School-year

1989/90

21159

126

992

2618

1998/99

17386

111

988

2234

Increase percentage

18%

12%

0.4%

15%

Sixth – Effectiveness of the strategy and plan of action in training in essential skills:

The administration of adult literacy and education undertook the following steps to enhance the learners' training in essential skills:

  1. Elaborating curricula adapted to the progress made by the learners and their social and economic environment.
  2. Organizing permanent training sessions for the teachers concomitantly with the development of the adult literacy and education curricula.

Seventh – Effectiveness of the strategy and plan of action in education for better living:

The media play a substantial role to ensure the success of the strategy and plan of action in education for better living, through audiovisual and written media, as well as electronic and printed means as follows:

  1. Educational radio broadcast used in schools.
  2. Educational radio broadcast used in foreign programmes.
  3. Educational programmes targeting the public and transmitting information through simple and diversified channels such as seminars, public ceremonies, conferences…
  4. The radio and television stations in the UAE play a major and essential role to transmit guiding and informational advertising to the public.
  5. The press plays a major and leading role in discussing educational issues in dailies, specialized magazines or periodicals published by the Ministry or other educational bodies.
  6. The expansion of national libraries in the State as well as the school libraries enhance and sustain education.
  7. The various theatres and the school theatres play an essential role to transmit the educational and learning information through the transcription of lessons into general and specialized plays for children.
  8. The charitable associations play a major role in the social mobilization and health awareness campaigns that stir the children's awareness to health and social issues.

Problems

First – Problems encountered and anticipated in early childhood care and development:

Given the importance of the kindergarten cycle to prepare the children to assume their future responsibilities in building their country, joint efforts were deployed to plan, implement, and develop new curricula for kindergartens, with a scientific and practical structure and a particular educational vision, based on self-education and encompassing all aspects of the child's growth.

Consequently, the administration of kindergartens and primary education undertook a census to determine the problems encountered and ensure the necessary follow up to assess the progress made in solving them. The study revealed the following problems:

  1. Lack of the proper sanitary equipment in most of the buildings.
  2. Incompatibility between the surface of classes and playgrounds with the children's needs.
  3. Lack of regular maintenance work.
  4. Insufficiency of the administrative personnel in some kindergartens.
  5. Lack of training and rehabilitation programmes for female teachers and lack of enthusiasm and interest in one's development; furthermore, some don't know how to deal with children.
  6. Incompatibility of the educational tools and games with the number of children and the surface of playgrounds.
  7. Imbalance between the adequate number of specializations and the number of children and the surface of playgrounds.
  8. Incompatibility between the adopted curriculum and the time period dedicated to it.
  9. Absence of libraries in some kindergartens.
  10. High absence rates among children and lack of family awareness of the importance of this cycle.
  11. Ambiguity of the children's evaluation sheet for the parents and unsuitability for the assessment of the linguistic development.

The Ministry is aware of the major part of these obstacles and is trying to find solutions to the remaining ones.

Second – Problems encountered and anticipated in universal enrollment in basic education:

  1. Teachers' qualifications: some of the teachers teaching in the primary cycle have a high school diploma or professional diplomas.
  2. The educational burden on the teachers due to the number of courses, that impedes them from reaching the set goals.
  3. Enrollment of a number of children of those having difficulty studying in Arabic, in public schools.
  4. Lack of cooperation between the school and the family to solve the problems.
  5. The non-enrollment of a number of children in the kindergarten cycle makes it difficult for them to assimilate the courses.
  6. The automatic promotion system in this cycle.
  7. Lack of sufficient school libraries or other learning material to promote self-education.
  8. Refusal of some parents to participate in extracurricular activities.
  9. Non-exploitation of the course of scholar activities according to the set goals.

Third – Problems encountered by private education in the UAE:

The administration is trying to overcome the problems it is facing, in coordination with the competent authorities. The main problems being:

  1. School buildings: some private schools are located in villas which do not respond to the needs of the pupils or the educational goals.
  2. Conflict related to the schooling fees.
  3. Lack of educational guidance: the educational zones provide educational guidance. Therefore, they satisfy primarily the needs of public schools, while providing total or partial guidance services to private schools.
  4. Disparities between the wages of the administrative and teaching personnel, leading to some problems.

Fourth – Problems encountered by the improvement of learning achievement:

  1. Multiple semesters which exceeded the initial number.
  2. Poor performance by some teachers, especially new ones.
  3. Bad quality of some aspects related to the school environment, adaptation, and others.
  4. Bad quality of some educational services such as transportation.
  5. Problems faced by the pupils in the secondary cycle, as theye are adolescents.

Fifth – Problems encountered in adult literacy and education:

  1. Increase in drop-out rates in the primary cycle.
  2. Some learners achieve primary or preparatory education without having acquired the basic skills.
  3. Incompatibility of the curricula of the preparatory and secondary cycles with the capacities of the learners in the adult education centers.

Sixth – Problems encountered in training in essential skills to reach education for all:

The main problem is the drop-out of male and female learners before acquiring the necessary training. Therefore, they prefer not to participate in such sessions or acquire such skills.

Seventh – Problems encountered in education for better living:

  1. Lack of financial resources and poor technical capabilities.
  2. Poor human resources on the academic level.
  3. Misunderstanding by the other institutions of the role played by the educational media.
  4. Lack of a clear vision and strategy ensuring the compatibility between the educational plans and the media.

Awareness, Administration, and Capabilities

First – Awareness, administration, and capabilities in early childhood care and development:

The UAE witnessed in the last two decades a quantum leap and a great social development at all levels, including childhood. A particular attention was given to children in the sanitary, educational, and social fields with the expansion of mother and early childhood care centers all over the Emirates. They provided care services for pregnant women and infants. The administration of school hygiene provided preventive and curative care for children.

As regards education and teaching, schools became widely spread, enough to encompass every child in the UAE. The social demand on education increased as shown in the figures of the pupils enrolled in schools in the last decade.

The Ministry of Culture and Media paid a particular attention to the child's culture. It published books for children, created specialized libraries, and organized specialized conferences on the children's literature. While the audiovisual media dedicated much time to the children's programmes.

The sanitary authorities undertook a census on the children's sanitary state through a general census. The first results started to appear.

On the psychological and educational levels, a psychology department was created in the Faculty of Education in the UAE University. It will undertake a census to assess the children's needs in this regards in order to help the competent authorities to fulfill these needs. The census was supported by the educational authorities and the UNESCO.

Second - Awareness, administration, and capabilities in basic education:

The authorities in the UAE give particular attention to basic education, by creating schools with modern equipment and tools. The Ministry of Education and Youth tries to optimize the benefits of every pupil from the educational process. Therefore, education was the top priority in the development programmes in the State, because Man is the ultimate purpose of development and an educated Man is a valuable mean to reach this end. This was particularly the case through the large increase in the number of schools and semesters as well as the number of male and female pupils.

The Ministry achieved the feminization of the primary cycle up to primary grade 5 in the school-year 1998/99. The feminization was limited, until then, to the lower primary cycle (primary grades 1, 2, and 3) only.

Third - Awareness, administration, and capabilities in private education:

The administration of private education is fully aware of its tasks and is working hard to implement the Ministry's prospects and strategic plans in order to develop education and private education programmes.

Fourth – Awareness, administration, and capabilities in the improvement of learning achievement:

Teachers are the main actors in the improvement of learning achievement. They have a sufficient degree of awareness and willingness and possess the adequate professional and ethical competencies to succeed in this role. Furthermore, the Ministry is developing the teaching tools and the school curricula in order to improve learning achievement.

Fifth - Awareness, administration, and capabilities in adult education:

The Ministry and the various national organizations fully and continuously support adult literacy in many fields, so as to expand these efforts furthermore.

Sixth - Awareness, administration, and capabilities in essential skills training:

The efficiency of the education system in the country is linked to the efficiency of its components and active elements. Therefore, the authorities responsible for this sector want to upgrade its quality and its effectiveness as shown by:

  1. The teachers' level and their good training.
  2. The provision of educational tools.
  3. The development of the teaching methods currently applied.
  4. The graduation of large numbers of learners in adult education centers and their participation in active life.
  5. The encouragement of learners in adult education centers to pursue their university studies.
  6. The eradication of illiteracy has a positive impact on the individual's behavior in his cultural and sanitary life.

Seventh – Awareness and administration in education for better living:

The Ministry of Education and Youth joined efforts with the various media to discuss educational issues. The Ministry is preparing a central plan of action as part of the directions and objectives of the education policy, by sponsoring seminars, conferences, and contests covered by the media; as well as sponsoring education programmes in the different media according to the type of education and its goal.

Progress Assessment

Education is the main foundation of all modern nations. It enables every one of us to assume his responsibilities in the various developmental fields. That's why education is a requisite of development, requiring a large amount of financial resources to ensure its qualitative and quantitative development, always respecting the State's development plans.

Consequently, the education and teaching processes must be assessed to rectify the path or support the positive aspects and upgrade the education system.

Here are some of the fields of assessment:

First – Progress assessment in reaching the targets and goals of early childhood care and development:

The State supported the kindergarten cycle given its importance to the basic formation of children, in preparation for the higher grades. For this purpose, it set a series of goals for which it mobilized material and human efforts and resources. They resulted in a quantitative and qualitative efficiency of the education system in the kindergarten cycle.

The following table shows some of the progress registered in this cycle:

Progress assessment in the kindergarten cycle in the school-years

1989/90 – 1998/99

Public education

Statement

Schools

Semesters

Pupils

Teachers

School-year

1989/90

54

622

16379

857

1994/95

76

784

18962

1066

1998/99

95

933

20722

1249

The analysis and assessment of the kindergarten cycle in the school-years 1989/90 and 1998/99 show a continuous progress in the preparation of schools, semesters, and pupils in this cycle, as well as a progress in the number of teachers. This reflects the level of progress of the education system towards achieving the targets and goals of early childhood care and development.

Second – Progress assessment in basic education:

The State gives particular attention to primary education, making it a compulsory education by virtue of the Constitution. Consequently, schools were spread all over the country, in cities and in villages, even the remotest ones. The efforts deployed in this regard led to relieving the pressure on the semesters compared with the initial phases of education. The pupil/teacher ratio decreased as well. The Ministry selects also the specialized teaching personnel by setting precise standards for the admission of the candidates to work in the teaching sector.

A substantial and increasing budget is earmarked to this cycle, through the provision of the required teaching material to keep pace with the global teaching progress and in conformity with the directives and advice of the UNESCO and other International and Arab educational organizations.

Progress assessment in the primary cycle in the school-years

1989/90 and 1998/99

Public education

Statement

Schools

Semesters

Pupils

Teachers

School-year

1989/90

199

5443

148489

8640

1994/95

241

5849

154109

9901

1998/99

270

6069

150183

10297

We conclude from the previous table that:

  1. The number of schools, semesters, and teaching personnel increased substantially since the school-year 1989/90, with relatively high rates.
  2. The number of pupils enrolled in primary education from the school-year 1989/90 to the school-year 1994/95 increased.
  3. The number of pupils in primary education since the school-year 1994/95 decreased, as shown in the 1998/99 figures. This may be partly due to the enrollment of some pupils in private schools. However, this doesn't mean that public education is not important, as it succeeded in reaching its goals and upgrading its outputs, quantitatively and qualitatively.

Third – Progress assessment in private education:

A great progress was noticed in private education, given the increase in the number of schools, technical and administrative personnel, and pupils. The Ministry paid particular attention to this type of education as it completes public education, it employs teachers, and provides educational services to large parts of the society, whether local citizens or foreigners, who contribute in the country's prosperity and welfare.

The following table is a statistical assessment of the progress made in private education, mainly in primary education:

Progress assessment in the primary cycle in the school-years

1989/90 to 1998/99

Private education

Statement

Schools*

Semesters

Pupils

Teachers

School-year

1989/90

240

2681

66683

3281

1994/95

365

4614

108267

5548

1998/99

409

5301

118708

6591

Given the importance of private education and its specificity as regards the curricula, the school buildings, and the pupils' nationalities, the previous table shows the expansion of the private education's basis, its inputs and components consisting of schools, semesters, pupils, and teachers all through the years covered by the report. This underlines the private system's success in reaching its goals and keeping pace with the progress made in public education, mainly in the primary cycle.

Fourth – Progress assessment in the improvement of learning achievement:

The success of the education system in acquiring the qualitative efficiency can be relatively measured by its success in graduating the greater number of pupils or helping them achieve the highest possible education. Therefore, the assessment of the educational process and its progress can be evaluated by examining the success and failure figures in the following table:

Progress assessment in view of the exams results in the primary cycle

in the school-years 1989/90 and 1998/99

Public education

Statement

Pupils

Successful

Failing

Success rate

School-year

1989/90

147598

136522

11076

92.5

1994/95

153312

142853

10459

93.2

1998/99

149742

142073

7669

94.9

The analysis of the results of the exams in the primary cycle show a continuous increase in the number of successful pupils, in parallel with a decrease in the number of failing pupils during the school-years 1989/90 to 1998/99. These figures came as a result of the rules, legislations, and facilities given in the education field, and the many efforts of several parties concerned by the curricula, the education plans, the exam lists, the teachers' qualifications, the efforts of the instructors and the school directors…it reflects finally the pupils' efforts and competency and the success of the education system as a whole.

Fifth – Progress assessment in adult education and literacy:

Statistics are very important to assess the progress made in adult education. Because any success in this field, means necessarily a decrease in the number of centers and learners, as shown in the following statistical table:

Progress assessment of adult education (literacy) in the school-years

from 1989/90 to 1998/99

Public education

Statement

Centers*

Semesters

Pupils

Teachers

School-year

1989/90

126

260

4840

269

1994/95

143

307

4775

308

1998/99

113

216

2960

257

The statistics in the previous table show the progress made by the education system in the UAE in the field of literacy. Indeed, the number of centers, semesters, pupils, and teachers decreased constantly. The restriction of the targeted group is a recognition of the State's success in eradicating illiteracy and increasing the rates of educated adults.

This was possible through the financial and human resources and the trained and qualified personnel who worked towards achieving this goal. Especially that the success of the literacy campaign required a special training on basic skills to obtain the best results.


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