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Part III: Prospects

PROSPECTS AND REQUIRED CHANGES

Introduction

Nine years have passed since the adoption of the "World Declaration of Education for All". The UAE have made a substantial progress in basic education and are getting closer to the ambitious goal of education for all. The nineties witnessed profound changes in many regions of the world, especially regarding the rapid spreading of information technology and communication means, and the need for future generations to acquire new knowledge, skills, and orientations. The authorities in the UAE were convinced of the necessity of making all possible efforts to reach sustainable human development, keep pace with the changing world, and stay updated to elaborate the most suitable development policies, and providing its tools and reaching its goals.

This section of the report deals with the new policy and the expected measures to be taken in order to achieve the goal of "Education for All", to palliate to deficiencies, and to solve the remaining problems.

In view of improving the quality of education and developing it, the UAE launched an ambitious programme to improve the education system in the first two decades of the coming century. It comprises a comprehensive plan of action that prepares the qualified national forces to respond to the global development's needs. This plan of continuous improvement and development is based on a series of strategic goals representing the national ambitions to upgrade the whole education system. The latter goal is achieved through the implementation of projects for the development of policies, curricula, and national capacities; in addition to the mobilization of the necessary resources, and the development of the information and communication systems to make a quantum leap in the various components of the educational process.

Furthermore, the UAE are convinced that education is the main tool for human development. No development can be possible without humans and no humans can reach development without quality education. They believe also that All should be for education in order to achieve Education for All.

In this context, the Ministry of Education and Youth launched, as of the school-year 1999/2000, the necessary executive plans and programmes that will help to execute its ambitious programme "Education Vision 2020". We will discuss this vision, its axes, and executive programmes in detail in this section of the report, in particular the focus points related to the goals of the "World Declaration of Education for All".

The new organizational framework of the Ministry of Education and Youth

The new organizational framework of the Ministry of Education and Youth consists of 71 articles as shown in the attached map (n.1). The Minister is the head of the Ministry and exercises his powers and his authority in accordance with the federal law n.1 of 1972, which are detailed in article 5 of the organizational framework. The related organizational units are:

  1. The Council of under-secretaries.
  2. The National Committee for Education, Culture, and Sciences.
  3. The Higher Committee for the development of curricula and educational tools.
  4. The Higher Committee for human resources.
  5. The institutional planing, development, and assessment Bureau.
  6. The Minister's technical Bureau.
  7. The Minister's Bureau.
  8. The Minister's technical Bureau comprises the following entities:

  9. The Minister's counselor.
  10. The Secretariats of the councils and the higher committees.
  11. The administration of educational media and external relations.
  12. The legal expert.

The under-secretary assists also the Minister in the administration of the Ministry's organs and the implementation of the adopted policy. He coordinates and organizes the work within the various directorates, and reports directly to the Minister.

The under-secretary is responsible for the following organization units:

  1. The Council for the educational zones affairs.
  2. The under-secretary's technical Bureau.
  3. The under-secretary's Bureau.
  4. The administration of public relations.
  5. The administration of legal affairs.
  6. The administration of human resources development.
  7. The educational zones.

The organizational framework of the Ministry comprises also five assistant under-secretaries, reporting to the under-secretary:

  1. Assistant under-secretary for education programmes and curricula.
  2. Assistant under-secretary for educational administration.
  3. Assistant under-secretary for social activities and services.
  4. Assistant under-secretary for private and quality education.
  5. Assistant under-secretary for administration and financial affairs.

Some of the articles of the organizational framework defining the tasks, powers, and competencies of the administrations concerned with the themes of the report on education for all / 2000 assessment, are detailed hereafter:

Article 3 – The Ministry's goals:

The Ministry mobilizes all its financial and human resources in view of achieving the basic principles of education and the future prospects for the development of education in particular:

  1. Building a comprehensive personality on the doctrine, behavior, competency, and performance levels.
  2. Reinforcing the national, Arab, and Islamic feeling and strengthening the cultural identity.
  3. Communicating with other cultures in the light of the Islamic Arab culture.
  4. Responding to the society's quantitative and qualitative needs in human resources.
  5. Providing equal education opportunities for all citizens.
  6. Diversifying the educational opportunities according to the teachers' capabilities and needs.
  7. Improving the quality, internal efficiency, and effectiveness of education in reaching the society's goals and making it match present and future needs.
  8. Providing a space for creativity and innovation.
  9. Building education on a modern cultural basis.
  10. Building an educated society with full coordination and complementarity between the formal and informal education institutions, in order to provide lifelong continuous education.

Article 4:

The Ministry's competencies are the following:

  1. Assuming all affairs related to education in the UAE and supervising the education development means.
  2. Spreading education and making it accessible to every citizen, compulsory in the primary cycle, and free of charges in all cycles within the federation.
  3. Setting education plans and preparing school curricula, exams, and literacy programmes.
  4. Building and supervising schools and institutes.
  5. Approving, monitoring, and guiding the building of private schools.
  6. Any other competencies given to the Ministry by virtue of the laws, the rules, of the decrees of the Council of Ministers.

Article 40 – Exams preparation, and educational measurement and assessment center:

The center reports directly to the assistant under-secretary for education programmes and curricula. Its competencies are:

  1. Determining the learning achievement standards at the various levels in coordination with the curricula and educational tools development center.
  2. Deigning and building the standard exams for every cycle, while taking into consideration the world standards in learning achievement.
  3. Designing and keeping exam banks in collaboration with the curricula and educational tools development center.
  4. Designing and preparing curricula assessment guides, such as the teacher's guide, in coordination with the curricula and educational tools development center.
  5. Designing and organizing training sessions for the teachers on measurement and assessment tools and preparing remedial exams for all cycles.
  6. Coordinating and collaborating with the institutional planing, development, and assessment center, to examine the global experiences in learning achievement assessment.
  7. Training the teachers to undertake comprehensive qualitative censuses.
  8. Preparing and enabling the education system to be competitive in the global contests, such as The Sciences and Mathematics Olympiads.
  9. Designing and building intellectual and psychological tests to measure the pupils' capabilities, levels, and personal aptitudes. In addition to measures used in the psychiatric advise and technical guidance.
  10. Designing and building correct multipurpose assessment tools to assess: teachers, instructors, school administration, and do other institutional assessments.

Article 44 – The administration of kindergartens:

The administration of kindergartens reports to the assistant under-secretary for educational administration. Its competencies are:

  1. Supervising the development activities of kindergartens, especially regarding the teachers' training.
  2. Analyzing and studying the set goals for kindergartens and the effective performance indexes; and elaborating plans and programmes to improve these indexes.
  3. Following up the educational process in kindergartens and giving the adequate directives through on-the-field visits made by the instructors or the administrations of the educational zones; and preparing regular follow up and assessment reports, including proposals that serve the educational process.
  4. Studying and examining the needs of kindergartens in terms of human forces, equipment, educational tools, and other educational material, and providing them with the proper qualifications and the targeted levels, in coordination with the administrations concerned in the Ministry.
  5. Proposing enrollment, admission, and transfer rules between kindergartens according to the established rules and lists in the Ministry; and informing the educational zones of the decisions in order to implement them.
  6. Ensuring the follow up of administrative work regarding the provision of general services and equipment, to ensure that they fulfill the needs of the educational zones, in coordination with the competent administrations in the Ministry.
  7. Proposing a transfer procedure for the teaching personnel in kindergartens in the various educational zones; determining and distributing the working centers according to each zone's needs in collaboration with the zones' directors; and preparing candidacy lists for the higher posts according to the established terms and conditions, before their submission to the competent authorities for approval.
  8. Organizing the registers and files of kindergartens, including the files of the teaching personnel, the children's files and other official files, as well as statistics and regular reports, and taking the proper measures in this regard.
  9. Examining current global trends in early education, and coordinating with the organizations, and Gulf, Arab, and International bodies, especially the Gulf Programme for the Support of the United Nations Agencies in the Field of Childhood.

Article 45 – The administration of public education:

The administration of public education reports to the assistant under-secretary for the educational administration. It exercises the following competencies in coordination with the educational zones:

  1. Analyzing and studying the set goals and the effective performance indexes for public education schools; and elaborating the adequate plans and programmes to improve these indexes.
  2. Assessing the general performance of schools in the different cycles; giving the proper directives following on-the-field visits; and preparing regular follow up and assessment reports comprising valuable proposals for the improvement of the educational process.
  3. Following up and assessing the education and teaching processes in the different cycles, through the instructors and the units concerned in the educational zones; and taking the necessary measures to improve the level of school administration and organization.
  4. Proposing programmes for the expansion of the semesters in all or some of the cycles, building new schools or redistributing the present semesters according to the Ministry's plans and policies, while respecting also the geographic and demographic conditions in the various educational zones, and the architectural schemes of school buildings.
  5. Examining and studying the needs of public education schools in all the regions and cycles, in terms of human forces, equipment, educational tools, utilities, and other educational material; fulfilling these needs while respecting the targeted qualifications and levels in this regard, in coordination with the competent administrations in the Ministry.
  6. Gathering, preparing, organizing, and reviewing the educational statistical information on pupils, teaching personnel, technicians, school buildings, school semesters, and teaching centers; and overcoming the obstacles hindering the gathering of such information used in educational planing.
  7. Coordinating efforts with the various centers and competent administrations in the Ministry on the curricula, books, educational techniques, pupils' affairs, and educational rehabilitation. This will guaranty the fulfillment of the needs of schools and the education cycles, make sure that work is going as planned, and optimize the output of the educational process.
  8. Reviewing the schedules to ensure the application of the special rules on the performance rates, the number of semesters and pupils enrolled in each semester, and the teaching burden on teachers.

Article 46 – The administration of adult education:

The administration of adult education reports to the assistant under-secretary for the educational administration. Its competencies are:

  1. Preparing the draft annual budget for the adult literacy and education centers according to the decided plans; and providing these centers with all what they need in terms of human resources, books, and stationary.
  2. Proposing plans and curricula for adult education in the light of the general goals and policies of education.
  3. Providing a general technical and administrative supervision on adult education centers in the various educational zones.
  4. Participating in the assessment of plans and programmes for adult education with the competent authorities in the Ministry; preparing follow up and progress reports comprising valuable proposals for the improvement of the educational process; and giving the proper directives to improve the practices and performance of adult education in the light of on-the-field visits.
  5. Analyzing and studying the performance indexes of adult education and literacy centers according to the set goals; and elaborating adequate plans and programmes to improve these indexes.
  6. Elaborating draft regulations and lists organizing the work of adult education and literacy centers, in terms of admission of learners or their transfer to higher grades, organization of exams, issuing of diplomas, and organizing registers and other.
  7. Elaborating and following up the implementation of social and cultural services plans, in coordination with the competent authorities in the Ministry.
  8. Taking the necessary measures to inform the citizens of the plan of action adopted in adult education and literacy centers; publishing information bulletins and booklets on the Ministry's activities in this regard, in collaboration with the administration of educational media and external relations.
  9. Preparing the assignment decisions for the employees chosen to work in adult education and literacy centers; ensuring their administrative follow up and calculating their financial dues; and participating in the selection of male and female teachers eligible to work in these centers.
  10. Coordinating with the authorities concerned in the Ministry, the educational zones and schools on the curricula, the exams, and the various activities in adult education and literacy centers.
  11. Establishing measurement and assessment standards of the performance of the units responsible for adult education and literacy in the educational zones; analyzing the results and taking the necessary measures to improve their level of performance in coordination with the administration of human resources development.

Article 47 – The administration of educational services:

The administration of educational services reports to the assistant under-secretary for the educational administration. Its competencies are:

  1. Proposing the modernization of the admission and enrollment regulations and lists in the various cycles and following up the implementation of these policies and lists following their approval by the competent authorities in the Ministry.
  2. Proposing regulations and lists for the general exams and the transfer exams and supervising their implementation in the various educational zones following their approval by the competent authorities; and publishing bulletins and general directives in this regard.
  3. Controlling the admission and enrollment procedures for new pupils on the basis of their files; and making statistics on them in the various educational zones.
  4. Controlling the examination schedules in the various zones, forming the regulation and supervision committees, and choosing the necessary number of employees to work in the examination committees.
  5. Taking special measures for the equivalence of the transfer diplomas delivered abroad, according to the rules and regulations and as decided by the authorities concerned.
  6. Reviewing and adopting, for whom it may interest, the diplomas delivered by the educational zones to foreign residents out of the State.
  7. Reviewing and adopting the special measures on the transfer of pupils between the educational zones and amending the registers accordingly.
  8. Receiving the results of the examination from the different educational zones, noting them in the special registers, and preparing the data and the statistics based on these results.
  9. Ensuring the follow up of the graduates in the various cycles to assess their enrollment in higher education institutions or their integration in the labor market, and using this information to elaborate the necessary development and improvement proposals and projects.

Article 53 – The administration of social activities and services:

The administration of social activities and services reports to the assistant under-secretary for social activities and services. Its competencies are:

  1. Establishing and implementing programmes and plans of action related to social services; and developing these services to reach the set goals, improve the pupils' personality and rationalize their behavior, in coordination with the technical guidance.
  2. Ensuring the follow up and the assessment of social services plans, programmes, and activities and reporting on them.
  3. Defining the needs of the educational zones in terms of technical staff in the field of social services; determining their qualifications; participating in the selection committees; and assessing their needs in terms of professional rehabilitation and upgrading programmes.
  4. Undertaking transfer, delegation, and assignment operations among specialists in social services, between the educational zones and within, in the light of the effective work and the instructors' reports, and upon consultation with the directors of the educational zones and the information of the competent authorities.
  5. Studying the school problems and the environmental issues affecting the pupils' performance; setting priorities to solve them depending on their gravity and expansion among pupils; participating along with the psychological and orientation authorities in the study of schooling backwardness and learning slowness; and choosing the convenient therapy.
  6. Publishing bulletins, circulars, and the results of research and studies which help to upgrade the qualifications of those working in this field, in collaboration with the administration of educational media and external relations.
  7. Providing health services for the pupils in coordination with the health authorities in each school; organizing nutrition programmes in schools, if any; defining the qualifications of every meal and controlling the quality of the meals in school canteens.
  8. Analyzing the measurement and assessment indexes of the performance of the social services units in the educational zones; analyzing the results and taking the necessary measures to upgrade their performance.

Article 54 – The administration of psychological and orientation services:

This administration reports to the assistant under-secretary for social activities and services. Its competencies are:

  1. Establishing, implementing, and supervising psychological guidance and educational and professional orientation plans and programmes.
  2. Ensuring the follow up of the implementation and assessment of psychological guidance plans and programmes in the educational zones and regularly reporting on them.
  3. Preparing and regulating the psychological tests and analyzing the obtained information and other information to use them in psychological and educational orientation and in research.
  4. Participating, along with the competent authorities in the Ministry, in the assessment of the needs of the educational zones and schools in terms of psychologists and educational instructors; participating in their selection committees; assessing their needs in terms of professional rehabilitation and upgrading programmes; and following up their implementation.
  5. Proposing researches and studies on the modernization and development of the psychological guidance and educational orientation programmes, to determine the problems faced by the pupils and formulate the adequate recommendations to solve these problems.
  6. Undertaking transfer, delegation, and assignment operations among specialists in social services, between the educational zones and within, in the light of the effective work and the instructors' reports, and upon consultation with the directors of the educational zones and the information of the competent authorities.
  7. Implementing the decided care programmes, making regular progress reports on the therapies given to psychological cases, transferring them, if needed, to other services for further care.

Article 56 – The administration of private education:

The administration of private education reports to the assistant under-secretary for private and quality education. Its competencies are:

  1. Implementing all the articles, clauses, and provisions of the Law of private education.
  2. Reporting regularly on the situation of private education, while formulating recommendations for the improvement of this sector.
  3. Preparing plans and receiving special requests to build private schools, expending them, or renewing their licenses, while determining their architectural and engineering status, the efficiency of their structure and equipment, those working in them and their financial resources, as well as the draft bylaws regulating their work.
  4. Evaluating the fulfillment of the special legal conditions required in the requests of building or expending private schools, and accepting or rejecting these requests, before submitting them to the competent authorities.
  5. Ensuring the proper implementation by private schools of the provisions and decisions regulating private education; in particular, objects which ownership is strictly regulated, schooling cycles, schedules, admission, transfer, and promotion conditions, curricula, suitability of the buildings, sufficiency of the equipment, contracts of the employees and their academic qualifications, and other issues affecting the good procedure of education in private schools.
  6. Cooperating with the administration of coordination and follow up of guidance in the Ministry and the administration of technical guidance in the educational zones through on-the-field visits to private schools. These will be orientated towards good performance, respect of the law's provisions and the applied rules, and referring any infraction to the administration of legal affairs to take the adequate measures.
  7. Studying the scientific and academic qualifications of the candidates to work in these schools, according to the standards applied in public schools, and issuing work licenses in conformity with the applied rules and procedures.
  8. Supervising pupils' affairs in private schools and adopting the diplomas given by these schools, in conformity with the applied rules and procedures in this regard.
  9. Studying the problems faced by private schools and trying to solve them; determining the difficulties and the obstacles preventing these schools from fulfilling the needs of the education and teaching processes, informing the competent authorities in the Ministry of them, and following up the measures taken in this regard.
  10. Gathering, classifying and analyzing the required information and statistics on private education, and transmitting them to the administration of institutional information, statistics, and research.
  11. Formulating proposals on private school fees in the different cycles, studying the financial regimes of these schools, and making the necessary recommendations to develop and modify them to serve the public interest.
  12. Reviewing the books and the curricula used in foreign schools with the ad hoc committees, to ensure that they do not prejudice the Islamic faith or the customs and traditions of the Arabs and the Muslims.

Article 57 – The administration of technical education:

The administration of technical education reports to the assistant under-secretary for private and quality education. Its competencies are:

  1. Following up and implementing the technical education plans and programmes and making progress and assessment reports on them comprising recommendations for the improvement of these plans and programmes.
  2. Undertaking the necessary technical researches and studies to elaborate the technical education curricula, in coordination with the institutional planing, development, and assessment bureau, the center for the development of curricula and educational material, the center for the preparation of exams, and educational measurement and assessment, and the administration of institutional information, statistics and research, while taking into consideration present and future needs of the labor market in the various technical and professional specializations, before their submission to the competent authorities for approval.
  3. Elaborating human resources development projects in technical schools and institutes, by various means such as studying delegations and leaves, local and foreign training sessions, and following up the implementation of the adopted projects in coordination with the administration of human resources development.
  4. Gathering, classifying, and making the necessary statistics for present and future technical education plans, and providing the administrations in the Ministry with the required statistics for various purposes.
  5. Coordinating with the administration of educational media and foreign relations for the elaboration of information bulletins and publications on the technical and professional activities, plans, and goals in the field of education, in order to promote and support this kind of education.
  6. Following up the implementation of the rules and regulations on the admission, the exams, and the pupils' affairs, and proposing development prospects to upgrade their efficiency.
  7. Coordinating with the authorities concerned with educational activities and pupils care services to elaborate the programmes of activities and follow up their implementation in technical schools, as well as the authorities concerned with educational techniques and education sources, to provide these schools with their needs in terms of books, audiovisual material, and others.
  8. Making the necessary contacts with public and non-governmental institutions to provide on-the-field training sites for the pupils, supervising the implementation process, and formulating the necessary developmental proposals to reinforce the link between specialized curricula, training programmes, and the actual needs of the labor market.
  9. Coordinating with the competent authorities in the Ministry to define the qualifications of the technical equipment and tools in the various specializations of technical education; and determining the required quantities within the limits of the available budget and the best qualifications.
  10. Developing and analyzing the measurement and assessment indexes of the units providing technical education in the educational zones; analyzing the results and taking the necessary measures to improve their performance.

Article 58 – The administration of lifelong education:

The administration of lifelong education reports to the assistant under-secretary for private and quality education. Its competencies are:

  1. Defining rules, qualifications, and conditions to be applied on private training institutes and centers.
  2. Supervising the implementation of the Ministry's lifelong education plans; and making regular progress reports comprising recommendations to improve their performance.
  3. Studying the fulfillment of the special legal conditions required in the requests of building or expending private training institutes or centers, and accepting these requests or rejecting them before submitting them to the competent authorities in the Ministry.
  4. Ensuring the proper implementation by private training institutes and centers of the regulating provisions and decisions, in particular as regards their purposes, the nature of the programmes their provide, the rehabilitation of their teachers, and the diplomas their grant.
  5. Gathering and studying data, information, and researches on lifelong education, and using them to improve this kind of education, preparing it for the future, and expending it as part of the Ministry's general plan.
  6. Studying the scientific and academic qualifications of the candidates to work in training institutes and centers, according to the standards applied in public schools, and issuing work licenses in conformity with the applied rules and procedures.
  7. Taking the necessary measures to inform the citizens of the lifelong education plan of action, and issuing information bulletins and publications on the Ministry's activities in this field, in coordination with the administrations of public relations and educational media and foreign relations.
  8. Organizing the enrollment procedures for pupils, controlling their registers, and following up the registration and enrollment procedures according to the applied rules.
  9. Taking the necessary measures to ensure the availability of books, educational material, and other educational requirements in the lifelong education institutions and centers; and ensuring the presence of a qualified teaching and technical personnel.
  1. Evaluating the results of the exams, determining the learners' level and reporting it in special registers; granting diplomas according to the applied rules and regulations and preparing the data and the statistics based on these results.

Article 59 – The administration of the programmes for those with special capabilities:

The administration of the programmes for those with special capabilities reports to the assistant under-secretary for private and quality education. Its competencies are:

  1. Gathering data and information on the outstanding pupils in the various fields of education, in coordination with the authorities concerned in the Ministry, the educational zones, and schools.
  2. Supervising the implementation and the assessment of the programmes for those with special capabilities; and making regular progress reports comprising recommendations to improve their performance.
  3. Elaborating and implementing a series of plans and programmes providing care services for outstanding or creative pupils or those with special capabilities or skills in the various fields; defining their needs in terms of financial and human resources, and taking the necessary measures to be adopted by the competent authorities.
  4. Assessing the annual needs of the administration and the related departments, in terms of human resources, equipment, and other; and transmitting these needs to the competent authorities.
  5. Proposing special curricula and plans for each category of learners with special needs (enriching, accelerating, and therapeutic curricula), in coordination with the administration of psychological and orientation services.
  6. Defining and providing the required educational supports (books, and others) for each category of learners, in coordination with the competent authorities.
  7. Proposing assessment rules and standards for those with special capabilities, according to the status of each category; and submitting these proposals to the competent authorities.
  8. Preparing and issuing the necessary technical directives for every category of learners in the programmes for those with special capabilities.
  9. Following up the technical supervision operations and assessing the educational process and the teaching personnel in schools for those with special capabilities, according to the applied rules and regulations, in coordination with the administrations of guidance's coordination and follow up and the guidance and psychological services.
  10. Participating in the elaboration and preparation of psychological diagnosis and therapy tests for those with special capabilities, in coordination and collaboration with the administration of psychological and orientation services; and preparing exams and educational measurement and assessment procedures.
  11. Undertaking researches to study the psychological characteristics of the learners, and using the results to provide health, social, and psychological services for the pupils benefiting from the programmes for those with special capabilities.
  12. Proposing the opening of new sections in schools, evaluating their needs, and submitting the proposals to the competent authorities.
  13. Proposing to send delegates to training sessions in the various fields of specializations related to the programmes and services for those with special capabilities, and submitting these proposals to the competent authorities.
  14. Developing and analyzing the performance measurement and assessment indexes in the schools for those with special capabilities; analyzing their results and taking the necessary measures to improve their performance.

2020 vision for education

In the last quarter of this century, the political leaders in the UAE were aware that "the investment in the human capital is the best investment on the longer run" and that "good education is a tool for developing the society and triggering its renaissance; given that the nation's strength is no longer measured by the nation's natural resources or capital or number of citizens or strength of its army, but by its thinkers and creators who trigger change and lead the development process".

His Excellency Doctor Ali Abdel Aziz Al-Sharhan, Minister of Education and Youth, started, since he became Minister, to analyze and diagnose the current state of the Ministry, based not only on the written documents and reports, but also on on-the-field visits and meetings with the administrative and technical staffs.

As a result, a number of strategic issues were highlighted, in addition to pressing problems and influencing factors for the coming period. All these require the setting of priorities, the elaboration of strategic goals, and the establishment of the strategy's axes and foundations. This resulted ultimately in the "2020 vision for education".

The vision's meaning:

The vision is the result of a strategic planing operation aiming at achieving better education for a greater number at a lesser cost. It embodies our prospects for education in the UAE by the year 2020, it is our "dream" of a better future for education and a call to mobilize all the resources, efforts, and capabilities to reach the strategic goals of the vision. The vision enables us also to upgrade the skills of those working in education institutions, provide them with lifelong training to have access to and use new technologies, provide and use information, assume responsibility, and accept professional and social accountability. Furthermore, the vision is an appeal for all the categories in the society and at all levels in the various education institutions to participate in this endeavor.

The Ministry of Education and Youth is determined to use the planing process as a tool to develop education.

The strategic goals are at the core of the development and change processes, and all the activities, programmes, and projects are centered around these goals. The Ministry set the goals based on:

  1. The Document on the Education Policy in the UAE, adopted by the ministerial committee for education and the Council of Ministers. The Document is also based on the State's Constitution, legislations, traditions, history, present social, economic, and demographic status, and the comprehensive development policies. It is in fact an assessment of the external environment of the education system.
  2. The directives of the present authorities in charge of in education, added to the assignments, issues, and problems facing education in the country.
  3. The internal assessment of the environment of the education system by exploring the field status, problems, ambitions, and prospects.
  4. The global education development trends as a key to sustainable development and a tool for progress and renaissance for peoples and states. The main trends are:

Education for the future and adapting to change; education to develop a creative personality capable of building and contributing to knowledge; education in a globalized environment while strengthening the national feeling; education to assume responsibility and accept social accountability; and education to compete in a global economy and free trade world. This requires the mastering of modern sciences, mainly languages, sciences, arithmetic, computer, and openness to other cultures.

The strategic themes of the 2020 vision for education:

The 2020 vision has seven strategic themes for the general policies, functional plans, executive programmes, and special projects for the development of the education system in the UAE. They are as follows:

  1. Increasing the correlation and interaction between the education system and the other social systems for the general purposes of comprehensive sustainable development in the UAE.
  2. Raising the professional and qualification level for all those working in the education sector; and improving the performance level in order to increase the internal and external efficiency levels of the education system, and ultimately increase productivity, decrease the cost per unit, and achieve economic performance.
  3. Increasing the contribution of the education system in the expansion of knowledge, cultural and civilization growth, and technological progress to enable the society to compete in a global world economy.
  4. Complete and develop the infrastructures and institutional foundations of the education system so as to increase its economic, social, and cultural outputs and enable it to face efficiently the present challenges and problems, the coming changes and expectations, and the trends of change and progress on the national, regional, and international levels.
  5. Increasing the participation of the society in the planing, financing, and administration of education in order to achieve education for all. As education is a social issue, public and private education should be complementary, as well as formal and informal education. New sources should be found to finance, develop, and improve the quality of education.
  6. Achieving complementarity between the various rings of education: general, technical, university, professional education, at all levels, and restoring any structural imbalance in any of these rings for it will affect the quality and efficiency of the remaining rings. Such a complementarity is the key to the success of the efforts aiming at building an improved human capital and increasing its share in and benefits from development; because Man is the mean and purpose of development.
  7. Improving the quality of the education system, while focusing on its inputs and procedures (goals, curricula and educational tools, teachers and their qualifications, assessment methods, procedures, and tools) to build a creative generation capable of building a productive and developed society in all aspects, whose strength and development are based on education, knowledge, culture, and its rich ancient traditions.

The seven themes of the strategy:

  1. Education as an incentive for national development.
  2. Improving the cost-effectiveness of the education system.
  3. Permanent quality and progress.
  4. Education as an incentive for culture and knowledge.
  5. Flexible and adequate infrastructure.
  6. Social participation, contribution, and support.
  7. Restructuring and complementarity of the education cycles.

The following is an overview of some projects and alternatives related to the themes of the report on education for all / 2000 assessment.

  1. Restructuring the Ministry of Education and Youth to support education development programmes:

The new organizational framework of the Ministry of Education and Youth in the UAE was shaped by various local and historic changes that the Ministry have witnessed since the adoption of the federal law n.1 in 1972. It defines the competencies of the federal ministries, including the Ministry of Education and Youth.

As any other institution in the UAE, there are pressing and incentive forces for change and progress within the Ministry, and other conservative forces that do not respond quickly or easily to the needed progress. The organizational aspects do not come along very often with the need for change in order to develop a new institutional culture where the leaders and the workers join efforts to achieve continuous progress, creativity, and collective work. This affected negatively the development of education and teaching according to the globally recognized standards, by which every state should abide sooner or later.

The actual organizational status is the result of a series of small, partial, and selective reform and development operations. It do not correspond with the dominant scientific customs or principles used as a reference to build a homogeneous and integrated organizational structure, conducive to a quantum leap in the education system.

Therefore, the decision taken in 1997 by the new leadership on adopting a comprehensive vision for development was urgently needed in view of the various global and pressing changes.

The Ministry had adopted an ambitious long-term programme to develop education. As such, it was necessary to review the Ministry's structure and create a new one responding to the development's needs, flexible, economically efficient, and free of any organizational problem hindering its work, such as duplicity and conflict of competencies, poor planing, control, follow up, accountability, coordination, and communication bodies.

This projects aims at elaborating a strategic plan for this institution, including organizational structures and units, human competencies, material resources, institutional environment, and work rules and regulations.

This project will provide an organizational environment supporting and facilitating progress, responding to future needs, by adopting a new organizational structure ensuring functionality, flexibility, efficiency, and performance, and contributing to the decrease of the cost per unit. Its main elements are:

  1. Diagnosing the present situation to locate the structural units in the Ministry and the educational zones, in order to determine the problems and obstacles resulting from the actual organization.
  2. Studying the trends, visions, and goals of the future and determining their organizational requirements.
  3. Defining the proper structural framework for the future.
  4. Determining the qualifications of the jobs at the leadership, administration, departments, and divisions levels.
  5. Setting performance standards and using performance indicators to measure the efficiency and the performance, and determine the level of engagement and responsibility.
  6. Preparing and organizing training sessions and programmes to give impetus to the administrational progress.
  1. Organizing and developing private education:

Private education witnessed a great expansion in the last few years. The number of pupils during the school-year 1996/97 reached 195 686 male and female pupils, i.e. 40% of the total number of pupils. The pupils among the Emirati citizens represented about 10-13% of the total number of pupils in private education. There are 387 private schools in the country, adopting various curricula:

  1. 133 schools (34%) follow the curriculum of the Ministry of Education and Youth.
  2. 116 schools (30%) follow the British or American curriculum.
  3. 104 schools (26%) follow the Indian or Pakistani curriculum.
  4. 34 schools (20%) follow the curricula of their countries of origin.

The Ministry of Education and Youth supervises these private schools and provides the ones following its curriculum with books at cost price, in addition to technical and administrative guidance. The Ministry organizes also their work by issuing lists and laws, by granting or not licenses according to the law of private education under preparation now before its promulgation by the legislative power.

The present policy adopted by the Ministry stresses the importance of communicating and coordinating with the private education sector, as a partner of the public education sector, to share the responsibility of education and teaching for both the citizens and the foreign residents. Education is considered the prime incentive for national development; therefore, it's necessary to expand the social basis of the partnership and support in the field of education.

The project aims at increasing competition between private and public schools and ensuring an active partnership between public and private education, by a series of executive programmes of action reorganizing private education, rationalizing its practices, and giving it technical support to increase its efficiency and outputs.

  1. Developing education in kindergartens:

This project shows the State's interest in kindergartens and their building and expansion. It consists of the following activities:

  1. Building kindergartens in all the regions to provide children with early education, while respecting the characteristics of growth in the building process according to a programmemed plan.
  2. Elaborating early education curricula based on the latest psychological and social development theories.
  3. Providing psychological guidance and social supervision services to help children adapt to the school environment and prepare themselves to primary education.
  4. Choosing competent and trained female teachers specialized in early childhood education.
  5. Providing education means and libraries equipped with the proper educational tools and material suitable to this age-group, such as cartoons, videos, recording tapes of stories for children, and posters. The goal of this cycle is to complete the social education procedure and not to acquire basic education skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. The characteristics of the physical development should be taken into consideration when choosing the psychomotor activities, and elaborating and implementing the in-service training programmes for all the female teaching or administrative personnel, or those working in peripheral activities in kindergartens, in order to upgrade their skills and keep pace with the latest developments in early childhood education.
  6. Introducing computers in kindergartens, at the rate of one computer for each ten children, as stipulated in the strategy's goals.
  1. Developing primary education:

It consists of the following executive programmes:

  1. Assessing the semester teacher experience and examining the possible use of course teacher.
  2. Assessing the English language teaching experience in primary grade 1.
  3. Unifying the sources of rehabilitation of teachers and focusing on academic teachers.
  4. Providing group teaching and modular teaching.
  5. Creating sources of education centers in primary schools to develop self-education.
  6. Introducing new modifications in the curriculum according to the recent global trends, such as environmental education, scientific awareness, nutritive culture, handicrafts, technological and national education.
  7. Modifying the administrative structure of primary schools, in such a way to comprise:
  1. An assistant school director for educational affairs.
  2. An accountant / administrator supervising the financial and administrative status of the school, including the canteens' accounts.
  3. Psychological counselor / social specialist.
  4. Nurse / dietician.
  5. Teacher's assistant to undertake the additional teaching activities (correcting the exams, preparing the exams and the additional courses and education tools, control and supervision). The teacher will therefore dedicate all his time to teaching and upgrading his professional skills through in-service lifelong training.

H- Amending the range and succession matrix in the primary education's curriculum, based on the outputs of the education scale development project.

5) Assessing the national literacy programme

According to the ninth strategic goal in this document, adult illiteracy and the sources of illiteracy must be completely eradicated, by the year 2020. Adult professional rehabilitation and technical training programmes must be elaborated to facilitate their integration in the labor and productive market. The State provides constantly a sustainable human development that improves the standards of living, and diversifies the available opportunities and choices. Therefore, the assessment of the national literacy campaign is particularly important to evaluate its seriousness, measure its achievements, and find ways to increase its outputs.

No doubt that illiteracy is the main obstacle to development, because it covers a large part of the active population (15-45 years). The illiterate persons have no place in the modern productive markets that require persons having the literacy and numeracy skills. The use of new technologies requires also to understand the scientific principles and rules and their scope of application. The goals of this project are:

  1. Studying the present situation of the illiteracy problem based on the available figures, statistics, and data to assess the status of illiteracy in the UAE.
  2. Assessing the efficiency of the efforts deployed to help the illiterates acquire the 4 Rs: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Religion.
  3. Determining the extent to which the adult learners in the literacy programmes acquired the basic skills and use them in their daily life experience.
  4. Linking education to the productive work and ensuring the integration of illiterates in the rehabilitation and training programmes or pursuing higher education.
  5. Eradicating the sources of illiteracy by ensuring the full enrollment of children in the compulsory age-group (6-11) and avoiding their drop-out from primary schools before mastering the literacy and numeracy skills.
  6. Intensifying efforts to increase the efficiency of the national literacy campaign, by taking the necessary measures in this regard.

The project will consist of the following activities:

  1. Undertaking a series of office and field studies to determine the scope, characteristics, and causes of the illiteracy problem in the UAE, and evaluate the success of the adult literacy and education efforts to eradicate this problem.
  2. Studying the problems and issues limiting the efficiency of the national literacy campaign, including the assessment of the programmes, the scope of participation, the follow up efforts, the drop-out and failure problems, the decrease of the learners' enthusiasm, the financing problems, and the training of the teaching and administrative personnel responsible for the campaign.
  3. Elaborating an Accelerated Literacy programme with intensified curricula, and functional decisions and trends, and based on professional rehabilitation and basic training, linking education to productive work.
  4. Elaborating an executive programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and the other ministries concerned, such as the ministries of social affairs, industry, and economic institutions, to find employment opportunities for the graduates of literacy programmes and help them have access to further education and training.
  5. Elaborating literacy programmes for remote areas, nomads and women., using modern informal education techniques.
  6. Elaborating a comprehensive programme including material and social incentives to stimulate illiterate people to learn, increase their participation in literacy campaigns and programmes, continue learning; and providing continuous education for the whole society.

6) Care programmes for pupils with special needs

During the school-year 1995/96, the number of special semesters amounted to 184 semesters with 1316 enrollees. These schools benefited from the needed resources to provide therapeutic programmes, and develop the comprehension and assimilation skills. Therefore, it was necessary to determine the pupils with special needs and elaborate accordingly the proper curriculum taking their capabilities and needs into consideration.

This project is based on the following strategic foundations:

  1. Education as an incentive for national development.
  2. Continuous quality and progress.
  3. Education as an incentive for culture and knowledge.
  4. The strategic goals are:

  5. Improving the quality of the education system to ensure the full participation of pupils in the UAE in international contests and competitions.
  6. Providing education for all.
  7. Adopting curricula and teaching methods that respect the individual disparities and respond to every pupil's needs in order to build an outstanding and creative generation.
  8. Establishing accelerated and enriching programmes for these pupils.
  9. Focusing on teaching methods and practices, on teaching rather than on learning, and on thinking and pupil-centered learning rather than on memorization.
  10. Registering higher rates of learning achievement according to international standards in languages, arithmetic, sciences, and computer technology.
  11. The project will comprise the following activities:

  12. Taking assessment measures to determine the capabilities and the needs.
  13. Diagnosing all the pupils with special needs in the various education cycles.
  14. Establishing support programmes for all the pupils with special needs.
  15. Adopting efficient strategies to help these pupils and provide them with the necessary learning resources.
  16. Providing psychological care and counseling for the pupils with special needs.
  17. Providing the adequate education material that respects the individual disparities between the learners.

The Ministry proposed, to ensure the sustainability of this project, in the context of its new organizational structure, to create an independent administration of the care programmes for pupils with special needs.

  1. Adult education and lifelong education:

Motives:

The drop-out rates increased in the primary and the secondary cycles. Some pupils may graduate from primary or preparatory education without mastering any of the basic skills; which creates lots of problems in the society because these pupils won't possess the required competencies to enter the labor market. In addition, some adults didn't have the opportunity to enroll in public education. The Ministry created adult education centers for this purpose. During the school-year 1995/96, there were 140 adult education centers with 160 semesters and about 23 863 learners. They are located within public schools, and follow the curricula of public schools. A particular importance is given to assessment and examination, as well as the quality of outputs rather than their quantity. Strategies are also needed to ensure the decrease of drop-out rates and increase learning opportunities.

The project is based on the following strategic foundations:

  1. Education as an incentive for national development.
  2. Social participation and support.
  3. The strategic goals are:

  4. Establishing a society of lifelong education and linking formal and informal education.
  5. Eradicating illiteracy, filling the illiteracy gap for those dropping-out of school, and improving the access to basic education skills.
  6. Achieving sustainable human development.
  7. The project will undertake the following activities:

  8. Reviewing and updating the current adult education programmes.
  9. Determining the category of oldest pupils who do not have the basic reading and writing skills and who are eligible to participate in adult literacy programmes.
  10. Eradicating adult literacy by elaborating and preparing basic skills reinforcement programmes.
  11. Linking adult education to professional and technical training programmes.
  12. Infrastructure projects for the 2020 vision for education

    Some projects were given top priority in the vision's project. They are the starting points of the first five-year plan 2000-2004:

  13. Restructuring the Ministry of Education to support the education development programme.
  14. Creating an institutional planing, development, and assessment center.
  15. Creating a center for the development of curricula and the preparation of educational tools.
  16. Creating an in-service training center in the various educational zones.
  17. Creating a center for the development of exams, standards, and educational assessment.
  18. Setting standards for the design, building, and maintenance of school buildings.
  19. Assessing the curricula of the basic courses, the activities programmes, and the pupils care services in public education.

Prospects and expectations of the administrations concerned with the report's themes

First – Prospects and changes required in basic education

The Ministry of Education and Youth sends a clear message for future generations, according to which, education used to teach sciences and help to acquire knowledge. However, it teaches children nowadays how to master sciences, exploit knowledge, and balance between the culture's role linked to the nation's traditions and knowledge background, and the openness on the new emerging horizons of the cultural revolution all over the world.

As such, the Ministry will elaborate an educational strategy characterized by several innovations:

  1. Setting an organizational framework encompassing all the developmental perspectives of the Ministry.
  2. Elaborating a future vision comprising a short-term plan and executive programmes on the longer run until 2020.
  3. Implementing some developmental projects such as the kindergartens development programme, the programme of development of the semester's teacher, the feminization of primary education, transforming libraries into a source of learning, creating training centers, creating curriculum development centers, and creating evaluation and assessment centers.

Second – Prospects and changes required in private education in UAE

  1. Regarding the goals:
  1. Expanding the use of modern teaching techniques.
  2. Enriching education with new experiences and sophisticated teaching methods.
  1. Regarding the strategy:
  1. Project for the settlement of administration and teaching personnel in private schools.
  2. Simplifying the licensing formalities whether in forms or required administrative procedures.
  3. Project of the classification of private schools.
  4. Project of the automation of administrative work through a computer network.
  5. Project of the autonomy of technical guidance in private schools.

Third – Prospects and changes required for the improvement of learning achievement

  1. Continuing the renewal of curricula, teaching, evaluation, and examination methods.
  2. The final exams must comprise a greater percentage of thinking questions.
  3. The final exams must comprise general questions linking the pupils with the outer world, away from complexity.
  4. Our curricula must depart from the traditional dictation method, and focus rather on deduction, reflection, research, and organized thinking.

Fourth – Prospects and changes required in adult literacy and education

  1. Totally eradicating illiteracy and filling the gap for those dropping-out from school, and preserving basic education skills.
  2. Achieving sustainable human development.
  3. Reviewing and updating the present adult education programmes.
  4. Determining the category of oldest pupils who do not have the basic reading and writing skills and who are eligible to participate in adult literacy programmes.
  5. Eradicating adult illiteracy by preparing and elaborating programmes for the reinforcement of basic skills.
  6. Linking adult education to professional and technical training programmes.

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