UAE: New education minister announced, structural changes unveiled
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UAE: New education minister announced, structural changes unveiled

UAE: New education minister announced, structural changes unveiled

Meanwhile, Sarah Al Amiri was appointed as the Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology

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The UAE has announced a major structural change to its education system, with Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi appointed as the Minister of Education.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “The education sector today is not the same as yesterday.. our ambitions today are not like yesterday.. the skills of the future will be different and renewable.”

“After consultation with my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we announce today a major structural change in the UAE’s education sector. We appointed Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi as the Minister of Education.. We directed him to review all legislations and policies related to the education system in our country,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

The new structure in the education sector includes the Education and Human Resources Council, Federal Authority for Quality of Education, the Ministry of Education, the Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education, the Emirates Schools Establishment, and local educational authorities in each emirate, which will operate according to one system and specific competencies, official news agency WAM reported.

According to the new structure, the responsibilities of the education ministry will include developing policies, strategies and legislation related to public and higher education in the UAE. Its functions will also include managing and developing the general education framework, curricula and tools for government public education schools, developing curricula for compulsory educational materials for private schools, setting standards and regulations, issuing licences and monitoring private schools in coordination with the competent local authorities.

The Ministry will also be tasked with supervising international exams in the country and managing their implementation across all public, private and higher education institutions.

Sheikh Mohammed also announced the establishment of the Federal Authority for Quality and Standards of Education affiliated to the UAE Cabinet. The authority would be responsible for measuring the educational outcomes, student performance, and the efficiency of the educational process. Meanwhile, the Education and Human Resources Council chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, would also be restructured and would be tasked with setting the vision and objectives of the country’s education sector, developing the general framework for education and submitting it to the UAE Cabinet for approval, and developing educational policies and legislation. In addition, the council would follow up the performance of the sector.

Additionally, the new structure created the Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education specialised in early childhood education, to implement plans to follow up the child development from birth to the fourth grade. The authority would be responsible for setting regulations and standards, and issuing licences and monitoring government and private nurseries in the country in coordination with local authorities, and working with parents to enhance their role in the early childhood stage.

The new structure of the education system also included the Emirates Schools Establishment, which comes under the umbrella of the UAE Cabinet. It is focused on enhancing the efficiency of government schools and nurseries, supervising public schools in the country, and implementing policies, strategies and standards related to the development of the education sector. It will also be specialised in developing student care programmes, activities and events in public schools and supervising their implementation.

Sheikh Mohammed added: “We announce the appointment of Sarah Al Amiri as the Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and the Chairwomen of the Emirates Schools Establishment.. We directed her to develop a comprehensive plan to upgrade public schools in the country.”

Sara Musallam was also appointed as the Minister of State for Early Education, and to supervise the newly established Federal Authority for Early Education.

Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice-Principal at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said, “Current trends show that the workplace of the future will bear little resemblance to work as it stands today. We are already seeing some evidence of this change – for example, the growth of careers and jobs which once never existed, the changing profile of the university student of today and a shift towards lifelong learning rather than just a focus on acquiring a degree.

“Studies show that the global workforce is predicted to grow by 230 million people by 2030 and the job market is rapidly changing with around 2 billion jobs predicted to change due to new technology, decarbonisation and new growth industries. The restructuring of the education system in the UAE should result in students from this region being more successful than ever before in the highly competitive global workforce.”

Also read: Education 2.0: How the GCC’s academic landscape is moving forward

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