Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (C)
The Federal Cabinet retreat has endorsed a number of initiatives and ideas on overhauling the education system and development of teachers, a cornerstone of the education system. Called for by the Vice President and Prime Minister
and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Cabinet retreat started yesterday on Sir Bani Yas Island to discuss creative ideas for developing the health and education sectors. The cabinet extraordinary session has drawn overwhelming popular participation through 65,000 public ideas and suggestions received via social media platforms and the Prime Minister's website.
Representatives of teachers. students, guardians, school principals and administrators, educators and specialists were engaged in the first brainstorming session, which was dedicated to examining suggestions and ideas on education that classified into five broad categories.
The first category focuses on teachers in terms of efficiency, competency and adding advantages to the career itself. The second category looks into developing teaching methods, integrating technology and applying best standards in this field. The third category sheds light on enhancing the skills of students on a par with their peers in developed countries. The fourth category examines means to improve the ratios of students who complete high school, university and postgraduate studies. Finally, the fifth category looks at aligning education outcomes with present and future requirements of the different sectors of the economy.
In his opening remarks, Sheikh Mohammed expressed his thanks to the UAE people and residents for their interaction with the call he made by making proposals for the development of the education and health sectors.
'The UAE will never cease - even for one day - its quest for continuous development. If it had done, we could not have reached what we are today. The UAE competitiveness edge in all fields is inspired by new ideas, sustained development and innovation and this represents a firm principle in the government action,' Sheikh Mohammed affirmed.
He also stressed the urgency of continuous development, coping with changes and changing of mechanisms.
Development of the health and education sectors, he went on to say, "is a lifelong process and it is also a critical process for the future of our nation." Sheikh Mohammed said he was optimistic at this cabinet retreat because the key partner in it is the UAE people and the ideas and feedbacks were diverse and exceptional.
The cabinet retreat, he added, would remain a main milestone towards the development of the health and education sectors.
He said that a group of initiatives would be approved during the ministerial retreat and 'we will launch more initiatives according to field studies.' The government innovative laboratory commenced with the division of the audience, ministers, specialists and other participants into five major groups. Each group discussed the development of a sector as referred to earlier in the brainstorming proposals. The challenges in each sector were discussed.
Sheikh Mohammed participated in the discussions of each group. He enquired about certain points.
During the sessions, a set of video documents, including views from the public on the challenges facing education and proposals to tackle them, were screened. After the groups' meetings, a unified meeting was held to review the initiatives and solutions.
The Vice President said at the end of the first day that the activity and keenness displayed by participants to reach applicable ideas was convenient.
A number of educational initiatives were announced and endorsed by the Cabinet during its retreat on Sir Bani Yas: Launch of the teacher career progress and development system, and career advancement measures for teachers in order to make the profession attractive, encourage competition, excellence, and achieve job satisfaction for teachers.
Study to abolish the system of branching for the literary and science sections, and shifting to the educational system that combines compulsory and optional subjects for students in order to keep pace with the world's growing knowledge and rapid technological developments.
Launch of a system to evaluate schools and publish detailed reports on their academic performance to increase competitiveness among the schools and assist the school administrations to specify areas they need improvement periodically.
A programme to attract distinguished graduates to teaching to ensure employment of talented cadres, given importance of teacher in terms of education feedback.
A specialised training programme for teachers to improve their skills and keep pace with the latest teaching methods, as well as teaching subjects on culture, innovative and creative skills, arts, music and sports.
Cancellation of a preparatory year at universities through development of subjects at the secondary school level to match the university requirements.
A project to classify and evaluate public and private universities in the UAE as per unified standards. Periodic reports on the evaluation will be published periodically.
Creation of subjects to develop the leadership and life skills for students.
Endorsement of a licensing system for teachers in accordance with the certified standards.
Evaluation of educational performance at public and private kindergartens, being the cornerstone of education system.
Provision of an electronic platform on the curricula in form of video lessons to help in self-education and fight against the idea of private tuition.
Setting up of full system to detect talented students to develop them.
Launching of the academic guide system for students to help them choose future academic specialisation in a way that matches the requirements of national economy.
H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his "UAE Brainstorming Initiative", noting that a way of selecting teachers nationwide should be reviewed through setting the best recruitment measure.
He noted the directives of Sheikh Mohammed to Emiratise the education, as citizen is the focus of education development sector. He noted that the country that delivered great leaders of the calibre of late Sheikh Zayed, late Sheikh Rashid, Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, has a capacity to deliver excellent national cadres.
Sheikh Saif introduced a female student Shama Khalid to present her point of view before the Cabinet.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, said that as teachers constitute a core for educational future in the UAE, hence, the focus should be on the development of teachers.
Earlier Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation, said the UAE schools need the academic guide system and a system to help detect talented students.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, headed the group on teachers efficiency, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research headed a group on the completion of school stages.
Sheikh Mohammed supervised the groups by moving from one to another, discussing ideas and proposals with the audience