Abu Dhabi: Public schools across the UAE are to put in
place advanced electronic infrastructure complete with
fourth-generation, high-speed networks in a concerted effort to
strengthen the overall standard of learning and complement
The use of the latest technology in education was the dominant
theme at the third annual conference of the Emirates Centre for
Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) titled ‘Information
Technology and the Future of Education in the UAE.’
aim of the initiative is to ensure that the UAE becomes a leading
producer and exporter of knowledge, educationists addressing the
conference in Abu Dhabi said Tuesday.
The UAE government has
been able to support education in advanced technical fields
through a series of pioneering initiatives, most notably the
‘Smart Learning Initiative’ launched by Shaikh
Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister
of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at an estimated cost of nearly Dh1
Khulood Saqr Al Qasimi, director of the Curriculum Department at
the Ministry of Education, said the forward-looking project
involves the Ministry of Education and the Telecommunications
Regulatory Authority and is directly followed up by the UAE
Cabinet given its critical importance in the context of
sustainable development plans.
The initiative will provide a
variety of services for parents to electronically follow up on the
education of their children, acquaint themselves with their
projects, make comments and suggestions, besides sharing
information with teachers and various sections in schools on the
progress of their children.
The advantage of the project, which
will be implemented in 400 schools within three years, is that it
takes into account all the elements of the educational process —
the student, the teacher and the curriculum, and the school
environment. It will employ the latest and finest electronic
information systems available to promote an integrated approach in
the educational process, involving all concerned parties.
initiative also reflects a comprehensive e-transformation in the
“The UAE’s strategy for achieving sustainable human development
gives more attention to quality of education because it is the
fundamental basis for any successful investment in human
resources,” Humaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education, told the
third annual conference of the Emirates Centre for Strategic
Studies and Research.
Al Qutami said the UAE has assiduously
worked towards attaining the objectives of ‘Education First’, a
global initiative by the United Nations to ensure a transformative
and quality education experience for all people.
He also cited the
increase in the number of students in 725 general schools to
268,272 students from only 24,000 in 129 schools in 1971 when the UAE was founded and 110,000 students in 80 higher education
According to figures for the academic year 2012-2013, the number
of students in various disciplines of engineering and health
sciences spread across 17 faculties stands at 6,265 currently.
Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, director general of the ECSSR, said there
is a need to constantly upgrade the education system in view of
the skills required to keep abreast with technological advances
“All of these form part of 21st
century information and technology skills which form a
sophisticated educational basis for the digital age and are
considered fundamental to learning, living, working and
creativity", he said.