Education in the United Arab Emirates has undergone a tremendous diversification, especially with regards to the provision of quality, comprehensive and self-learning education to both male and female students. Moreover, there are government initiated developmental goals to enhance and diversify education by the year 2020. The government launched free education from kindergarten to university in public schools. Politically the United Arab Emirates has made its people education to be the real significant investment both locally and across the globe regarding the government has continually revised, re-evaluated its role in education and made efforts to improve the educational environments to students. As a result, the high school systems in the United Arab Emirates has grown from the neighboring Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Syria, Jordon, and Lebanon.
According to AkkariAbdeljalil (2004), “Education in the Middle East and North Africa” the United Arab Emirates does share Islam and Arabic as the common religion and language respectively with its neighboring countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. However they differ regarding traditions, spoken dialects, shared the past, social and national experience. During the 19th century most of these countries were still being colonized, they were subject to the Colonial style of education. However in the 20th century most of them got independence, as a consequence there was the rise of significant social changes like engendered education and the growth of skilled indigenous people. However, some countries were too conservative and reluctant to incorporate the superimposed systems of education. They feared to erode their authenticity. Unlike the United Arab Emirates, education was seen as the primary cornerstone to the economic, social growth and sustainability. Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan were still conservative after independence. However, United Arab Emirates saw education as an agent of development, change, and socio-economic change, internal, regional and global development. Amara, M. H., &Marʼi, A. A.-R. (2002). Language education policy. He talks about the aspects of the Arabic divide regarding the language, the Arabic education systems, and changes. The socio-economic changing conditions within the population of the United Arab Emirates and its neighbors. He also talks about both the changes within the governments through their educational ministries concerning the creation of educational policies, adjusting the Arabic education systems. The authenticity of the same education systems impacts both on the citizens within and outside and the achievements. Incorporating English and French as second languages that in their curricula.
The United Arab Emirates broke from the conservative conformity that was girl child biased and advocated for an engendered way towards education. The female and male citizens within are given equal opportunities to education. Empowerment of women through access to education has put United Arab Emirate on the global platform regarding available and competitive human capital. Apart from this, it has led to the expansion of the education program and building more schools. For example the transformation of the K to 12 programs. The establishment of Zayed University (ZU) in 1998 as a women’s institution. However, it was later made to incorporate men too. The university has five colleges— The College of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Sciences Education, media sciences and Information Technology. The mode of instruction primary schools was English. English as a language in the United Arab Emirates used as for wider communication. Consequently, it becomes a fundamental requirement for any student who wanted to enhance his global prosperity. All this is was meant to prepare each student to be globally competitive within the United Arab Emirates and the world market. The inclusion of all genders in education saw the population in school enrollment increase. Consequently, the literacy and professional levels increased. Leaders in power steered more investments into the education sector. For example as a president, his Highness ShiekhZayed Bin Sultan Al Nayan who was also the founder of United Arab Emirates perceived education of the succeeding generation as the only primary mode of investment, creating and sustaining wealth. Thus leading to over 60 percentage of students population increase in schools between the years 2006-2007. It Resulted in a more universal, comprehensive and compulsory primary and secondary education at least up to grade nine. Nevertheless looking place in a quad-tier process by the age of 14 years as seen below.
In 2005, UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan formed the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) An independently formed the body in Abu Dhabi to develop education in UAE. The body was tasked to work hand in hand with the ministry of education in coming up with viable education plans that aligned to the United Arabs educational policy. Moreover, it became an entrepreneurial approach that was to involve the education sector in diversifying facilities, decentralizing powers, updating the systems with regards to current information and technology. Booth, Marilyn. Arab Adolescents Facing the Future: Enduring Ideals and Pressures to Change.(2002) Currently, the body has announced an initiative that will make the public education better. The project under the name ‘public-private partnership for public school management’. The project gives mandate and power to successful local and international private education providers to run some listed public schools in the Abu Dhabi working in hand with the Abu Dhabi Educational Council.
According to ‘The Persian Gulf and Pacific Asia: From Indifference to Interdependence’ Davidson, C. M. (2010). The United Arab Emirates is ranked second best in the Arabic-world Economic hub of the Middle East countries. Primarily its economy relies on oil. Looking at the earlier set goals towards 2021 which will be a golden jubilee year to UAE, the country is in a competitive tide of global transformation. It daily works towards successfully competing in the global arena. Strategic partnerships between the government, industries, and academic institutions has led to an educationally oriented innovation driven culture and environment. Many growing educational institutions have forged partnerships with leading local and international firms that have led to enhancement of the competitive edge. The referent power brought by being a big economic win has led top global education investment within and outside UAE. There is growth in the number of international universities that have been set up within or have their campuses within the United Arab Emirate. They include the Dubai Village and Academic City. With relation to teachers, there has been the introduction of better and advanced models in education with relation to best practices. Having a healthy economy has led to the chatter in education providing heads of schools with often workshops and programs that prepare them for proactive instructional leadership. The ministry is looking forward to training more than ten thousand public school teachers within a period not exceeding five years. There is also the creation of an e-learning platform aimed at creating a new and conducive environment in public school. This project initiated in 2012.
UAE Ministry of Education, September 2008; concerning facilities the Center for Excellence for Applied Research and Training founded in 1997 as a commercial arm for higher colleges and technologies. It provides training, applied technology, and education. Through the Middle East, this has been the largest hub in provision of developing projects among the North African and Middle East countries Moreover, other vocational training intuitions include;
The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies;
It is a banking institution that was established in 1983 tasked to deliver knowledge in the banking field. Primarily it was tasked to provide standardized, professional training efficient human capital in the banking and finance sector. Prestigious overseas educational systems accredit the diplomas provided.
The ADNOC Technical Institute (ATI)
Before changing to Abu Dhabi Technical Institute, it was known as the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Its primary task was to serve as a development center for career opportunities. It established in 1978. Due to the diversification of duties it started offering training programs that aimed at reaching the Abu Dhabi National Oil company and some of its associated companies. The virtues aim was to provide the associate companies with skilled labor and empower the unemployed United Arab Emirates youths.
It started in 2001; the great vision was to set roots as a world-class institution that steered education and research with regards to oil, gas and energy industries. Apart from these, they also offer bachelor degrees in the vast areas that relate to engineering. They also provide scholarship opportunities to people working already in the oil and gas industries.
EMIRATES AVIATION COLLAGE;
The college was established in 1991, under civil aviation department to provide training related to aviation. Profoundly it was aimed at training self-sponsored and corporate organization.
Currently, UAE is advocating for a current and advanced mode of learning techniques. There are real investments in education as opposed to other neighboring countries. The traditional methods included students being in classes all the time with their teachers; their primary task was to dispense knowledge instead of being facilitators of the same. Using boards and chalk with face to face communication. Putting more emphasis on grooming students to pass the exams and attain a targeted goal other than making them understand the concept. However, this has been incorporated by modern methods that include classes attended with high technology. e.g. teleconferencing and online studies. Comprehensive syllabuses usually updated, current and evaluated oftenly. Interactive mode of learning and relating the studies to real life situation. At Zayed University education was diversified by vitue of teaching, self, and interactive learning, research and networking to reach leadership in this dynamic and competitive environment. Moore, A.H., Moore, J.F., Bodwen, P., Coasdale, H.R. (October 2003). Information Technology Review. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Zayed University.
A well-designed learning material designed by modern technology adds absolute value to the learning environment. Cognitive apprenticeship created, leading to developing of critical personal thoughts in any circumstance that may enhance critical thinking, currently lifestyle was changing daily making entertainment a key area of concern in the media-rich environments both domestically or internationally. There was made rich-text formulae to be more enriching, smooth, adjustable when subjected to the dynamic environment, more that saves on time and self-motivating. Profoundly it helped to expand an original scope of exploration, break the monotony of being in class, making everything to be more practical with regards to real life situations. Some of the modes include; use of flow charts and drawings to show how certain things work. Giving student’s dictionaries written both English and Arabic, this helped the student to refer either words from either side of the dictionary, thus letting him learn at the best speed that suits him. Having dry labs where reports produced and practical’s done. Simulations that explained how a machine or something works and job mentorships to elaborate on better career paths. Akababa-Altun, S. Elementary school principals’ attitude towards technology and their computer experience. (2001, September. Paper presented at the World Congress on Computational Intelligence (WCCI) Triennial World Conference, Madrid, Spain.
In conclusion, the diversification of educational systems in UAE to be better than that of its neighbors has been a result of several key factors. To start with is incorporating best educational systems and practices. Starting from the student where we had both the girl and boy child given equal opportunities to access education. Using more practical and engaging modes of teaching to reach out the most fundamental levels of education. It has enhanced the comprehension of the content rather than just passing the exams. As a result, there has been lowered cost regarding expenditure used. UAE being a rich country and educational costs cut down has made it get maximum support from the readily available capital. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Information Technology Review. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Zayed University. J.F., Bodwen, P., Coasdale, H.R.Moore, A.H., Moore, (October 2003).
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Enduring Ideals and Pressures to Change. Arab Adolescents Facing the Future: Booth, Marilyn.(2002)
AkkariAbdeljalil (2004), “Education in the Middle East and North Africa” United Arab Emirates
The attitude towards technology and their computer experience. ‘Elementary school principals’ Akababa-Altun, S. (2001, September)