“Education has become the focus of attention of GCC leaders who
have always believed that the development of education is inevitable as a
bridge through which our generations armed with cutting edge knowledge and
skills move to the future to be able to sustain the development and progress of
the countries of the region”, said HE Marwan Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary of the
Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs, during his inaugural speech to the
regional meeting of directors of educational planning and policy sectors in the countries of the region.
The two-day meeting, which is hosted by the Regional Center for
Educational Planning in the Teachers Training Institute in Ajman, saw the
participation of HE Dr. Tayseer Al Nuaimi, Advisor to the Minister of
Education, Prof. Mahra Al Mutaiwei, Director of the Regional Center for
Educational Planning, and educational experts from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman,
Morocco and other countries worldwide.
“Based on the belief of the wise leadership of the UAE in the
importance of education and its role in the progress of our country and
society, we have crystallized a consolidated vision of education under the
umbrella of the Emirati School Model, which empowers our students at the
cognitive, skill, mental and moral levels”, Al Sawaleh added.
“We fully believe that a better future for our region can be
achieved only through education, effective integration and co-operation that
will enable us to formulate common frameworks that will ensure the achievement
of the desired goals of our educational systems”, he said.
“Taking into consideration the importance of harmonizing, modifying
and correcting our educational systems according to the objectives and
priorities of development in our countries. With this in minds, we should not disregard
the rapid developments taking place in all the fields around us when we plan
our educational policies in order for our policies and educational decisions to
be planned in a qualitative manner”, he added.
He explained that the world is on the threshold of a fourth
industrial revolution in which technology, digitization, communication skills
and innovation are fundamental foundations that must be simulated and stimulated
in all aspects of educational practices with a view to joining the global race
and keeping abreast of the contemporary trends. He noted that providing
information and conducting educational surveys is a cornerstone of sound and
qualitative educational planning, which enables an educational decision-maker
to make the appropriate decisions.
Al Sawaleh pointed out that apart from training educational cadres
and preparing them to fulfill their mission to the fullest, getting familiar
with distinguished educational experiences at the regional or global level is
one of the most important themes for the development of any educational system.
Meanwhile, Dr. Al Nuaimi talked in his speech about the challenges
faced by the educational systems in the Arab region, according to research studies
conducted by specialized international institutions. He pointed out that the
shortage of qualified teachers, coupled with such social challenges as poverty,
disease, political unrest, lack of integrity and lack of funding are the most
important challenges facing education in the Arab world.
Al Nuaimi underscored that the plans to develop education at the
Arab level should take into account the rapid developments in the labor markets
and the skills that they require and should focus on the successive
technological upswings. He noted that continued educational policies are a
guarantee for the development of Arab educational systems, considering that the
development of education requires the adoption of a transformational approach
that seeks reform, flexibility, institutional capacity building, governance and
For her part, Al Mutaiwei said the meeting would discuss the feasible
practices of educational planning and would talk about successful international
experiences in this field, adding that it would also discuss co-ordination and
exchange of experience in the field of educational planning.
Al Mutaiwei highlighted the Center’s mission, policies and action plans
aimed at exchanging experiences and knowledge at the regional level with a view
to promoting education in the countries of the region in line with the latest
Later, Hugo Muse, research and development team leader at the
UNESCO’s International Institute for the Environment, spoke about the
international outlook for educational planning and its relationship with
Jody Carr, former assistant of Canadian Minister of Education,
reviewed the Canadian experience of educational planning and to what extent the
educational plans are in line with the priorities of the Canadian national vision.
The meeting will see more in-depth discussions aimed at consolidating
vision and leveraging the global experiences in the field of educational
planning to lay down sound foundations for education in the countries of the
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