Hussain Al Hammadi: No compromise on the good of our students or nation. We keep going on the way of developing the educational system
His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said that one year after the launching of the Emirati School, thanks to the wise leadership’s support, the strong and sustainable beginning spark proved to be effective and to have made a difference in the educational progress. He said that the development is ongoing and that the coming period will witness a significant breakthrough in the school building and environment, extracurricular activities, instruction and guidance system development and others.
He said: “No compromise on the good of our students or nation. We keep going on the way of developing the educational system.”
His Excellency gave this speech in the “Emirati School” Forum organized by the Ministry of Education (MOE) at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai and attended by 1600 educational leaders, teachers, parents and students.
The forum was attended by His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and a group of MOE’s leaders.
New educational approach
The 'Emirati School Forum' introduces a new pedagogical approach in which all aspects of the educational field interact through the discussion of the central educational issues that are of interest to the community. The forum aims at shaping a new stage of constructive and cooperative work to come up with visions, initiatives and ideas that enrich the MOE’s plans towards the development of sustainable educational work.
The forum also discussed a range of educational challenges and addressed the prospects and opportunities of enhancing learning in the discussion groups formed of teachers, students, parents and headmasters. HE Hussain Al Hammadi gave a presentation and HE Jameela Al Muhairi introduced an explanation of the educational issues.
At the beginning of the forum, HE Hussein Al Hammadi gave a presentation on the Emirati School, stressing that the forum represents a new educational approach. The MOE decided to adopt a methodology for the development of education which gives the educational figures the opportunity to interact together and discuss the critical educational issues that preoccupy the society.
His Excellency said that, having conducted careful studies that aimed at considering how to make use of the time factor, the MOE decided to extend the development endeavors to all the public education stages rather than specific ones. The MOE tends to achieve a qualitative breakthrough in the least time possible and to lay the educational foundations which guarantee such breakthrough. The MOE also referred to the pressing need to cope with the national agenda 2021 which provides better care for education, the matter which will achieve the educational system objectives, allowing it to achieve entrepreneurship and competitiveness.
His Excellency stated that the development of education in UAE included several tracks, including the development, adaptation and update of curricula, as well as the development of the sources of learning, while we are currently involved in launching the largest project for the maintenance of schools to practically prepare schools for the radical changes in the educational system. The project will be carried out during the coming period where schools with international standards will be established with a capacity of 2400 students. Under the umbrella of the project, other schools will be joined and model schools will be established with high-quality specifications.
He explained that the development of education is not limited to the curricula, teaching methodologies and learning resources only, saying that we are working in accordance with deliberate plans to activate the role of the activities supervised by the MOE Care and Activities Sector to allow activities to form 50% of the Emirati School aspects of educational development in the future due to the significance of activities in honing the students' personality and developing their skills. We also work on developing the instruction and guidance system in the MOE so that students and their parents can identify the options offered by our modern educational system.
He said that there is a certified international standard that allows from 25% to 20 % of the change of curricula. This change guarantees the continuous development of the educational sector. He pointed out to that during one semester only; the MOE Curricula staff has translated 35m words in the science and mathematics curricula. We appreciate such a tremendous effort which reflects a highly efficient system of work. It has contributed to the launching of the Emirati School in its modern face.
He stressed that the Emirati School initiative depends on international standard specifications and modern and developed academic methodologies that allow the students to master the higher thinking skills and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the education, learning and evaluation processes. Such efforts aim at producing competitive graduates to the labor market in the public as well as private sectors and at coping up with the changes of the international labor market.
His Excellency considered that the “Emirati School Initiative” combines the learning achievements with the future hopes and aspirations, affirming that the Emirati School initiative together with the rest of the school community elements establish a significant participative stage. It gives way to transformation to the knowledge-based economy and achievement of UAE agenda 2021.
His Excellency highlighted the importance of the establishment of a sustainable, competitive and cognitive learning to place the country in the sustainable development cycle, referring to that the country is heading towards investment in learning through paving the way for the transformation to the knowledge-based economy.
He stated that the skills-and knowledge- rather than spoon-feeding-based education is the main focus of our present developmental plans. We pursue reaching this goal through the development of the education system. He stressed that the creation of a successful and distinctive educational system is pending on the intertwining of the society efforts and acceptance of change, which we already feel in the interaction of the educational field elements.
He added that our educational system should be distinguished with the capacity to provide multi educational tracks and options to allow each student to take the ones which most conform to his/her own capacities and tendencies. We have taken this point into consideration upon laying our education developmental plan.
During his presentation, he reviewed the modern educational tracks certified as to keep with the students’ capacities and labor market requirements. He addressed important issues of the educational development plan, including updating the curricula that cope up with the knowledge era to acquire certain skills required for the Emirati School alumni.
His Excellency praised the relentless continuous efforts of a large number of educational figures and MOE officials for their generous giving and volunteering to fulfill the objectives specified, which secured the Emirati School launching in its modern face.
He assured that the moral subject, added to the curricula in accordance with the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is a qualitative leap that will reflect positively on the future generations as it will shape the country’s culture.
He referred to the smart learning plan drawn up to ensure reaching each and every school and to the use of modern technology in the various educational processes such as the introduction of the electronic-exam system. He also pointed out to the development of the teacher’s skills and capacities, being a top priority addressed through the continuous specialized training that sharpens the teacher’s professional skills which help the teachers to add value to the educational process.
He stated that the MOE new data center is such a qualitative addition. The center provides updated logistic information about the educational system. He said that the comprehensive plan of managing the MOE’s facilities includes one new stage which deals with introducing new model of schools that contributes to providing our students with a qualitative education in a stimulating environment.
Exceptional year 2021
In her speech, Jameela Al Muhairi declared 2021 an exceptional year for UAE as it will come with achieving economic and developmental accomplishments and attaining important educational agenda goals.
She talked about the international examinations, referring to Al Hemma School which spared no effort to overcome the challenges to achieve the national agenda objectives.
She said that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, may Allah bliss him, is looking forward to building creative generations of intellects, while His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces referred to the importance of learning, being a guarantee of progress and a means to graduate scientists and engineers. Therefore, we can observe that the wise leaders’ aspirations and tendencies come to the same end which is the necessity of affording high quality learning.
She said that we have to translate practically our deep devotion to our wise leaderships into sparing no effort to promoting competitive education, assuring that the education system in UAE has become more capable of producing efficient generations that meet the labor market requirements.
She indicated that MOE gave the extracurricular activities great care and support since they have deep effect on supporting the curricula and increasing the students’ academic achievement. She added that we need more work, better improvement and collaborative effort to achieve the national agenda indicators of the international examinations.
Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Care and Activities Sector reviewed the points of discussion addressed by the participants in the conference, assuring that such discussions are meant to identify and overcome the weaknesses of the Emirati School.
She stated that the topics for discussion cover all the Emirati School programs, referring to the pursuit to reach pioneering initiatives with the participants to support the educational system through the points and topics put to the round table. She added that such discussions tend to come up with creative ideas and initiatives that enrich the educational system.
In his worksheet, Singaporean education expert, Saravanan Gopithan, dealt with the horizons of education development, referring to the Singaporean experience. He stated that UAE’s experience resembles that of Singapore to a high extent, highlighting the UAE’s pioneering educational policies and how they respond to the ambitious national plans.
He said that the accelerating technological progress makes it inevitable for us to secure our educational programs with prospecting indicators. He referred to that we have to prepare our students to a non-existing occupations right now, the matter which requires the implantation of intellectual and analytical values and skills that enable them to play their future leading and innovative roles.
He concluded that building a nation and achieving a civilized and developmental progress start from the classroom.
Eight topics for discussion in the Emirati School Forum
The discussions in the Emirati School Forum covered 8 main topics through which the participants tackled several important issues of the Elite path through which the Elite project was defined and marketed. The discussion ended with giving recommendations and setting developmental initiatives that ensure the project marketability in the community. The discussions dealt with “Positive Emirati School” which determined the strategies and initiatives that come up with positive professional Emirati school. Furthermore, “Emirati school supporting parent” discussed the strategies and mechanisms which motivate parents to act as real participants in their children’s learning and as Emirati school support providers. The “Professional instruction and its role in making the students’ future” dealt with the strategies and mechanisms that make the professional instruction more effective in determining the students’ future profession and identifying their academic as well as professional tendencies.
The participants in “Activating the school role outside the context of the official studying hours” set the mechanisms for producing initiatives of student activity that starts after the school day and during vacation. The “EMSAT test” introduced the importance of the test and developed recommendations and initiatives. The participants in the "Imagine Your School" axis discussed how to create an attractive school environment for students to stimulate learning and support the Emirati school outcomes. The final axis which is “Attracting the best Emirati school elements” defined the challenges which face the educational institutions regarding attracting specialized and efficient human resources.