Plans to develop the education sector in the UAE are gradual and diverse and build on the UAE's constitution, history and Arab and Islamic identity as well as openness to other cultures, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said at a conference of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) which began in the Tunisian capital on Thursday.
"Education in the UAE is a top national priority and the aim is to prepare national human resources using high-quality education for all," he said in a statement read out at the first ISESCO Conference of Education Ministers by Abdulrahman Mohammed Al Hammadi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Education for Control and Support Services.
The UAE, he added, is developing the educational sector, the driver of development, building on the legacy of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who prioritised this sector in his approach being pursued today by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Education features in the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda as a pillar where one of the goals is to increase the number of children joining pre-school programmes to 98 per cent by 2012, the minister noted. "The envisioned educational system is more responsive to changes and developments."
The minister further highlighted the support extended to education by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.
The theme of the two-day ISESCO conference is Towards Boosting and Activating Joint Islamic Educational Action, and on Friday, the participants will issue the "Tunis Declaration on Invigorating Youth’s Educational Roles in Entrenching the Values of Tolerance and Coexistence."
The establishment of the Consultative Council for the Promotion of Education in the Islamic World will also be announced on the last day of the pan-Islamic meeting.