The Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has approved a comprehensive new plan to overhaul public school education in the UAE.
The plan, developed by the Ministry of Education, aims to revise the curriculum, enhance skills, introduce new subjects and streams, further enrich learning and enhance the evaluation systems both for schools and students.
Sheikh Mohammed reviewed the plan at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education on Monday.
He was received by Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education; Mhammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future Gergawi; Jameela bint Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education; and Dr Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education.
The new curriculum will cover technology, innovative design, health sciences, career guidance, general skills and business management.
A special ‘Elite’ stream designed to nurture gifted students will be introduced.
In addition, a new system to evaluate students through mid-year and end-of-year exams will be implemented.
As part of the new plan, the curriculum will be gradually made bilingual and have a specific focus on deepening the students’ national identity and building their critical thinking and innovation skills, as well as developing teamwork and problem solving capabilities using innovative information and communication technology.
With the support of 19 specialised local and international bodies, the new comprehensive plan seeks to develop a new integrated kindergarten curriculum, a new policy for evaluation of kindergarten schools that involves parents, and an integrated reading programme for students of all grades.
International partnerships will also be established to develop new mathematics and science textbooks.
Syllabuses for subjects such as history, geography, economy and social studies will be integrated into one core curriculum.
The mathematics curriculum will be developed to ensure it is on par with international standards.
A new course on information technology and programming will be introduced both in primary and secondary schools.
The English syllabus, which will follow the Cambridge English curriculum, will be overseen by specialists from both the UAE Ministry of Education and Cambridge University.
The new comprehensive development plan also includes the development of a training centre focused on developing teachers’ skills in line with current international standards.
Sheikh Mohammed directed teachers and parents to work together in implementing the school education development plan.
He said that the progress of all plans to boost the education sector is being monitored by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan together with him and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Mohammed said that schools are where the future begins and called on everybody to fulfill their responsibilities towards the new generation.
"We are counting on the teachers and the Ministry of Education to help school education make a great leap forward," Sheikh Mohammed said, stressing that developing education is a vital task that requires focus and perseverance.
"There is no room for excuses," he said. "We look forward to developing a new generation of students that is equipped to use the tools of the future."
The new plan is guided by the strategic objectives outlined by the Ministry of Education to improve learning outcomes and strengthen the partnership between the private and public education sectors as well as expand research and development in education in the UAE.