UAE | Society

Education and social affairs in the UAE discussed at Ramadan Majlis

Ministers of Social Affairs and Education discuss developments and challenges in the UAE

  • By Jumana Khamis, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 19:33 July 18, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • Virendra Saklani/Gulf News headline from right) Humaid Al Qatmi, UAE minister of education, Mariam Al Roumi, UAE minister of social affairs and Dr Abdullah Al Suwaiji, head of Sharjah education council speaking at Ramadan Majlis session at Sharjah museum of Islamic civilization on Wednesday night. PHOTO:

Sharjah: The UAE government’s role in the human development of its citizens was highlighted as a priority by both the ministries of culture and education at a Ramadan Majlis that took place at Sharjah’s Heritage area.

Titled “Human Development… the foundation in the development process,” the discussion which was organised by the Sharjah Media Centre was attended by Mariam Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs, and Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education.

The latest projects, programmes and advancements in human development, by both ministries were underlined as a part of the countries efforts to advance educational and social affairs in the country.

The Minister of Social Affairs, Mariam Al Roumi revealed that the ministry spends over Dh2.7 billion annually on social aid for over 92,000 people. The ministry also provides social aid to over 625 families for whom it secures jobs and covers their expenses to live a decent lifestyle.

Programmes and centres for the elderly and for people with special needs, which operate under the Ministry of Social Affairs, also play a vital role in supporting disadvantaged individuals in the society, she added.

Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education, also pointed out that the Ministry of Education has also prioritised the educational standards in the country which can be seen through the statistics. He stated that the number of schools has significantly increased from 13 private schools in 1971 to 489 schools, and from 132 public schools to over 700 schools. With over 80 public and private licensed universities, the number of students has also increased to nearly 900,000.

The Minister also pointed out that the UAE not only has a range of universities of international standards that cater to all its residents, but that it also offers an equal opportunity to all, including people with special needs.

Challenges

Along with the latest developments, the challenges facing both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs in keeping up to date with global changes were also highlighted.

With methods of education becoming more electronic, Al Qutami stressed on the importance of keeping pace with technological advancements and the development of school curriculums.

On the social side, Mariam Al Roumi explained that the biggest challenge faced by the Ministry of Social Affairs is the refusal by people to transition from welfare to working on community development and self-sustainability.

She also highlighted technology’s negative impact on the society. “Families are being threatened because of technology — families have lost personal communication within the household as they are each occupied with technology,” she added.

The Ramadan Majlis, the second discussion in a series of six, took place at Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation.

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