Abu Dhabi: Education in the Middle East is still emphasising the use of archaic teaching methods, which is limiting the potential of many pupils, experts have highlighted at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research's (ECCSR) second annual Education Conference, ‘Essentials of School Education in the United Arab Emirates.

"Since their early school years, pupils are taught that their teachers are sources of authority and their books are the tools used to reinforce that authority...that instills a subconscious rejection in pupils' minds about being open to the learning environment...also, schools continue to glorify grades as a means to measure a pupil's success, which is wrong as it disregards other factors needed in their schooling as well as causes them to become dependent instead of independent learners as they become focused on simply memorising the required information that then then forget," Dr Abdul Salam Al Majali, the Former Prime Minister and President of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, said.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), agreed and noted that the council, as well as the government has begun taking steps to reform the current education system, which has led to great achievements since their implementation.

"Countries around the world are increasing becoming knowledge based economies...and in order to keep up with the demands that such economies entail, we have to tailor our educational progammes to include many new elements that have become the norm internationally, such as the inclusion of technology in classrooms.

"This is something that we believe Abu Dhabi is ready for, as evident by the government's 2030 plan. However, in order for these reforms to reach their full potential, we need the support of not only teachers and educational institutions and government entities but also the support of parents and the community as a whole as they can help foster different elements of pupils' lives that will impact their educational experience and future," he said.