Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General, ADEC, with Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Grade 12 Emirati students who manage to score a minimum average of 85 per cent in their secondary school certificate, will now be offered scholarships and employment opportunities in fields relating to urban planning.

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), partnered with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) to help provide scholarships to selected top-performing Emirati students, who plan to pursue their undergraduate degrees in the disciplines of urban planning, civil engineering, engineering architecture, and Geographic Information System (GIS).

Good records

The first batch of 15 high school graduates from Abu Dhabi, with good academic records, will be sent to study in national as well as international universities, based on their grades and preferences. Upon completion of their undergraduate degree, the students will be employed with UPC.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting held yesterday, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ADEC and the UPC, Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General at ADEC, told Gulf News that the trend in Grade 12 schools, should be towards applied knowledge and experience.

"Instead of focusing on learning how to answer examination questions, we are encouraging students to think logically, build their characters, and involve themselves in various projects and research, which they can share with their classmates and peers during individual presentations. School teachers must be focusing on class discussions, instead of on just learning," said Al Khaili.

Academic performance

At the start of each semester, ADEC will provide UPC with a report outlining the academic performance of students in their secondary schools. Scholars must achieve a minimum average score of 85 per cent to be eligible for the scholarship and education programme, and university students must have a 3.00 GPA.

"The advancement of higher education among Emirati's is an integral aspect of Vision 2030, and in order to realise this vital element of the vision, it is important that the future leaders of the country have access to quality education, which would enable them to compete in the global economy," said Falah Al Ahbabi, UPC general manager.

He further added "Emiratisation is no longer a buzz word used to make strong statements. As the youth of our country prepares itself to step into the fiercely competitive world, the onus to provide the required guidance and create adequate employment opportunities for them rests on us. I am confident that today's benchmark agreement initiative will pave the way for bright and talented Emiratis to step forward and undertake key responsibilities that would help achieve the Emirate's urban development goals."