Yekaterinburg, Russia: A country cannot flourish if it does not have the right human capital and education is the main pillar by which a society can move forward, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, told participants at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, yesterday.
GMIS, a joint initiative of the UAE and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, is the world’s first cross-industry and cross-functional platform to advance the 17 SDGs, during its run from July 9 to 11.
The minister said that every person living in the UAE was an asset for the future and the country’s diverse education system was designed to help all students to reach their maximum potential in whichever field their talent lies. Low skilled jobs will gradually disappear as technology removes routine and repetitive tasks and this makes education even more essential, he added.
He said the pace of transformation driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution is so fast that future skilling is a must, and countries should update their educational policies and allocate resources for this. He added that it is essential for countries to be open-minded and not be scared by the pace of change, but they must adapt and move forward at a faster pace.
Al Hammadi explained that the UAE began to transform its educational practices in 2014 to better meet the country’s future needs, beginning with adopting the K-12 system (Kindergarten to 12th grade) and adding new subjects to the curriculum such as design and technology, and problem solving. He said modern society demands life-long learning and higher education systems must be adaptable to this, allowing people to reskill quickly.
Al Hammadi went on to say that the curriculum of today needs to be alive and reviewed annually to ensure it is aligned with the needs of industry and the economy.
“The classical education system that was appropriate 10-15 years ago will not equip a country for the coming 10-15 years,” he concluded.