(L to R) Dr Ahmed Saban, strategy and corporate excellence expert, SPEA; SPEA Chairperson Dr Muhadditha Al Hashimi; and SPEA Director Ali Al Hosani during the announcement of the new SPEA 2022-2024 strategy Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Schools must meet eight targets set by Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) in its new 2022-2024 strategy, which was announced on Wednesday.

Under the strategy, SPEA plans to implement 24 initiatives. To ensure “efficient implementation and quality of results”, SPEA has developed “eight strategic performance indicators” and identified implementation and growth ratios to be completed by the end of 2024.

What are the indicators?

1. Achieving quality of life standards for the education community in private education institutions in Sharjah (80 per cent)

2. Improving the level of performance of education institutions in accordance with the approved evaluation framework (70 per cent)

3. Increasing the confidence of the education community in the services provided in education institutions in the emirate of Sharjah (90 per cent)

4. Deploying proactive digital services (100 per cent)

5. Preparing and training education professionals in line with future requirements (100 per cent)

6. Increasing investments in education (20 per cent)

7. Improving the results in international benchmark tests (20 per cent)

8. Building 20 effective partnerships for skills development and bridging gaps between basic and university education and the job market

Who is covered?

The 2022-2024 strategy focuses on various elements of the private education system in the emirate, including educational institutions, schools, kindergartens, training institutes, teachers, parents, and all recipients and beneficiaries of private education. It also outlines a roadmap for educational institutions and other entities associated with the SPEA – joining hands with strategic partners and stakeholders to develop an integrated vision to improve the governance and efficiency of education.

‘Learning without interruption’

SPEA Chairperson Dr Muhadditha Al Hashimi said the launch of the new strategy is directly aligned with the directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to enhance the role of education as a cornerstone of human development.

She added: “Despite the exceptional circumstances and unprecedented challenges that we are still experiencing due to the global health crisis, we have been able to reach new levels of educational excellence. The educational community in the emirate has continued to thrive, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the concerned entities, partners, and flexible regulatory frameworks. This allowed us to quickly adapt to the ‘new normal’ and ensure consistency in the learning process without interruption.”

The SPEA’s Strategy 2022-2024 was developed with the support of high-profile academicians including 25 governmental and educational leaders, 11 education experts representing 12 governmental and private agencies, and five international institutions. In an effort to keep pace with the rapid global changes, more than 25 international reports on the development of educational patterns and methodologies in the era of artificial intelligence and digital transformation were covered, also including recommendations on how to bridge the gap between educational outcomes and labour market demands.

Notable accomplishments

Since SPEA take over the management of private education institutions in 2018, several initiatives have been introduced. Some of the most important of these initiatives launched by Dr Sheikh Sultan to advance education in the emirate are the ‘My School is Most Beautiful’ initiative, which rolled out a total of Dh50 million to improve and beautify the school facilities in Sharjah; the ‘Your Children are Safe’ initiative, which aims to track students on buses from the moment they leave their homes until after the end of the school day, and the provision of the free ‘Zulal water’ to all private schools and nurseries in Sharjah.

Another completed key project was the appointment of the first batch of teachers of Arabic language and Islamic education affiliated with the ‘Teacher and Proud’ programme, which was launched to enable university graduates to practice their teaching profession in private schools in Sharjah. It was part of the Sultan Al Qasimi project for the Emiratisation of the private sector. The Sharjah Education Academy was also unveiled in line with the directives of the Ruler of Sharjah to enhance the skills of teachers given their significant role in improving the education system.

SPEA Director Ali Al Hosani said: “The smart approach, wise guidance, and direct support provided by [Dr Sheikh Sultan], has led to the modernisation of science and education as well as the intellectual and cultural development in Sharjah. We are committed to implementing the full range of our new strategic programmes, plans, and initiatives, inspired by the determination and far-reaching vision of our wise leadership to turn challenges into opportunities.”