Abu Dhabi: The UAE on Sunday announced a major restructuring of the education system with the appointment of new ministers and the establishment of new institutions to support the development of the sector.
The reforms under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan were announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Who are the new ministers? What are their responsibilities?
Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi has been appointed as the Minister of Education. He will review all legislations and policies related to the education system.
Sarah Al Amiri has been appointed as the Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and the Chairwomen of the Emirates Schools Establishment. She will develop a comprehensive plan to upgrade public schools
Sara Musallam has been appointed as the Minister of State for Early Education. She will supervise the newly established Federal Authority for Early Education and be responsible for developing comprehensive plans to follow up the child development from birth to the fourth grade.
What is the new structure? How will it work?
The new structure in the education sector will cover the Education and Human Resources Council, Federal Authority for Quality of Education, Ministry of Education, Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education, Emirates Schools Establishment, in addition to the local educational authorities in each emirate, which will operate according to one system and specific competencies.
A look at these entities and what they will cover:
Federal Authority for Quality and Standards of Education
The new Federal Authority for Quality and Standards of Education will be affiliated to the UAE Cabinet. The authority will be responsible for measuring the educational outcomes, student performance, and the efficiency of the educational process. It will also be responsible for measuring the quality of education, auditing educational outputs related to education, early childhood education, kindergarten, public education, and higher education, in addition to submitting reports on the results and proposals to develop policies, strategies, legislation and curricula.
Education and Human Resources Council
The Education and Human Resources Council has been restructured and will be chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He will be responsible for supervising the project of the Future of Education in the country.
Also, the Council’s responsibilities will include setting the vision and objectives of the education sector in the UAE, developing the general framework for education and submitting it to the UAE Cabinet for approval, and developing educational policies and legislation. In addition, the Council will follow up the performance of the sector.
Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education
The new structure created a federal authority specialised in early childhood education, to develop and implement comprehensive plans to follow up the child development from birth to the fourth grade. Affiliated with the UAE Cabinet, the Authority will be responsible for developing policies, strategies, legislations and programmes related to the education needs of the early childhood stage.
The authority will be responsible for setting regulations and standards, and issuing licenses and monitoring government and private nurseries in the country in coordination with the competent local authorities, and working with parents to enhance their role in the early childhood stage.
Ministry of Education
According to the new structure, the responsibilities of the Ministry of Education will include developing policies, strategies and legislation related to public and higher education in the UAE.
The ministry’s functions include managing and developing the general education framework, curricula and tools for government public education schools in the country, developing curricula for compulsory educational materials for private schools, setting standards and regulations, issuing licenses and monitoring private schools in coordination with the competent local authorities.
The work of the Ministry also consists of supervising international exams in the country and managing their implementation in all public, private and higher education institutions, in coordination with the authorities. This is in addition to the recognition of public and higher education institutions operating outside the country, equivalency of certificates and qualifications they grant, and ratification of certificates and qualifications issued by public and higher education and training institutions licensed within the country.
Emirates Schools Establishment
The new structure of the education system included the Emirates Schools Establishment, which also comes under the umbrella of the UAE Cabinet.
It will enhance the efficiency of the government schools and nurseries, supervise public schools in the country, and implement policies, strategies and standards related to the development of the education sector.
Under the new structure, the Establishment will also be specialised in developing student care programmes, activities and events in public schools, supervising their implementation, and proposing innovative and new models for operating public schools to raise their efficiency.