Picture used for illustrative purpose.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The education sector is one crucial partner of the family and home in developing the child-to-adult personality of each individual – that despite idiosyncrasies – is imbued with known or yet-to-be-discovered knowledge and talents that have to be constantly honed in a constantly changing world.
The announcement of the restructuring of the UAE Ministry of Education on Sunday, by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai is seen to further invigorate the education system.
Specialists and residents believe the shake-up is necessary, relative to inevitable global socio-economic, environmental, technological and even geopolitical changes.
They said such is beneficial to everyone for the indispensable value-laden competitive human resource knows no boundaries.
Hailed were the appointments of Minister of State for Entrepreneurship & SMEs Ahmed Al Falasi as the Minister of Education overseeing the implementation of new policies and strategies in all the public and private educational institutions across the country; Minister of State for Advanced Technology/ UAE Space Agency Chairperson Sarah Al Amiri as the Minister of State for Public Education and Emirates Foundation for School Education – Board of Directors Chairperson; and Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge Chairwoman Sara Musallam as Minister of State for Early Education.
Dr Ramanakrishna Yanamandra, Skyline University College-Bachelor of Business Administration Associate Dean & Associate Professor, defined the revamp as an “appreciable move that will enable the implementation of reforms at all levels of education.
It will enhance the vigour and quality of the teaching-learning process. It is a timely decision to catch up with the requirements of the changing dynamics of education worldwide that will also pave the way for a highly competitive environment.
It will enhance the futuristic skills and would develop competencies in the digital era among the learning community.” Sheila Baldago-Tobias, a mother, expressed the common desire of parents to have their children “(be equipped)” in order to be “productive and upstanding adults in the future – with the help of accessible quality education.
I envision private educational institutions being closely monitored with the new structure in place – from quality, legitimacy, down to its processes and fairness. I am excited to see improvements in schools to become compliant to international standards, that prioritise students’ welfare over business.”
Dr Sabiha Mumtaz, University of Wollongong in Dubai-Faculty of Business Assistant Professor/Founding Chairperson of the Center for Women Empowerment which aims to mentor early career females in the region and arm them with skills to advance their career growth, is enthusiastic over the “innovative, progressive and visionary changes. It is encouraging to see strong female representation at the top to inspire the young minds.”
In the UAE for 24 years, at work with the youth and their families to “make subject and career choices based on their interests, needs, academic proficiency, values, aptitude maturity level, and financial situations,” Rema Menon Vellat, Counselling Point Training & Development Founder/Director, “looks forward to learn more about the new policies and regulations.”
Appreciative of the inclusive society mindset being instilled in the country, she expressed hope that assessments in centres for children with special learning needs are going to be “affordable and accessible,” while “assistive technology tools and strategies” are going to be made available for use by “parents and teachers.”
She pointed out that university courses must be expanded that shall include Library Science, Veterinary Science, and Water Resource Management, and vocational courses, too. Ahmad Razaly, Malaysia Consulate General in Dubai Education Consul/Director of Education Malaysia at the helm of promoting the Southeast Asian nation as the world’s 10th leading educational hub for university and post-graduate students, and also responsible for the continuous establishment of academic/research/exchange programmes with colleges and universities in 24 countries specifically in the UAE and other GCC states as well as in Central/South Asia, welcomed the decision of the UAE leadership.
This shall maintain the “impressive educational landscape” of the country as well as strengthen more the UAE-Malaysia relations in the field of educational partnerships.”