Education Is A Country’s Fundamental Priority – The Emirates

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Sunday, October 07, 2018   11.55AM  / By Samir Salama, Associate Editor, Gulf News Society

 

To enhance the social well-being of Emiratis, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan formulated specific goals for education.

 

The leader of a new nation faces the special challenge of setting the country’s priorities. To be successful, that leader must be both wise and bold. The United Arab Emirates had such a leader.

 

Because the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was devoted to the well-being of his people above all else, he made the education of his people the country’s fundamental priority. He provided the guidance, resources, and inspiration that developed the knowledge society in which we thrive today.

 

Shaikh Zayed believed that education is not an expense but instead an investment in the future. He recognised that education enables the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, and understanding that lead to human fulfillment and happiness. He knew that education shapes values, beliefs, and habits that define the character of the future. He believed that “the highest achievement of a nation is measured by the level and extent of its education.”

 

While supporting public education, Shaikh Zayed also encouraged private education. The stunning results of that encouragement abound- scores of superb international schools and universities.”

 

When families support schools

He reasoned correctly that the UAE could compete in the global economy only if its citizens were educated to participate in the global society.

 

I remember Shaikh Zayed telling us that good education occurs when families and the social structure support the schools. With his wife, the Mother of our Nation, Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, he promoted the education of women and secured the support of families throughout the country. He always emphasised that strong societal partnerships undergird strong schools. In this Year of Zayed, we fittingly express our gratitude for Shaikh Zayed’s clarity of vision in developing an effectual system of education for UAE youth from kindergarten through university. Shaikh Zayed’s wisdom and bold actions motivate us even now as we continue to strengthen our education system.

 

To enhance the social well-being of Emiratis, Shaikh Zayed formulated specific goals for education. Education should prepare individuals to be good citizens. Graduates should be capable of participating productively in their country’s economic, social, and cultural activities.

 

Educational curriculums should integrate the latest technological and scientific developments so that students are able to function effectively in a rapidly changing environment.

 

Education should embrace a full range of programmes that develop people who, whatever their own educational specialty, respect both the skills required in the vocations and the breadth of vision developed in the study of the liberal arts. We are very fortunate that our President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan supported strongly by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces continues to pursue those worthy goals.

 

Shaikh Zayed created a model for education in the Middle East. Among the nations in that area, the UAE has the highest percentage of youth in elementary, secondary and higher education. Men and women have equal access to educational opportunities, and the UAE leads its neighbours in promoting gender equality.

 

The government has enabled thousands of young men and women to study abroad and subsequently to enrich perspectives in our own society.

 

While supporting public education, Shaikh Zayed also encouraged private education. The stunning results of that encouragement abound - scores of superb international schools and universities. Both private and federal institutions have attracted superb international faculties.

 

Education has opened our local society to the world. UAE citizens participate in the public and private sectors at all levels. Our country has become a full member of the global community. All of that was made possible because of Shaikh Zayed’s wise and bold action in making education the new country’s fundamental priority.

 

Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, believed that investing in people’s welfare, knowledge and capabilities would produce the greatest dividends for individuals, families and society.

 

Under Shaikh Zayed’s wise leadership, education has always been one of the UAE’s highest priorities.

 

He said: “The greatest use that can be made of wealth is to invest it in creating generations of educated and trained people” and “The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education.”

 

Much has been achieved since the early 1970s but efforts are now being made to improve the educational environment for all pupils. The number of government and private schools now exceeds 1,400 while it was only 74 in 1971.

 

Shaikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance

The leader of a new nation faces the special challenge of setting the country’s priorities. To be successful, that leader must be both wise and bold. The United Arab Emirates had such a leader.

 

Because the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was devoted to the well-being of his people above all else, he made the education of his people the country’s fundamental priority. He provided the guidance, resources, and inspiration that developed the knowledge society in which we thrive today.

 

Shaikh Zayed believed that education is not an expense but instead an investment in the future. He recognised that education enables the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, and understanding that lead to human fulfillment and happiness. He knew that education shapes values, beliefs, and habits that define the character of the future. He believed that “the highest achievement of a nation is measured by the level and extent of its education.”

 

While supporting public education, Shaikh Zayed also encouraged private education. The stunning results of that encouragement abound- scores of superb international schools and universities.”

 

When families support schools

He reasoned correctly that the UAE could compete in the global economy only if its citizens were educated to participate in the global society.

 

I remember Shaikh Zayed telling us that good education occurs when families and the social structure support the schools. With his wife, the Mother of our Nation, Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, he promoted the education of women and secured the support of families throughout the country. He always emphasised that strong societal partnerships undergird strong schools. In this Year of Zayed, we fittingly express our gratitude for Shaikh Zayed’s clarity of vision in developing an effectual system of education for UAE youth from kindergarten through university. Shaikh Zayed’s wisdom and bold actions motivate us even now as we continue to strengthen our education system.

 

To enhance the social well-being of Emiratis, Shaikh Zayed formulated specific goals for education. Education should prepare individuals to be good citizens. Graduates should be capable of participating productively in their country’s economic, social, and cultural activities.

 

Educational curriculums should integrate the latest technological and scientific developments so that students are able to function effectively in a rapidly changing environment.

 

Education should embrace a full range of programmes that develop people who, whatever their own educational specialty, respect both the skills required in the vocations and the breadth of vision developed in the study of the liberal arts. We are very fortunate that our President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan supported strongly by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces continues to pursue those worthy goals.

 

Shaikh Zayed created a model for education in the Middle East. Among the nations in that area, the UAE has the highest percentage of youth in elementary, secondary and higher education. Men and women have equal access to educational opportunities, and the UAE leads its neighbours in promoting gender equality.

 

The government has enabled thousands of young men and women to study abroad and subsequently to enrich perspectives in our own society.

 

While supporting public education, Shaikh Zayed also encouraged private education. The stunning results of that encouragement abound - scores of superb international schools and universities. Both private and federal institutions have attracted superb international faculties.

 

Education has opened our local society to the world. UAE citizens participate in the public and private sectors at all levels. Our country has become a full member of the global community. All of that was made possible because of Shaikh Zayed’s wise and bold action in making education the new country’s fundamental priority.

 

Dr Hanif Hassan Al Qassim, Chairman and founder of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue

 

Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, believed that investing in people’s welfare, knowledge and capabilities would produce the greatest dividends for individuals, families and society.

 

Under Shaikh Zayed’s wise leadership, education has always been one of the UAE’s highest priorities.

 

He said: “The greatest use that can be made of wealth is to invest it in creating generations of educated and trained people” and “The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education.”

 

Much has been achieved since the early 1970s but efforts are now being made to improve the educational environment for all pupils. The number of government and private schools now exceeds 1,400 while it was only 74 in 1971.

 

Shaikh Zayed’s efforts created a variety of accredited institutions such as the UAE University founded in 1976, the Higher Colleges of Technology in 1988 and the Zayed University in 1998."

 

The UAE has focused on educating both men and women. In 1975, the rate of adult literacy was 54 per cent among men and 31 per cent among women. Today, literacy rates for both genders are nearly 90 per cent.

 

New initiatives are being launched at all educational levels to ensure that UAE students are fully prepared to attend universities around the world and compete in the global marketplace. In addition, some of the world’s best universities are creating programmes in the UAE, attracting talented students from the Arab world and globally.

 

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Shaikh Zayed’s efforts created a variety of accredited institutions such as the UAE University founded in 1976, the Higher Colleges of Technology in 1988 and the Zayed University in 1998.

 

He built schools such as the Shaikh Zayed Private Academy for girls and boys in 2000 and learning centers all over the country and the recruitment of teachers from other Arab countries to provide education to the younger generations.

 

The wise leadership of the state adopted an ambitious vision established by Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan, God bless his soul, who said “human is the base of any civilisation act”… so the developing experience represents an international symbol in total development on all levels.

 

 

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