Saturday, November 19, 2005

Editorial: For the benefit of the nation’s future more money should be spent on education :: Gulf News
A call to arms

Quote:

the very environment of the schools is stultifying and not conducive to the purpose of education.

To make matters worse, insufficient time is provided to the teaching periods and terms, while too many holidays are given, creating a general apathy towards the process of learning, resulting in a very high drop-out rate, especially among boys.

The whole government attitude towards basic education facilities must be changed and more funds made available to ensure a higher standard of, and more interest in education is attained.

See also this excellent analysis by Dr. Elia Zureik.

If the UAE mobilized and resources as if it was going to war for education would that radically change outcomes? Is it possible to argue that the UAE education system, while not perfect, has come remarkably far in a short amount of time? Is it surprising that in that time a bureacracy has settled in that makes it difficult for a Minister of Education to institute reforms?

Would outcomes change much if there were greater success-in-life consequences to students who do not take their schooling seriously? And if so, isn't that beyond the control of the Ministry of Education?

What do my readers think?

UPDATE: WAM reports
The United Arab Emirates is bent on adopting an aggressive strategy to ensure that students at schools are well prepared for higher education, says the country's Minister of Education, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
. . .
"About a third of our budget for higher education is spent on teaching students the knowledge and skills they should have already learned in secondary schools." "This," he said, "is a terrible waste of money and time. Our main priority is, therefore, preparing students to meet world standards of learning."
. . .
While the Minister focused much of his remarks to the role of the Government in education, he also stressed that the private educational sector also had an important role to play. Private schools, he suggested, help to point up the need for a reform of public sector education.
I hasten to add that in the U.S., higher education also devotes considerable resources to remediation of skills that should have been gained in high school. Reforming an education system is not easy.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Tim Newman said...

...a general apathy towards the process of learning, resulting in a very high drop-out rate, especially among boys.

The whole government attitude towards basic education facilities must be changed...


Sounds like the UK!

Would outcomes change much if there were greater success-in-life consequences to students who do not take their schooling seriously?

Almost certainly.

And if so, isn't that beyond the control of the Ministry of Education?

Yes. The Ministry of Education is there to educate, not to provide incentives for those who do not want to be educated in the first place.

11:49 AM  
Blogger sandsOfTime said...

Emirates Economist, I am part of a team that is trying to overhaul an old government based organization here in dubai. Every step we take forward feels like trying to swim through Jello. The problem is that there are people who have been working in the same positions for many years, some for close to 30 years. Whenever we think we are making progress, the organization keeps relapsing. Ultimatly, the only way we found that we could institute change was to fire people who were not willing to change (You should have seen the fireworks when we started doing that). The Ministry of Education sounds like an organization that has degenerated into an entity that exists to satisfy itself only. The organization will have to go through massive changes before it once again serves the purpose which it was created for. I wish Al-Nahyan the best of luck because he will need it.

3:47 PM  

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