Education in United Arab Emirates can be associated with the development of the federation which saw the introduction of several universities in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and Al Ain. The establishment of the federation resulted in the government taking in measures that included devoting some of the national resources to education (Gaad, 2010). On the other hand, the rate of illiteracy in the kingdom remain an all time high, an indication that more need to be done to educate the growing generation to adopt the changing conditions and levels of literacy. Statistics indicate that the rate of illiteracy is 91%.
Analysis of Education in the UAE
The education system comprises of the Kindergarten which the age levels range from four to five years. The second stage of learning is the primary level where age limit range is between six and twelve years. The third stage of learning is the Preparatory level with age level from twelve to fifteen years. The secondary stage which takes three years in length comprises of between fifteen to eighteen years. Technical Secondary School age range level is between twelve and eighteen years, with a maximum length of six years of learning. .According to the Embassy of United Arab Emirates in Washington DC, education has remained a top priority in UAE (Embassy of UAE, 2010). The government has put in measures to ensure that both male and female receive the necessary education so as to limit the increasing rate of illiteracy. Towards this end, new initiatives have been launched in order to respond to the increasing levels of illiteracy. Some of these programs have resulted in the government transforming the K program to 12 programs. For instance, the measure is a reflective orientation that prepares the students in UAE with the required skills to join public universities. It is worth noting that UAE has enlisted the support of foreign universities with an aim of creating effective programs and as a result, attracting several students from the Asian continent who are interested in this mode of education (UAE Interact, 2011). Education in the UAE is divided into basic education, development program as well as higher education which are all characterized with activities towards delivering quality education for the students.
The K-12 programs are a relatively new system in the United Arab Emirates. The school building programs that existed in the early 1960s and 1970s were geared towards expanding the educational system in the country. These reforms are focused on ensuring that the students are well prepared as well as being envisioned in improved professionalism, higher standards and greater accountability. The programs are also seen as introducing a new form of education that includes a more interactive form of learning which has seen math and science subjects being integrated with English language. The education reforms in the country rest on the Ministry of Education, the Dubai Education and the Abu Dhabi Education Council. For instance, English language skills of the elementary-level students at four model schools is being developed by Zayed University who were requested to do so by ADEC (Oxford Business Group, 2009). On the other hand, Dubai Education Council perfects the global standards by focussing on international accreditation as well as comprehensive quality assurance programs. Reform activities in education are also monitored by the Ministry of Education.
There are several public and private universities in UAE that offers higher education. Government institutions offer higher education without charges; a factor that makes UAE recorded the highest participation rate in the world. The common and most popular higher learning institutions in the UAE include UAE University, Zayed University and Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). There are also private institutions like the American Universities of Sharjah and Dubai which is institutions linked to the United States. Others include Sharjah and Al Hosn Universities. Students with special needs are supported by the government through special education. This is reflected in the signing of the optional Protocol to the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Federal Law (UAE Interact, 2011). Education, training and applied technology is provided by Higher Colleges of Technologies which provide technical education. It is worth mentioning that public education as well remains free for both male and female citizens through to the university levels.
The paper has looked at the situation of education in UAE and how the government is putting in measures to reduce the increasing levels of illiteracy. The measures include ensuring that public education remains free for all, an indication of its commitment towards making the nation an educated state. UAE also has various learning institutions that are private and which join the government institutions in offering learning innovations.