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Welcome for new schools strategy

Experts and academics yesterday hailed the goals of a planned sweeping reform of the education system, but asked for specifics on how it will be implemented.

ABU DHABI // Experts and academics yesterday hailed the goals of a planned sweeping reform of the education system, but asked for specifics on how it will be implemented. Highlights from the new strategy have been posted on the website of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who has asked the public for feedback.

The strategy calls for an overhaul of the public school curriculum and assessment; integration of children with disabilities into public schools; higher qualifications for teachers and the end of remedial foundation courses. In a statement, Humaid al Qattami, the Minister of Education, said the strategy took in the best educational and scientific methods and experiences worldwide. Dr Natasha Ridge, a researcher at the Dubai School of Government, said what was released was a broad and ambitious plan.

"These are very sweeping changes. It would be nice to know how they intend to restructure the education curriculum, the recruitment process, the development of assessment standards. These are massive undertakings." The 50-point plan was released Monday. Dr Earle Warnica, a professor at the American University of Ras al Khaimah, said the strategy duplicated previous efforts. "There is nothing here that hasn't been said in previous consultant reports and nothing that hasn't been developed by previous consultants and ministry staff," Dr Warnica said.

klewis@thenational.ae

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