x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dh9.8bn to be spent on education

The UAE has allocated 21 per cent of this year’s budget to general and higher education in an effort to improve education and raise standards.

More than Dh9 billion will be spent on general and higher education this year.

The UAE has allocated Dh9.8 billion for the sector – 21 per cent of this year’s budget of Dh46 billion.

Most of the money, Dh6 billion, will go towards improving general education, with the rest benefiting excellence programmes in local universities.

The Ministry of Education’s strategy is in line with Vision 2021, which includes K-12 education reform that focuses on better preparation, greater accountability, higher standards and improved professionalism.

Rote instruction is being replaced by interactive forms of learning, and English-language education is being integrated into other subjects, such as maths and science.

Grade 7 pupils from eight public schools will be among the first to benefit from the first phase of the Dh1 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme.

The pilot scheme, being tested by 60 teachers and 700 students, explores the implementation of information and communications technology in delivering quality education.

It will be rolled out to all schools within the next five years.

Under this programme, the ministry, in association with Etisalat, is equipping about 400 campuses with the latest 4G networks, e-boards, smart tablets and e-content, including textbooks on iPhones, iPads and Android platforms.

The launch of smart classes will provide every student with an electronic tablet and access to high-speed 4G networks by 2017.

Samsung is also contributing to the programme by providing technological expertise and implementing solutions aimed at improving the delivery of smart learning services.

The ministry, in partnership with Etisalat and Google, is also aiming to develop hundreds of tutorials on YouTube aimed at alleviating the burden of private tuition.

The partnership is aimed at pupils in grades 11 and 12.

rpennington@thenational.ae