ABU DHABI, Schools in the UAE resumed in-person learning today, after two weeks of using an online learning system as a precautionary measure, coinciding with the International Day of Education, which falls on 24th January.
The country is implementing the gradual return to in-person schooling over two groups, with the first returning to schools today while the second will return on 31st January.
The first group includes nursery students, Grade 1 students, Grade 12 or 13 students in the British system, students scheduled to take international and major exams and higher education students.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has proven it has one of the best and most flexible education systems in the world. It is capable of overcoming emergencies, due to its adopted medical protocols, the successes of its medical sector during the pandemic and its use of digital technologies to ensure the continuity of education.
Today the world is celebrating the fourth International Day of Education, under the theme, "Changing Course, Transforming Education". The statement of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on the occasion stressed the importance of providing good and fair education to all. Nearly 258 million children and young people are not enrolled in education while 617 million young people cannot read or write.
In terms of foreign aid, the UAE is keen to prioritise education, stressing during the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s open discussion, titled, "Children and Armed Conflict", held in September 2020, that its total donations to support education projects globally amounted to US$1.55 billion, including US$284.4 million for areas affected by crises.
Since 2017, the UAE has cooperated with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners to support the education of 20 million children in 59 countries.
The UAE is among the first countries to employ advanced technologies to overcome conditions hindering education and the spread of knowledge regionally and internationally. Under this framework, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the Digital School as one of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) and the first accredited Arab digital e-school. He also inaugurated the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning.
The UAE is helping to promote education globally by establishing schools and universities, and providing grants and funds that will help provide education to different communities. MBRGI have, therefore, reached out to 45.5 million people worldwide while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is continuing to finance dozens of international development projects in the educational sector.
In February 2018, the UAE pledged to provide financial contributions amounting to AED367 million (US$100 million) to the Global Partnership for Education, to improve learning outcomes for 870 million children in 89 developing countries.
In terms of refugees, who are among those suffering the most in terms of lack of educational opportunities, the UAE is exerting significant efforts, in cooperation with its regional and international partners, to offer them adequate education and teach them the skills they need to ensure their long-term future.
The UAE’s initiatives and material and in-kind assistance to relevant international organisations and the governments of countries housing refugees have helped alleviate the crisis related to the lack of educational opportunities for refugees. For example, the value of Emirati educational aid provided in response to the Syrian crisis was around AED190.1 million (US$51.8 million) from 2012 to January 2019.
Source: Emirates News Agency