Network Learning for Educational Change

By Wiel Veugelers; Mary John O'hair | Go to book overview

seven
Introducing school-university
networks in the Middle East

Elaine Jarchow, Barbara Harold, Tracey McAskill, Robin McGrew-Zoubi and Ian Walker

A comprehensive, cohesive renovation of the structure, content, and
tools of education would release creative potential and revitalize
Arab society. The following policy could bring about this renovation:
… Effective participation of various societal groups in learning …
Families, NQOs, the business sector and local communities should be
able to take part in policy-making, finance and supervision.

(UNDP Report 2002: 59)

Networks that link schools and universities in the Middle East are relatively new. Indeed, the United Arab Emirates itself, the focus of this chapter, is only 40 years old. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven independent states with a central governing council and is located on the northeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The states, also called the Emirates, are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. The federation was established in 1971. In the UAE Constitution the importance of education is established by the statement that education is essential to the nation's progress, and it is free from elementary level through to post-secondary nationals. The Ministry of Education and Youth supervises the education in all K-12 governmentsupported schools. The same curriculum is taught throughout the country. The education system in the UAE has made great progress in its relatively short history. The total number of students in UAE government K-12 schools in 1972 was 32,000. A total of 340,000 students began the 20022003 academic year. At the post-secondary level there are three government-supported universities. The United Arab Emirates University was established in 1977 at Al Ain and has produced some 17,000 graduates

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