What's it going to take for the UAE's 'education revolution'?
Around 57,000 educators need to be hired in the UAE by 2015 to fill the current manpower gap in the education sector, a study launched by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and conducted by Deloitte revealed.
“The study found that the education sector is expected to have a manpower gap of 200,000 by 2015 in the Gulf. The UAE compromises a quarter of this, around 57,000 educators, and they include teachers and professors,” Dr Ayoub Kazim, managing director of DIAC and Dubai Knowledge Village.
The study’s findings were highlighted on the sidelines of the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibition and Gulf Education Forum that was inaugurated by Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education on Tuesday.
The study, which included 2,415 respondents across 17 markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia found that the sector needs professors and lecturers in management, accounting and vocational training.
The UAE needs to fill the gap if it wants to rank better in international assessments, which is on the top of the country’s educational national agenda. Barbara Ischinger, Director of Education and Skills at Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the body in charge of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), said teachers are the key for a better assessment ranking.
As part of the national agenda for education, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, put forward two main objectives regarding the UAE’s ranking in international assessments: The UAE will be among the 15 highest performing countries in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss). The UAE will be among the 20 highest performing countries in the Programme for International Student Assessment. Currently the UAE ranks 48 (434 points) in maths, 44 (442 points) in reading and 46 (448 points) in science out of the 65 participating countries in the last Pisa tests, which were conducted in 2012. The UAE is below the 500 international average in points in all of the subjects.
“If the UAE wants to rank better it should focus on training teachers and raise their prestige among society. Pisa did an assessment to see what will improve outcomes and found that this is very important,” said Ischinger.
Brain Lewis, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), said the company will train teachers in GCC countries.
“It is important that we train teachers how to coach and train other teachers because we are looking at sustainability. We don’t want it to be a one-time thing. We have just launched the pilot phase and we will contact the Ministry of Education with the results.”
The study found that 40 per cent of respondents wanted to study abroad. Canada, the UK and the US were the first three choices, the UAE came fourth.
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