H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Chairman of the Education and Human Resources Council, chaired a virtual meeting of the Council recently.
Sheikh Abdullah directed at the meeting to update the controls and standards of the EmSAT- The Emirates Standardized Test- for the current academic year in a manner that is consistent with students' aspirations and to ensure their access to study seats in higher education institutions under a unified policy for national and international exams.
“The educational system must help students earn their university degrees in areas that are suited for their inclinations, skills, and abilities to be active partners in shaping their nation's future,” he said, pointing out that students' interests come first.
He noted the importance of keeping the country's higher education system at a high standard so as to improve educational outcomes and meet labour market demands.
Sheikh Abdullah also underscored the importance of providing effective tools in educational institutions, as well as a unified system at the federal and local levels for testing and improving students' proficiency in the Arabic language.
“Increasing student competence in Arabic is a top priority; it's a crucial component of the UAE's national identity,” Sheikh Abdullah stressed.
“When the Emirates Skills Team competed in the WorldSkills Competition, Nof Issa Al Shukaili took home the gold medal for her skills in health and social care, and the team as a whole brought home nine medals for their outstanding performance across a range of engineering and technological disciplines,” Sheikh Abdullah said while congratulating the Emirati team.
“Their accomplishments demonstrate the caliber and significance of technical and vocational training in the UAE, and reflect the UAE wise leadership's faith in the country's youth," he added, noting that such successes are an incentive for young Emirati talent to excel in a variety of sectors and skills at the local and global levels.
He went on to say that in order to improve their preparation and give them a chance to compete in the job market, students must develop professional and practical abilities early in the educational process.
“This increases the likelihood that students would unlock outstanding vocations that are a good fit for their abilities, passions, and interests so that they could efficiently contribute to their society."
In order to implement high-quality training frameworks and programmes for students in key sectors, Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the need for coordinated efforts between the educational sector and businesses in the private sector. “These efforts must meet the needs of the labour market and improve students' skills, capabilities, and competencies.”
For his part, the Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, reviewed the EmSAT development and implementation plan within the national and international examination policy, which seeks to update the rules and standards of assessment instruments in the interests of students while remaining in accordance with the requirements of higher education institutions to ensure educational quality.
The meeting was attended by Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology; Sara Awad Issa Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education; Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; and Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Secretary General of the Council, along with a number of high-ranking officials.