Dubai ruler unveils $410m plan for 'new generation' of schools

Dubai ruler also announces plan to transform the Higher Colleges of Technology into economic zones

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 5, 2019

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday announced the allocation of AED1.5 billion ($410 million) to build the first tranche of a 'new generation' of Emirati schools.

He also launched a plan to transform the Higher Colleges of Technology into economic zones and approved a AED100 million fund to nurture student projects and support the career development of 65,000 students in the hospitality, retail, oil and gas and logistics sectors.

The announcements were made during a visit to educational institutions in Fujairah and Kalbaa in Sharjah.

'Our aim is to introduce a range of new ideas in the next 50 years and foster the development of the new generation, which will accelerate our sustainable economic growth,' he said in comments published by state news agency WAM. 'The new generation needs to adopt different approaches and tools for the future.'

'When people have doubts due to economic volatility, we accelerate development, and when they are afraid of the future, we further raise our commitment to build it. We have created a vision for our nation’s development over the next 50 years,' he added.

During the tour, he revealed features of the new schools including design and robotics labs as well as artificial intelligence facilities. The schools will also be equipped with healthcare and environmental labs along with sports facilities.

He said the new fund created to support student projects is in line with the Fifty Year Charter launched earlier this year.

Sheikh Mohammed also issued directives to create specialised technical academies within colleges that support students who want to change their careers and directives to implement fast track programmes in higher education institutes that enable exceptional students to get their graduate degrees in three years.

Sheikh Mohammed visited a number of education facilities including government schools and the Higher Colleges of Technology and reviewed their development plans.

He was accompanied during his visit by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future; Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education; and Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills.

During the visit, His Highness was briefed by Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, President of the Higher Colleges of Technology, about the post-employment plan created by the Higher Colleges of Technology’s as part of its strategy for 2017–2021. The plan creates a career roadmap for graduates after gaining employment.

The Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation said that the visit of Sheikh Mohammed to the Fujairah Higher Colleges of Technology reflects His Highness’s commitment to support the development of education in the UAE and his keenness to directly engage with citizens.