Rising Demand for Private Schools and E-Learning Spurs Growth in Dubai’s Education Sector
At the end of 2019, Dubai’s government green-lit its biggest-ever spending programme. Dubai’s budget for 2020 was set at AED 66.4 billion, with over 30% segmented off for the social development of the emirate — a substantial portion of which would be channeled into the advancement of the education sector in Dubai.
Education lies at the core of the UAE Vision 2021, a strategic framework designed to graduate the nation to among the best in the world. The shift to a knowledge-based economy in the UAE is an integral element of the UAE National Agenda 2021 — the seven-year plan action plan to achieve the nation’s vision, as well as to prop up the UAE’s economic diversification strategy.
Another key aspect of the UAE National Agenda for education is to drive foreign investments into the education system in the UAE through direct and indirect channels. Owing to Dubai’s expatriate population, the emirate is particularly well poised to attract foreign investments into the UAE’s education sector. According to the annual Education Cost Index Dubai and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai schools registered significant increases to both, the number of private institutions as well as the students attending them.
Education is also expected to play a crucial role in making Dubai the smartest city in the world. The Ministry of Education has therefore kicked off several landmark initiatives to engender smart learning in Dubai, including the Madrasa e-learning platform, which offers free teacher workshops and educational videos to over 50 million students. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation has also launched the Digital Knowledge Hub, a comprehensive, self-education online portal.
The UAE Ministry of Education e-learning initiatives proved crucial in maneuvering the Dubai schools COVID shut down — the proliferation of online learning in Dubai facilitated academic continuity as well as allowed for a smooth transition in a severely compressed time frame. Simultaneously, the KHDA also launched its remote learning platform, #InThisTogetherDubai, to support Dubai’s distance education shift, through which private organisations provided free apps, websites, services and other resources to parents, students and educators.
In this paper, Cavendish Maxwell explores Dubai’s education sector outlook and how its growth lines up with the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda action plan, as well as how the UAE National Agenda for schools and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has fortified Dubai’s e-learning objectives.
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