The public schools in United Arab Emirates are facing numerous problems, which are affecting the economy of the country. For a country to be able to provide its citizens with quality education, there have to be effective strategies in place. Research conducted in different environments has indicated that being able to maintain the quality of education and facilities is important as it can affect the performance of students, absenteeism rates, students’ health and staff turnover.
The public schools in the UAE need to undergo a massive turnover for them to be able to provide the students with the necessary quality education, which will help them in their future endeavors. According to data released in 2011, public schools in UAE lack sufficient learning facilities (Bradshaw and Steve 49).
Problems in Public Schools in UAE
The public schools in UAE are facing numerous challenges because of limited financial resources to better the services in the schools. The UAE is known to have a student-teacher ratio of 28:1. Considering that education to the ninth grade is compulsory, the public schools receive many students and these teachers are unable to handle the high number of students. Because of this fact, many students drop out of school at an early age.
This leaves many uneducated youths in the streets thus increasing the rate of crime in the various regions. (Bradshaw et al.50). To be able to keep these students in school, the government has to ensure it employs enough teachers to cater for the needs of these students. Though there are challenges in enrolling teachers, the government should strategize and market the vacancies for the teachers by offering better salaries and teaching facilities to the teachers.
The facilities in the schools are also problematic in that they do not cater for the needs of the students. The classes, desks, libraries, laboratories and other facilities need upgrading. Deteriorating facilities in the schools have contributed to the surge in the school fees charged in private schools. Improvement of social amenities and infrastructures in different educational centers should be enhanced.
This is brought about by the behavior of substitution and it leads to inflation in the cost of education. Many parents in UAE seek for better education facilities for their children and they are therefore choosing to enroll them in private schools, which charge high fees depending on their performance (Bradshaw and Steve 50). Due to this, the condition of facilities in the public schools continues to worsen as the schools cannot shift the costs to the parents/guardians in order to be able to upgrade the facilities.
Public schools are funded by emirate-level and federal budgets and their budgetary lines are large. Releasing funds to take care of the facilities takes long or the funds released are not enough. The facilities continue to deteriorate since proper upgrades are not done. Private schools have raised their fees as they are under no pressure from the public schools and this has led to the inflation of the education sector (Mohammed and Fentey 291). Many teachers have opted to join private schools where they have better payments and improved living conditions.
To be able to solve these problems, there has to be a sustained and strong partnership between the emirate and federal agencies together with other private sectors in order to take care of the teachers’ wages and be able to upgrade the facilities in the schools. This would also help in reducing the rate of education inflation in the public schools (Mohammed and Fentey 301). The government has not played its role of ensuring that public schools are funded. The education system of UAE offers free education in public schools. Without enough funding, it is obvious that the conditions in the public schools will continue to deteriorate and the rates of drop outs also increase resulting in poor economic and social status in the UAE.
To improve the public education sector in UAE, the government has to ensure that the free education system remains sustainable. If the government is not able to support the education sector, it ought to look for alternatives, both within and in the exteriors. There are individuals and corporate sectors that would be willing to support the public schools for them to achieve their goals (Pieter and Medhat 70). The government should also be willing to improve the student-teacher ratio by employing more teachers and offering them better incentives for them to work responsibly and willingly.
Marketing Public Schools
Public schools in the UAE are facing numerous challenges because many parents have opted to enroll their children into private schools. The public schools are facing the challenge of student retention with some moving to private schools while others drop out. The public schools have to improve the facilities they offer to the students and market the schools and ensure they compete more seriously in the industry.
The public schools in UAE are striving hard to retain the students and attract new ones but their budgets are shrinking (Macpherson et al. 68). To effectively market the schools, they should get loud about their offers but before this, they have to assure the parents/guardians that the facilities in the schools have been improved.
They have to provide extracurricular activities and other prospects. The public schools also have to be honest in regard to the challenges they face and when they make achievements, they have to celebrate and bring these achievements to the public limelight. The education sector has become very competitive and it is high time for public schools to market their services just like the private sector. The public schools have to advertise using videos, newsletters and blogs and demonstrate their success and achievements to the public.
The public schools are being attacked from every direction i.e. parents/guardians, liberals, and conservatives leading to negatively disregard. The public schools have to start by engaging the locals and the community at large in their struggle to better the facilities. The government should also ensure the schools have the right facilities and enough teachers to handle the students to reduce the shortcomings (Mohammed and Fentey 296). Parents/guardians have to understand that public education helps in achieving social and personal goals.
The problems that affect the public schools in UAE can be solved if proper strategies are emphasized. The government has to understand that the economy depends on the level of education that its young people achieve. Proving facilities and teachers to the public schools would help solve the rate of drop outs and assist in student retention. The public schools should also make their achievements known in order to give confidence to the community and other prospective students (Pieter and Medhat 67). The problems in the public schools can be solved gradually and in due time they will be over and the rate of inflation in education will be greatly reduced.
Bradshaw, Tennant and Steve Lydiatt. “Special Education in the United Arab Emirates: Anxieties, Attitudes and Aspirations.” International Journal of Special Education 19.1 (2004): 49-55. Print.
Mohammed, Arif and Fentey Scott. “Systems analysis of the UAE education system.” International Journal of Educational Management 20.4 (2006): 291-303. Print.
Pieter, Kachelhoffer and Medhat El Nemr. “The radical modernization of school and education system leadership in the United Arab Emirates: Towards indigenized and educative leadership.” International studies in educational administration 35.1 (2007): 60-77. Print.