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Schools in the UAE Leave Grads Unequipped for Job Market

UAE : 04 November 2010

The education system in the UAE is failing, leaving national graduates ill equipped for work in the UAE, according to a Federal National Council member.

The gap that exists between what the school system provides and what the UAE economy needs is an indication of the problem, stated Najla Faisal Al Awadhi of the FNC.

The rapid growth of the UAE is a challenge.  Because economic developments in telecommunications, infrastructure and foreign investments have not been met by developments in the education system there is a lack of human capital to meet the rising economic demands, according to Al Awadhi, general manager at the media firm Dubai One.

If the UAE is to truly reach the aspiration of becoming a key global player, there are areas such as the education system that need immediate attention and development.

Al Awadhi, the youngest member of the Federal National Council, called on private industries to claim a stake in the school system in an effort to turn failing education establishments around.

She noted that the private sector can vocalize the issues they are facing, approaching the government and current policies in an effort to work together.

The education budgets within Gulf nations are on the rise as they move to bolster economic growth and decrease their dependency on the petro industry.  This process is moving slowly and a number of schools are continuing to struggle.

The Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau noted in June that four in 25 schools throughout Dubai failed inspections.

Al Awadhi spoke on the sideline of discussions put on by Dubai Knowledge Village.  The panel meeting was held to consider the future for business in the UAE.

Chairman of the Bin Zayed Group, Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan, noted that the nation must push to encourage the small businesses within.  Sheikh Khaled, who is also the founder of the Bin Zayed Group, stated that many potential and talented entrepreneurs are limited and discouraged by red tape and difficult, confusing legislation.

The cost of starting a company in the UAE is high, said Sheikh Khaled. Compared to other locations, such as the US where business start up can cost very little, the cost and amount of licenses required in the UAE is excessive.

Reducing the costs would then encourage skilled entrepreneurs to move forward creating jobs and innovations that will have a large impact on the overall economy.

In the Doing Business 2011 report, released by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, the UAE ranked in 37 out of 40 nations.

With costs as high as they are Sheikh Khaled feels that reductions are necessary.  Then entrepreneurs, who are often responsible for job creation, innovation and making a difference in the economy, can more easily start and operate their businesses.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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