Usman Ghani (November 7, 2013)
Since the education industry is seen as a major contributor to the growth of an economy as well as a need for all the citizens of that country, it is essential to give special attention to students who need focused care due to their special needs requirements.
It is good to see that the education sector of UAE is serving its customers well in that area, working towards making special programs and curriculums for students with special needs.
When evaluating and understanding the effectiveness of customer service in an industry, and especially education industry, it becomes necessary to assess how they serve the citizens with special needs.
UAE has been working with great dedicated and improvement in educating children with special needs.
Special education is given a lot of importance to in UAE and is dealt with as much commitment and regular education is. The UAE passed their UAE disability Act which was created to protect the rights and needs of the disabled.
The government has a great role to play in this since they have started many organizations and institutions to serve the need of the students with special needs. Specials schools like Dubai center for special needs, Dubai Autism Center, Hearing and Development center etc have been giving a lot of attention to the delicate needs of these special children.
The private institutions are also involved in many programs that help improve the learning abilities of these special children and create awareness about and for them in the country and the citizens. Organizations like Save the Children and UNICEF has also been involved in training school authorities on how to deal with these special children carefully as well as successfully and enroll them in regular schools so these children can have maximum learning and exposure towards a more normal life.
UAE being a hot spot for the expats around the world ends up having to make accommodations for their needs and requirements while their stay in UAE. This creates the demand for the education of the children of these expats, who mostly require educating their child in a global environment, where he or she can study international curriculums.
So firstly UAE, like most of GCC has Arabic Medium private schools, which are valued by either UAE nationals or expats from other GCC countries, or even foreigners who want their child to study in an Arabic school, or depending on their needs. These schools have a national curriculum and teaching skills and methods are quite similar to other schools.
UAE has also developed in the field of education keeping the expats in mind and the kind of schooling they would like to give their children. This has brought along the trend of international curriculums, such as British, American, as well as specific national communities like Germans, French and Japanese as well.
This is definitely great customer service since the needs of everyone are in perspective and specific attention is being paid to detail, keeping the customer happy and also bringing more revenue to the economy of UAE.
As you have read before there is a huge disparity between the education sector and the working requirements. The education sector needs to improve its links and communication with the private sector if they want the employment rates to increase and better jobs for its nationals to open up.
There is a high demand for skilled employees especially engineers and science graduates who can bring in more depth and technical contribution to the work force. This has created a huge lag between the government goals to improve the economy and make it an education based state instead of oil profiting one.
Despite so many efforts by the government and private institutions UAE still has a lot of students going to the US and UK to get their higher studies. The standards of higher education still lack in the GCC countries which leaves no option for the student but to go abroad.
Students get a better chance of getting hired on a more reputable and higher paying job if they get their education from abroad rather than getting it from UAE or a GCC member country, because they still lag behind the foreign standards of education.
Among the many educational problems the UAE faces one of them is the shortage of skilled teachers. This is problem that is also present in the other GCC countries where teachers have a short tenure of approximately two years after which they swap jobs. This is again poor customer service from the government and education board, but not towards students but also the teachers.
The teachers have very low wages offered and little or no perks and incentives for them, which makes the education industry unfavorable for them making them switch between schools searching for better options.
Not only this there Is also a shortage of trained and skilled teachers for the higher education and especially the private sector, since they are unable to find the standard and experience the schools are looking for and have to settle for less expertise from an instructor.
We definitely recommend training programs for already existing trainers, who can attend workshops by private companies as well as go abroad for short training programs that will help broaden their horizons as well as improve their abilities to provide skills to students.
Fresh graduates have been suffering greatly in UAE due to lack of job opportunities and with high competition fighting for prestigious positions. These graduates are seen as lacking practical experience and high standard education, in comparison to their competitors who are well knowledge and experienced in international exposure and have the edge of technical as well as innovative experience.
This impacts the household income of these nationals, who then in the future can’t afford private education for their children, pulling the Emiratis in a cycle of unemployment and deprived of high quality education.
The government needs to come up with plans, with keeping the private sector in the loop and create jobs for their nationals so they can improve their standards of living and then provide high quality education to their children, who can bring about a lifestyle change for themselves and boost the economy of UAE.
We think it’s essential that a public-private hybrid education is formed, so better management can be designed with getting the best out of the public and private sector and improving the skill set and technical expertise in UAE.
For a secure future of the nationals of UAE as well as its economy, the government must involve the private sector with it and work on different levels to improve the situation of education and unemployment. Schools at secondary level should be managed privately with the government keeping a look out for different matters and also investing in these programs. This will be a great start to improve standards at the secondary level.
The development of specialized universities on the tertiary level is also necessary, and the government must let students and workers improve their skills and become the best they can be. Partnership with the private sector is also very important for the tertiary level education and training, so when these students apply in the job market, there isn’t a gap between the needs of the companies and the employees.
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