Sheikh Mansour announces launch of 11 new state-of-the-art public schools

Vice President says the major education project is key to the UAE's plans to support the next generation

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Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, on Wednesday announced the launch of 11 new government schools to serve 28,000 pupils across the country.

The state-of-the-art schools – opened under the Zayed Educational Complex project – are at the heart of a major drive to boost public education standards nationwide.

Sheikh Mansour hailed the initiative as a “national achievement” during a tour of one of the sites in Fujairah.

The schools are to feature cutting-edge laboratories, as well as facilities for sports and arts.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, with pupils at a new public school in Fujairah. Photo: UAE Presidential Court

Each school will have green spaces and at least 86 classrooms. Smart technology will also be available at the schools, which will focus on sustainability.

Each school is about four times the size of a typical public school, based on capacity, state news agency Wam reported.

More than 16,000 engineers, supervisors and workers were involved in the construction of the school buildings, to ensure they were ready to open for the new academic year.

The Zayed Educational Complex initiative was launched under the directive of President Sheikh Mohamed.

It is led by the Emirates Schools Establishment, which manages the country's public schools, in partnership with the Presidential Court and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

Sheikh Mansour visited the Zayed Educational Complex, in Mohamed bin Zayed Residential City, Fujairah, along with Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and chairman of the Emirates School Education Foundation, and Sara Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education.

“Today we inaugurated the Zayed Educational Complex project, which bears the name of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, who founded our country on science and knowledge, and laid the first building block for an educational renaissance with a proactive vision,” Sheikh Mansour said.

The project is a “new national achievement”, Sheikh Mansour said. It is in line with the UAE's vision for education institutions to be “centres for creativity, innovation and the creation of future generations”, he said.

"We aim for our educational institutions to be beacons of knowledge, experience, and life, and a source of inspiration for generations," Sheikh Mansour said.

Sheikh Mansour was briefed on how more than 30 local authorities have come together to construct the high-tech sites over the past eight months.

UAE's public school strategy

The UAE announced a shake-up at the Ministry of Education in May 2022, with new ministers chosen to improve education at all levels.

Sarah Al Amiri, an engineer who has led the UAE Space Agency during historic missions, was given the task of shaping the future of public education in her latest ministerial role.

The UAE has called for a sharper focus on maths and science taught in English at a young age.

Ms Al Amiri spoke of a three-pronged approach to revamping public education, in comments made in June last year.

“We have three main priorities,” she said.

“Firstly, our priority is to ensure the learning outcome of every public school pupil at every level.

“Secondly, it's the teachers, teachers, teachers. They are the foundation to build a good education system and are needed at all levels.

“And, thirdly, it is the leadership team that supports teachers and pupils. They can ensure the proposed changes will be carried out effectively.”

Public schools are primarily for UAE citizens, but they also accept some children of residents.

Last year, the government said 10 schools would be taken over by private operators.

Ajyal Schools, or Generation Schools, will be operated by leading private sector education groups Taaleem, Aldar Education and Bloom Education, and serve about 14,000 pupils nationwide.

All 10 schools will be in the Northern Emirates and will switch to the US curriculum.

Within three years, 28 schools will be run under this public-private partnership.

Updated: September 13, 2023, 12:19 PM