A new generation of schools will be built in the UAE at a cost of Dh1.5 billion, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Monday.
The Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai said the schools would include laboratories for robotics, artificial intelligence, health and the environment, and special sports facilities.
Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement on a visit to the Higher Colleges of Technology in Fujairah, where he launched a plan to turn “colleges into economic zones”.
He also toured education centres in Kalba, Sharjah, during the visit to the Northern Emirates.
The plan includes a Dh100m fund to nurture business-oriented minds and develop career paths for 65,000 students in the hospitality, retail, oil and gas and logistics sectors, Sheikh Mohammed said.
The drive is in line with the 50-year charter he launched this year. Sheikh Mohammed also issued directives for technical academies at colleges to support learners who want to change their careers.
He said the plan would be a boost to the country’s economy as it would allow people to keep pace with technological developments and adapt their skills.
The academies will be open to students and those who want to upgrade their professional skills in line with the job market. Sheikh Mohammed also ordered programmes to be set up in higher education institutions to enable exceptional students to complete graduate degrees in three years.
“Our aim is to introduce a range of new ideas in the next 50 years and foster the development of the new generation, which will accelerate our sustainable economic growth,” he said.
“The new generation needs different approaches and tools for the future. When people have doubts due to economic volatility, we accelerate development.
“When they are afraid of the future, we further raise our commitment to build it. We have created a vision for our nation’s development for the next 50 years.”
Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied on the tour by Mohammed Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Nasser Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education and Dr Ahmad Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills.
Sheikh Mohammed has long been a champion of driving up education standards.
“The UAE school is a centre for the future. And our students are the leaders of the future of the UAE,” he said.
"We want an educational system that does not depend on information-teaching, but trains the mind on creativity and innovation in thinking."
During an address at the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions conference, held at Dubai World Trade Centre last week, Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, urged teachers to have an eye on the future by embracing advances in technology, including artificial intelligence, to prepare pupils for the workplace.