The educational system resembles human organism: when every part of it functions incoordination, a living being is of high viability. Unfortunately, the contemporary way of obtaining knowledge can be ironically associated with well-known circumstances. A monkey, an elephant, a fish, and a penguin are taking part in a fair selection that requires climbing a towering tree. Is such selection in fact fair? If you expect an animal the natural habitat of which is water to do an action or a movement that is not characteristic to its innate abilities, you cannot expect much success. Modern education in the majority of countries around the world is on the stage of overcoming a similar challenge. Undoubtedly, the system is in need of reorganization and modernization, yet they’re also are the countries educational methods of which deserve worldwide attention and adoption. France is one such country that can serve as a good example for the United Arabian Emirates to follow since France has an idea to offer and the UAE has the potential and enthusiasm to implement it.
Major principles of the French educational system have a centenary history originating from the 1880-90s. Education is free and has no religious subtext. Furthermore, schooling is compulsory for children aged 6-16. In France, private and public systems coexist, so an applicant can choose an educational establishment that best fits his or her material and intellectual needs. The population of the country shares the opinion that their way of teaching is too theoretical since technical education was in the shadow of governmental funding for a long time. Besides, training conditions have some disadvantages as well, such as overloaded classes, lack of professors, and a poor sufficiency with teaching materials. However, despite a few imperfections, the educational system of France is considered one of the most compelling and elaborate. Young people seeking a safe place to cherish their intellectual resources are likely to choose French establishment as a base for a prosperous and promising future.
The educational system of the Eastern giant, the UAE, is relatively young and inexperienced. In recent years, the educational sector has become the central focus, but still, there is a need for some improvements. After the Education For All forum, Dr. Faryal Khan, UNESCO’s program specialist for education, said that ‘while the UAE has high literacy rates, you have high numbers of enrollment in primary education and secondary education, you have a good higher-education system, the quality remains a challenge’ (Pennington, 2014). The population census data demonstrated poor standards of UAE education in 1995: 60% and 67% of the native and foreign population accordingly has educational attainment below secondary schooling level. Furthermore, 33% of males and 40% of females have no formal education at all (Muysken & Nour, 2006). Therefore, there are several specific techniques that the Arab educational system can borrow from France.
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First, The Ministry of Education in the UAE should pay attention to the application process and tuition fees for non-residents. In fact, every foreigner pays for courses he or she decides to attend. Some institutions require the payment for all years of studying in advance and have a special entrance examination. Moreover, some universities are completely impossible for international students to enter. From the general perspective, such educational policy is a bit discriminative, when in France non-residents can apply for financial aid, or ask the government to cover the costs of education fully or partially (depending on the results of exams).
The second issue concerns class division in terms of sex. In the UAE, boys, and girls, starting from kindergarten, study separately. Only being in high school, there is a practice of mixed classes. That is why ‘sex blending’ from an early age is one more managerial experience France can share. Obviously, being a part of a society a citizen should accustom to its diversity because no male and female allocations take place in a public habitat. Therefore, children have to be able to adopt appropriate behavioral patterns while being among representatives of both genders. The earlier they adopt the necessary skills, the easier the adjustment is.
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One more tendency worth following is a preschool age decrease. For example, in France, parents can send their two-year-old offspring to kindergarten while in the Emirates this ‘age lath’ is four years. It is very convenient for the parents who are both working to let professional babysitters take care of their children from 7 am to 7 pm. Moreover, children of non-citizens in the UAE can attend public schools only for a fee. It is necessary to remember that training in such schools is conducted in Arabic (except for some technical disciplines) and separately for boys and girls. Therefore, more than 40% of pupils of the country go to private schools where training is in English and in accordance with international standards. In fact, after graduating from private schools, it is easier to enter a university. In public schools, a significant part of the program is the study of the Arabic language, the Qur’an, as well as Islamic culture and history. Hence, curriculum correction is also a concern that requires attention. In France, pupils and students have the possibility to study the preferred disciplines in English. That is why the syllabus seems more attractive and accessible for foreigners who are fluent in this language.
To conclude, the educational system does not have to be isolated within a specific country’s policy. There are always opportunities for enhancement of the systems of schooling in most countries of the world. France is an example of the nation that has the resources and experience to share, which the UAE can adopt for a reliable and roaring future of the youth.