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Written and edited by Abdullah Al Shaiba, an editor with the Gulf News, “Implementing strategies takes time” article aims to convince the Ministry of Education to be patient and give its latest proposal a chance, because it will take time before the stipulated outcomes will be realized.
The article was first published online on June 19, 2010. A complete reference for the article is available in the reference section of this critique. The United Arabs Emirates (UAE) recognizes education as a means to achieve development and affluence.
The Gulf News reports four different education strategies launched within a span of eight years. This article was inspired by the impatience shown by the Ministry of Education on many educational strategies implemented to address challenges faced by the education system.
These strategies target the students. However, it should be noted that students are not the only stakeholders in any educational system; other stakeholders include the government, parents, and private organizations. Therefore, for any single strategy to succeed, it should be holistic and comprehensive.
The article’s theme is true because implementing strategies usually involves more than one stakeholder. In addition, it requires investment of large amounts of capital, which cannot be raised overnight. Therefore, the reader will expect this article to examine the efforts the Ministry of Education makes to achieve its objective. What role will each stakeholder play in the implementation? What resources does each stakeholder need to implement the strategy?
The author believes that ‘Education Strategy 2020’, which was launched in 2002, has more or less all the qualities necessary to accomplish the major objectives of the UAE. The strategy touches on major important aspects of education system.
Again, the author commends the delegation of power by the ministry through the formation of educational zones. However, a new strategy that requires a complete overhaul of the previous one was introduced three years after the 2002 project. In deed, a new strategy always comes with a new minister of education; subsequently, the new minster of education introduced a third strategy.
Each of these strategies comes with fresh policies, which do not relate with the previous. Similarly, the current minister launched a new strategy for 2010-2020.
The author points out that the instability in education system adversely affects the student. Schools are divided into three categories viz. traditional, future, and model schools. Nevertheless, Schneider argues that country-specific education divisions can be reliably transformed into the ISCED categories (2008, p.5).
The schools are managed under different educational system and therefore, the author believes that a big difference exists across the students because of the unprecedented fluctuation of the education system.
The author of this article has not clearly supported the title of the article. He fails to show how implementation of education strategy takes time. Instead, the author simply chooses to criticize how the Ministry of Education has continually jumped from one strategy to another.
The author took the audience from one strategy to another, just mentioning strategies’ targets without revealing the procedures used to implement the “Education Strategy 2020”; moreover, he fails to elucidate how long it would take to implement the strategy.
Importantly, the author fails to show how and who foresees the accomplishment of the objectives of the Ministry. In fact, the ‘Emiratisation’ of the education system works against the odds of standardization of the education system in the UAE.
Further, the author describes the subsequent strategy adopted by the Ministry of Education but still fails to depict how its implementation is accomplished. The author does not mention the revolutionary changes in the education system of the UAE necessary to facilitate development of diversified economy. He does not indicate how the Ministry of Education will match its education system to the international standards and the resource investments needed to achieve the outlined objectives.
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The third point the author makes is the launch of a fresh education strategy that uphold the theory of ‘Education for Life’ aimed at creating a modern system concurrent with the international standards. Again, the author simply highlights the strengths of the strategy, the four crucial policies. Abdullah does not argue his theme; nothing he mentions depicts how implementing a strategy takes time.
The author states the fourth strategy employed by the Ministry of Education, which is intended to cover 2010 to 2020. He does not show how strategic initiatives such as defining the UAE examination standards consistent to the international standards.
Nevertheless, the world’s education systems differ greatly with regard to structure and curricular substance (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2011), and it is very hard to translate a countries’ education system to fit the international standards.
Nevertheless, Abdullah notes that failure by the UAE to implement the second strategy will lead to serious consequences. The negative outcomes he mentions include the production of graduates, who will be incapable of contributing effectively to the economy because they will be incompetent in leadership, communication, and information technology even though the reader may have problems comprehending this point, because it does not explain how education strategy implementation takes time.
The author fails to appreciate that implementation of any strategy takes time; he would at least outline how such implementation would take shorter time. He shows how the UAE Ministry of Education straggles to meet its objectives.
Abdullah has not convinced the Ministry of Education to be patient with its strategies because he only criticized the current situation without giving or suggesting alternative means to accomplish the failed strategies. Development of an education strategy needs a rigorous studies prior to its launching.
Schneider, S. (2008). The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-97): Application to country-specific educational qualifications and implementation in cross-national surveys. Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Web.
Shaiba, A. A. (2010, June 19). Implementing strategies takes time. Gulf News.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2011). The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED).