A Pilot Study on the Challenges of the UAE Ministry of Education's “Advanced Science Program”: The Critical Gap Between Strategic Planning and Strategic Practice

A Pilot Study on the Challenges of the UAE Ministry of Education's “Advanced Science Program”: The Critical Gap Between Strategic Planning and Strategic Practice

Rima Shishakly (Ajman University, UAE) and Joseph George Lutta (Ajman University, UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8048-5.ch014

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an empirical study on the plan set by the Ministry of Education (MOE) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) named the “Strategic Plan 2017-2021.” The chapter aims to investigate the challenges that are faced specifically by the advanced science program (ASP) provided by the MOE, which was created to select Emirati elite students (ES) from different levels of education and allow them to join a fast-tracked, gifted students program. The study focuses on the current gap between the MOE strategic plan and their actual strategic practice, then recommends possible effective practices that might be adopted in order to overcome the challenges faced in achieving its goal.
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The Asp Curriculum

ASP was implemented in 2016 as part of MOE strategic plans to develop UAE’s education system. The program seeks to build and encourage the outstanding Emirati students to register and follow this program in selected government schools.

  • 1.

    The ASP Elite Stream is developed for academically outstanding students from Grade 6 to Grade 12.

  • 2.

    The program curriculum focuses on mathematics and science and is supported by a number of exercises, together with laboratory experiments to enhance analytical and logical thinking skills as well as practical problem solving.

  • 3.

    The ASP Elite Stream prepares national students for undergraduate and post-graduate studies, not only to pass the foundational year, but also to achieve the highest scores among their peers.

The students are required to attend an interview after passing the selection requirements using ASP applications, then they will be examined on both mathematics and science subjects. Selected government schools will be provided the elite program to the students in different levels and in different Emirates in UAE. Certain criteria are required from students to be eligible to enter the test. The selecting criteria are: Students for grade 8 and higher must get at least 90% in Mathematics and Science. Students for grades 5 to 7 must get at least 85% in Mathematics and Science (MOE, 206-2017).

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