The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) was honored and awarded a trophy by the Ministry of Education, during its annual Day of Loyalty celebrations on February 21, 2013. The honor was bestowed in recognition of the ECSSR’s contribution as one of the Ministry’s strategic partners for according great importance to the cause of education and for making constant efforts for supporting and enhancing the education process in the UAE.
On this occasion, His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the ECSSR, said that the honor comes as recognition for the ECSSR’s leading role from an early stage to improve and enhance education and place it above its various other priorities and activities. The ECSSR has been a leader in highlighting the cause of education and for raising awareness of its various aspects since its establishment. In fact, the Annual Conference 04 of the ECSSR in 1998 was convened under the title: “Challenges of the Next Millennium: Education and Development of Human Resources.” It called for the building of Emirati cadres so that they take on the responsibilities of development through the benefits of modern education and in line with international standards. Then in 2008, the ECSSR held a conference titled: ‘Arabic and Education: A Futuristic Perspective for Development,’ wherein the ECSSR tackled a critical facet of education that is linked to national security in its broader context, which pertains to the concept of national identity and its relationship with language.
His Excellency added that “as part of the ECSSR’s interest to establish a regular forum to discuss the issue facing education and to keep abreast of its rapidly changing variables, in order to promote the UAE’s development goals, the Center — under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces—launched an annual conference exclusively dedicated to education in the UAE in 2010. The first conference was held under the title ‘Education in the UAE: Current Status and Future Development.’ The Second conference was convened in 2011 under the title: ‘Essentials of School Education in the United Arab Emirates;’ while the third conference was held in 2012 under the title: ‘Information Technology and the Future of Education in the United Arab Emirates.’
The Director General of the ECSSR also pointed out that the Center’s effort in supporting education is neither limited to the convening of conferences and seminars on its diverse facets nor in bringing together specialists, experts and related officials from the UAE and abroad, but also extends to the regular issuance of the ECSSR’s scientific publications in this discipline. For the Center, education forms an essential and significant priority—both in terms of the challenges it faces at the national level, as well as in terms of developments taking place in the field at the global level, especially in the spheres of curricula, mechanisms and other facets. The ECSSR also conducts research and studies in coordination with concerned authorities in the UAE for the development of this strategic sector.
His Excellency stressed that the Center’s interest in education stems from its belief that as a national research organization it should make a major contribution to support the development process in the country, and in this respect education is the key to progress and the path taken by all nations in their march toward development and prosperity. No people in their history are known to have had a preeminent location on the world map, and all have come out of the circle of underdevelopment, poverty and backwardness, with education being the main asset and the key. This is what our wise leadership — headed by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him)— have been emphasizing by constantly developing and moving forward in this field, under the UAE Vision 2021. The vision aims to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2021, i.e. on its 50th National Day. This would entail the presence of a first-class education system and an economy based on knowledge as well as full employment and harnessing of its human potential. All these things would combine to enhance the unique and distinctive facets of education at the national level.
His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi concluded by stating that the UAE, on its path to development and leadership, needs constructive cooperation between its various national institutions and an effective partnership that serves the highest objectives of the nation. Interaction between these institutions with the society and its issues is equally important. His Excellency pointed out that the ECSSR, since its establishment, has made community service as one of its main areas of interest, and its research, studies and other activities seek to be in constant touch with community issues of the present and the future. Moreover, the ECSSR has been interested in building effective partnerships with other national institutions, particularly the Ministry of Education and related organizations concerned with the issue of education in the country, as it works in accordance with a specific philosophy that exists in society— with its concomitant priorities, challenges and issues. The importance of any institution stems primarily from its involvement in the ambitions and problems of society as well as its efforts to contribute effectively to the development of frameworks and strategies to deal with such problems and ambitions.