United Arab Emirates is one of the educational hubs in the world and home to best schools, colleges and top universities in UAE. But, this would not have happened if it did not have a visionary leader like Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Born around 1918 in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan found emirate in a poor and undeveloped state. Education was generally confined to lessons in reading and writing. On August 6, 1966, after succeeding his elder brother as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed took massive construction programme for schools, colleges, hospitals with a vision to set Abu Dhabi on a developmental curve.
In 1968, His Highness Sheikh Zayed established closer ties with other emirates and together with the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, formed a federation that included all the 7 emirates. Soon after the formation of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed took large-scale initiatives for the education sector.
He firmly believed in education for all citizens and started rolling out educational reforms that resulted in schools and learning centres being built across the country. He facilitated recruitment of teachers from Arab countries to provide the best possible education to the younger generations.
In less than a span of five years, the United Arab Emirates was able to meet all necessary educational requirements of its citizens. The efforts of Sheikh Zayed led to the creation of best universities, training courses and schools in Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi etc. The United Arab Emirates became home to an increasing number of national and international schools, universities and training centres.
“The Greatest use that can be made of wealth is to invest it in creating generations of educated and trained people.” – HH- Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Sheikh Zayed is known to have privately paid for the construction and annual running cost of the hundreds of schools in dozens of developing and third world nations. Sheikh Zayed believed in equal educational opportunities to everyone without any biases regarding gender and race. Women were empowered to education under his visionary leadership.
“We look forward to seeing our sons and daughters play a more active role in the future. They should participate in the development process by sharing responsibilities, especially in the private sector, to lay foundations for the success.“ – HH- Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Sheikh Zayed encouraged women to seek education and become productive. He took some key initiatives which went a long way to help women in education and at workplaces. He said “I completely approve of women in the workplace. How could I possibly say otherwise when our Islam sanctions it? I subscribe to this completely, with one condition, that any work should correspond to a woman’s nature and safeguard her dignity”. Such were the ideas and beliefs of this great leader who transformed the United Arab Emirates into a land full of opportunities.
Keeping in view the needs of present and future generations, he laid out a vision that ensured the sustainable development of the United Arab Emirates in terms of both education as well as infrastructure.
His efforts created a variety of accredited institutions such as the UAE university founded in 1976, the Higher Colleges of Technology established in 1988 and the Zayed University founded in 1998 which carries the tag of being one of the top universities in Dubai. He built schools such as Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for girls and boys in 2000. He established learning centres all over the country.
“The Woman is half of the society; Any country which pursues development should not leave her in poverty or illiteracy.” – HH- Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
The year 2018 has been marked as Year of Zayed. To celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of great Sheikh Zayed, let’s take some time to reflect on his contributions and achievements. He was a man who dedicated his life to improving his country and humanity in general. The nation he built has brought him a reputation that only a few leaders in the world can boast of.
At Edu UAE , we are celebrating the year of Zayed by providing the universal access to the information about educational institutions in the United Arab Emirates to help you lead your educational journey with ease and with guidance. This is our small tribute to the legendary leader – Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
What are you doing to celebrate the Year of Zayed? You are welcome to let us know in the comment section.