DUBAI 22 April 2020: The Ministry of Higher Education has announced that university students will not be issued academic warnings, be placed under monitoring, or be dismissed during the current distance-learning phase.
Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, said that higher education institutions are committed to the decision adding that his ministry is working at full capacity to “reduce the burden on students during the current coronavirus crisis.”
Dr. Al Falasi said that higher education institutions will continue to evaluate students based on the traditional evaluation represented by A, B, C and D grades while preserving their right to accept or decline this evaluation system for their cumulative Grade Point Average, GPA. Yet, he added, students are able to decline if they feel have been unable to adapt to the e-learning system, or if they believe that their evaluation does not represent their true academic level.
According to Al Falasi, students have the right to choose a ‘pass’ or ‘no pass’ evaluation instead of a grade.
Reiterating the importance of distance learning at this time, Dr. Al Falasi said that all institutions should have in place practical remote education solutions, including ‘virtual internship’ systems.
Importance of distance learning
He stressed the importance of interactive communication methods to facilitate the practical aspects of academic programmes, such as laboratory work, training, and discussion of graduation projects. He also highlighted in particular the importance of applying simulation systems to clinical case studies for medical students to enable their clinical evaluations to be conducted remotely, said Wam.
The minister went on to say that all higher education institutions are committed to delivering education using “appropriate tools and mechanisms to facilitate distance learning.” At the same time, he stressed that students have a responsibility to adhere to the rules and regulations of the remote evaluation process, including allowing the use of electronic monitoring tools, such as live streamed video, during examinations.
He added that the ministry is working closely with various institutions to reach a “practical formula through which we can maintain the efficient functioning of the educational system” and “prepare students during this exceptional time.”
Pioneering electronic systems
The minister assured that the UAE enjoys pioneering electronic systems and advanced technological infrastructure through which the country is able to effectively and efficiently implement remote learning in higher education.
“We prioritise the students’ interests by ensuring their adaptation to the remote learning system and the application of the new form of evaluation”, he concluded.