Sunday, 9 March 2014

GEF and GESS 2014 concludes on a successful note highlighting UAE education system

9,000 scholars exchange international expertise and future prospects during three-day event

Participants demand establishment of research academic knowledge network for educational sector

Recommendations made to raise investments in educational technology across all schools and academic institutions

MOE Minister Al Qatami: “The wide participation from officials, experts and scholars from the UAE and beyond has exceeded our expectations”

[UAE, March  2014] Participants of the 7th Annual Global Education Forum (GEF) and the Gulf Education Supplies and Solutions Exhibition (GESS) have agreed that the massive changes and remarkable progress across all industries in the UAE have significantly contributed to the global efforts to come up with an international learning model and have encouraged prestigious schools to continue in their move to meet the country’s educational aspirations and objectives—falling in line with UAE Vision 2021 and is aimed at providing first-class education system and adhering to the national agenda whose strategic objective is to reach a high-level educational system.

The official consensus was part of the closing statement of the three-day GEF and GESS 2014, which was held under patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The participants expressed their gratitude to His Highness whose sponsorship of the event was a main factor for its success, making it one of the top leading events of international interest.
The three-day convention featured open forums and an estimated 150 technical workshops and sessions that was attended by 100 specialists and lecturers from 40 countries. More than 9,000 participants including local and international leaders, GCC educational delegates, officials from ministries and educational sector, school principals, teachers, instructors, industry experts and officials gathered for the event.

Participants affirmed that the UAE Ministry of Education (MoE), which is responsible for implementing measures to strengthen and enhance the country’s education segment, has made significant progress towards achieving UAE’s goal of creating a leading educational system. The closing statement also cited MoE’s past and present accomplishments and current policies and platform which were thoroughly discussed during the forum.

MoE’s accomplishments included the implementation of a smart learning program; a range of smart services which won the Ministry a 5-star plaque for being one of the best federal government services; Best m-Government Service Award-winner application (Abnaee); and Duroosi YouTube channel, which is the first-of-its-kind modern digital learning initiative. The Ministry has also established advanced educational centers including IT centers in schools, Center for Educational Technology, R&D and Experimental Educational Tools and centers for special needs educational sources as well as an integrated interactive online platform for school curricula.

The participants lauded the MoE for providing an unprecedented development model and scientific methodology in the area of smart learning, smart services, and digital classrooms. The achievements were attributed to the combined efforts of both government agencies and private organizations which are at the forefront of making the education industry globally competitive.
The participants also mentioned that the valuable changes in the educational system of the UAE, accompanied by the comprehensive and integrated development of schools, have ably positioned the MoE closer to offering an advanced school model in terms of facilities and equipment. Nonetheless, the determination of educational professionals guarantees that additional achievements and developments are yet to come.

Participants have agreed upon the following recommendations:
  1. Make the best of educational research findings to develop teaching methods and curricula in line with fast-emerging technological trends.
  2. Establish a research-academic knowledge network which allows teachers and education professionals to utilize sources of knowledge across all educational processes.
  3. Increase cooperation and communication among the GCC-based academic institutions for the use of various educational technologies.
  4. Provide opportunities for teachers and education professionals to conduct field researches related to the role of technology in serving educational methodologies.
  5. Localize distinctive international experiences in digital learning and various applications catering to education.
  6. Utilization of educational technologies to help integrate students with special needs and ensure their education.
  7. Activate and employ technology to lessen psychological and professional stress for teachers and other people employed in the education sector.
  8. Implementing learning techniques to guarantee achieving targeted national qualification standards.
  9. Increase student’s achievements by leveraging educational techniques required to pass the global standardized exams such as IMSS and PISA.
  10. Employ educational techniques to enhance teachers’ qualifications and professional skills with the best available system and programs that contribute in acquiring 21st century’s expertise.
  11. Encourage and support educational institutions in the use of smart technical tools to make teacher’s role more active.
  12. Encourage educational institutions to use social networking platforms to improve educational process.
  13. Support educational institutions to digitize educational curricula of various programs and use of interactive electronic integrated programs.
  14. Employing modern learning techniques to build attractive environment for education.
  15. Encourage and support learning communities on the use of different languages effectively ​​in communication and interaction.
  16. Develop and employ technical assessment techniques with a system of continuous assessment.
  17. Improve students’ self learning through boosting schools’ infrastructure to facilitate the use of modern technologies.
  18. Strengthen and activate school-local community relations to become a center for technical education and implement it in various aspects of life.
  19. Encourage excellence and innovation among students, teachers and their respective administrative departments.
H.E. Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, UAE Minister of Education, said: “The number of attendees at the 7th Annual GEF and the GESS Exhibition has exceeded our expectations. The Ministry has effectively leveraged the UAE’s position towards educational development as a formula for the success of this annual event, which has become an ideal destination for education experts and pioneers of the technology industry, including software developers and makers of smart applications. The forum has also become the most prominent gathering in the region to understand the current state of the region’s education segment--its challenges, future prospects and the union of modern educational thought with successful educational experiences.
Al Qatami added that the Ministry of Education highly values the participant’s contributions on the educational issues discussed by the officials, experts and specialists who came from the UAE, the region and the globe. This mobility in the educational sector of the region would surely contribute in providing new insights for further development of the sector that could be beneficial for everyone.