The UAE unveiled on Monday a new eLearning project that aims to provide free online educational material to over 50 million students in the Arab World between Kindergarten and Grade 12, by the end of 2018.
‘The Mohammad Bin Rashid Arabic eLearning Project’ was launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-president and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in a ceremony held at the World Trade Center.
Under the project, Shaikh Mohammad introduced ‘The Translation Challenge’ calling on Arabs to help translate into Arabic, math and science material from 5000 English videos and 11 million words.
"The first priority is education, second priority is education and the third priority is education," said Shaikh Mohammad during the launch.
Providing high-quality education in science and math to all Arab students is integral to rebooting our civilisational development; E-Learning is the fastest way to bridge the educational gap in the Arab world,” said Shaikh Mohammad.
WATCH: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid at the launch of the event. Video by Jumana Khamis, Staff Reporter
“We have challenged all Arabs to help translate 11 million words in order to produce 5,000 educational videos in one year; we urge anyone interested to participate in this important ongoing cultural project,” he added.
Volunteers can participate by completing the application process on the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’ (MBRGI) website before October 18, 2017.
During the launch, Shaikh Mohammad emphasised the project’s goal is to provide high standard academic material in science and math to all Arab students. He pointed out the project is the “first step in a long journey to improve education in the Arab world, and make it accessible to millions of Arab students.”
“Translation is the foundation of a cultural renaissance, and opens the doors to intellectual enlightenment. The reality of the education system in the Arab world may be disappointing, however today we light a candle of hope,” he said.
Following the call to action for all Arabs to come together, Shaikh Mohamad said: “I believe in the unbound potential of Arab students when they have access to the necessary resources, tools and material to excel.”
The Translation Challenge
The Translation Challenge, which is the first initiative under the project, aims to Arabise key online resources across the science and math curricula, in order to provide comprehensive and integrated content.
The e-platform, will lay a foundation of a new knowledge base, and focus on providing supporting academic material on subjects including physics, chemistry, biology, general sciences and mathematics.
Gulf News talked to Abdulla Al Nuaimi, project manager at MBRGI, who said “the challenge is open to people in all academic fields- including scientists, researchers, translation professionals as well as anyone who is able to translate scientific and mathematical content into Arabic.”
Ideal candidates include teachers, professors, researchers, university students, technicians, designers, and video editors.
Al Nuaimi also said that 5000 videos in English will be selected by a specialised team of educational experts, from the Khan Academy e-library, a non-profit educational institute that provides educational videos online, in various curricula and subjects, to millions of students around the world.
The content, which will be translated, will be broken down to 500 videos per month and 50,000 minutes of video editing.
“The second phase will include auditing all the translated content, and the third phase will be producing interesting videos for Arab students, which will be available free-ofcharge online once the website is launched in a year’s time,” added Al Nuaimi.
A team will be dedicated to organising the volunteers, while another team will head the production of the videos.
The UAE Ministry of Education, in cooperation with vari- American ous educational institutions in the UAE, will also conduct rigorous reviews of all the videos, after a specialised committee of professors, mentors and experts is formed.
Registration can be completed at www.almaktouminitiatives.org.