In a region where uninterrupted conflicts are leading to the displacement of millions of people, education seems to be a recurrent casualty and children are being denied decent access to knowledge. Dubai, a source of all good things in the region, is giving some hope to these unfortunate children by offering them access to digital learning through an international alliance, spearheaded by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).
“There are millions of children across the world with no access to education due to war and conflict. If we didn’t try to address this knowledge gap, we will fail to give our future generations a healthy environment to grow up in and contribute to their societies,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai noted as he announced the Digital School initiative, which is aimed at providing accredited online education to students wherever they are. The initial trial phase starts with 20,000 students and should reach at least one million students by 2026, he said.
MBRGI, the pioneering body behind dozens of humanitarian, education, health and entrepreneurship initiatives such as Dubai Cares, Humanitarian city, Reading Challenge, SME development, Water Aid (Suqia) projects among many other innovative projects around the world, has collaborated with leading educational institutions, such Harvard University, Stanford University and New York University, to build the online education platform which will facilitate the Digital School.
There are millions of children across the world with no access to education due to war and conflict. If we didn’t try to address this knowledge gap, we will fail to give our future generations a healthy environment to grow up in and contribute to their societies.
The ‘Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning’ will support and develop the Digital School’s implementation across different stages to enable education to students across the world, particularly those living in refugee camps and marginalised communities. It will also establish a practical education system based on the actual needs of different regions.
Victims of ongoing conflicts
Children, the most vulnerable victims of the ongoing conflicts in the region — in Syria Yemen and Libya for example, lose hope of any future as they are denied access to regular education. Their societies lose the contribution of an entire generation which naturally leads to a vicious cycle of poverty, unemployment and tragically illiteracy. The ability of these societies to rebuild and grow becomes an impossible task when its young generation lack the knowledge tools.
That is why the MBRGI’s new initiative is critical. It also comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which devastated economies around the world, leading to the loss of millions of jobs. Millions of children no longer have access to regular education as their families struggle to survive. True to its promise and vision, Dubai continues to spread hope.