Gulf News Edufair Schoool & Nurseries Image Credit: Virandra Saklani/ Gulf News

Gulf News Edufair Schools & Nurseries wrapped up with a clear message: innovation is crucial for education institutions in the UAE as they prepare students for an uncertain future. Whether it’s through innovative teaching practices or integrating technology in classroom, innovation is at the heart of everything schools do. Exhibitors at Edufair demonstrated how they go beyond traditional teaching methods to make learning impactful for children, showcasing new approaches and strategies.

“Today, 65 per cent of children starting primary school will eventually work in jobs that haven't been created yet. Meanwhile, 88 per cent of employers believe that current graduates lack essential skills for employment. These facts highlight the need for education institutions to innovate, adapt teaching methods, and equip learners for an evolving world,” said Rajani Nalla, Founder & CEO, Trusity Innovations Learning, at Edufair.

The show gathered the UAE’s top thought leaders and experts to provide guidance on major education trends shaping the sector. Their insights empowered parents to make informed decisions about their children’s future. The inaugural schools and nurseries edition saw participation from leading institutions in the UAE and attracted over 500 visitors over two days.

Effective learning pathways

In addition to identifying trends, experts also emphasised strategies to enhance children’s engagement in learning, further consolidating the education landscape in the UAE.

One prominent strategy discussed by the experts is the customisation of teaching methods to suit individual learning styles. "Our approach revolves around placing the child at the centre of everything we do," said Anam Salem, Branch Manager at Chubby Cheeks Nursery. "Focusing on the child's interests, we create a positive environment to facilitate their learning.”

Educators also spoke about the importance of socio-emotional learning (SEL) to help children develop essential skills such as self-awareness, empathy, and social interaction. "British Orchard Nursery has introduced an emotional quotient curriculum,” said Principal Anupama Monga. "We are not only training our staff but also encouraging parents to participate in this curriculum.”

Meanwhile, panellists at Gulf News Edufair emphasised the importance of introducing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education from an early age to equip children with critical life skills and knowledge to succeed in a technology-driven world.

“It’s best to start STEM education in the early years as children are naturally curious and less inhibited than older children. At this stage, children are more willing to innovate, question, experiment, make mistakes and learn from them,” explained Sara Hollis, Principal, American School of Creative Science, Nad Al Sheba.

Platform for knowledge sharing

Exhibitors were thrilled to engage directly with parents from diverse backgrounds and aspirations at Edufair, showcasing the distinct offerings of schools and addressing their queries regarding admissions, teaching methods, extracurricular activities, fees, and more.

“With so many schools in Dubai, it sometimes becomes a bit challenging for smaller education groups to stand out against larger competitors in the market and create the right awareness about our unique education offerings,” said Wedad Saada, Director, Ignite School. “We are happy to connect with other schools and nurseries at Edufair and learn from one another.”

Aminah Evans, Assistant Principal and Head of Foundation Stage at Hartland International School, was also happy to connect with parents at Edufair. "We showcased how we could help children develop lifelong skills, which they can carry into any future career."

Edufair also proved to be a valuable resource for families navigating the multitude of school and nursery options in the UAE.

“Edufair is a great place to start your research on schools. It gave us an understanding of how things work for schools in Dubai. Exhibitors provided an overview of the education system and explained the registration process,” said Indian expat Ankita Garg, who visited Edufair to explore schooling options for her two-year old son.