Dubai: Students and educators in the UAE expressed optimism on International Day of Education (January 24), on Monday, while connecting with peers to share knowledge and experiences.
At Expo 2020 Dubai, the ‘Nexus for People and Planet’ saw education experts, students and teachers reimagine the future of education following disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They shared best practices for teaching in an era of digitalisation, while also exploring innovations – such as distance education – brought about by disruptions to learning worldwide.
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “A cornerstone of the UAE’s development strategy, education has witnessed a fundamental shift since the beginning of the pandemic, with traditional learning modes dismantled in favour of others that better equip our next generation for the demands of the 21st century.”
Elementary students at Nibras International School in Dubai celebrated the occasion in their own way. Grade 2 teacher Nastasha Van Staden led a project where several teachers connected their students to students from around the world to learn more about their different education systems and classes. Many of the teachers reached out to former colleagues to create this experience for the students. Students from Grade 2 through to Grade 5 at Nibras virtually connected to similar aged students in South Africa and Thailand.
Right to education
Meanwhile, Karim Murcia, principal of GEMS Al Barsha National School in Dubai, said the world must come together to ensure all children have access to quality learning. “Every child deserves a great education and we must all share a commitment to both supporting the underserved children around the world and continuously innovating and improving to ensure every student is nurtured and is empowered to fulfil their potential.”
Mohammad Saleh, Regional Manager, Autodesk, said the pandemic has exposed the need for agility in both education and industry. “The disruptions brought about by the pandemic is now prompting leaders in industry and governance to reimagine a more resilient future for our societies and our future workforce. Upskilling for the future should be the new paradigm in education if we are to transform education and empower our future generations with the right set of knowledge and skills.”
Chance to reflect
Manan Khurma, founder and chairman of Cuemath, said International Day of Education presents an opportunity to address “global education inequality and learning losses sustained during the pandemic. We are committed to working towards solving these issues, and agree that education needs a rethink to transform the future”.
Khurma added: “Technology plays a crucial role in this journey. We believe that in order for this technology to be more effective, there is a need for more student-teacher interaction.”