Shaikh Mohammad watches a pupil use a tablet after launching the Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Initiative yesterday. A pilot of the project will be introduced in 18 schools covering Grade 6 to 9 from September. Classrooms will have e-boards and 4G networks while every student will have a tablet. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Revolutionising the way education is provided in the country's public schools, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday launched a new smart learning initiative that will transform classrooms as well as integrate teachers, students, parents and administrators into a single e-platform.

The Dh1 billion Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Initiative is part of the UAE Vision 2021 and will be introduced in four stages over five years.

A pilot of the project, which will include 18 schools covering students from grade six to grade nine, will be launched in September 2012.

Launching the project in an elaborate ceremony, Shaikh Mohammad said the basic development of education was an essential part of UAE Vision 2021 and was a national necessity for sustainable development as the road towards a better future for the UAE begins from the school.

"Our children deserve the best services. Developing education according to the best standards is of national importance and is a key component of UAE Vision 2021," said Shaikh Mohammad, as he announced the initiative.

He asserted that the government will continue to move forward on the same principle the UAE followed during the last forty years proving its success.

"It is the principle of investing in the human factor and its development, as it represents the most valuable wealth the nation owns and constitutes both the objective and the means of development," explained Shaikh Mohammad.

Facing challenges

Shaikh Mohammad said that the e-learning initiative was closely linked to the overall e-transformation of all government bodies and institutions, adding that he is closely following up the implementation of the project.

"The project will prepare future generations to face the new challenges of the new world more confidently," he emphasised.

The initiative when implemented fully would create a new learning environment in schools, through introducing ‘Smart Classes' in all public schools, providing every pupil with a tablet PC enabled by high speed 4G networks.

The system will also see students, teachers and parents interacting over every aspect of learning. The integration will basically help involve households in the development of education and enable them to make proposals and suggestions. It will also provide parents a first hand view of how the system works.

Enlisting the goals of the initiative Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education, said the project aimed to link students with the global knowledge community and empower them in using advanced technology for learning.

Specialised training is also to be provided for teachers to enable them to operate the system.

Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Saqr Gobash, Minister of Labour, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs also attended the event.

The project will be implemented through cooperation between the Ministry of Education and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority under direct observation of the Prime Minister's office.

— With inputs from WAM