Sharjah/ Ras Al Khaimah: For placing education at the top of their priorities, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah were granted membership in the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).
GNLC is a forum that encourages the sharing of ideas and learning solutions among members, promoting policy dialogue and peer learning that helps to forge partnerships, develop capacity and instruments to encourage the building of learning cities.
The two emirates were recognised for “enhancing education and enabling lifelong learning among their people”. Membership in the GNLC was the resulting of expanding modern technologies in learning process and encouraging a culture of lifelong learning
According to a press release from Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) on Thursday, “Sharjah won the GNLC membership after its continuous success and as a result of meeting all the criteria to join the new learning cities network of UNESCO.”
UNESCO lauded Sharjah as a “culturally and economically vibrant city,” noting the emirate’s keenness to provide lifelong learning as it leads to sustainable development, economic competitiveness and innovation.
Sharjah places the educational process at the top of its priorities and as the pivot of comprehensive and sustainable development according to the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
The membership at the UNESCO network was conferred on Sharjah for promoting comprehensive learning. SGMB noted: “Sharjah has joined this month 79 cities that have so far obtained the membership. It joins the list of 294 cities from around the world in 76 countries on the UNESCO network consolidating its position after its continuous efforts in accordance with its goals aimed at making lifelong learning an integral part of life.”
Dr. Saeed Musabah Al Kaabi, chairman of the Sharjah Education Council, congratulated
Sheikh Sultan on the new achievement. He also stressed the importance of the UNESCO network membership as it constitutes a renewed step by UNESCO towards Sharjah to demonstrate its efforts in the service of education.
“Sharjah truly deserves this membership as it has developed all strategies aimed at providing continuing education and equal opportunities for society and education for all,” he added.
Raising education standards
As part of its efforts to join the UNESCO network and UN’s fourth sustainability goal in education, Sharjah launched a number of initiatives to ensure the right of everyone to equal opportunities in education.
Sharjah has also been working to provide access to education on a fair basis amongst the various groups in society in a city that enjoys cultural diversity, and to develop and implement policies and programmes ensuring learning for all groups and ages.
Sharjah Education Council worked with various educational institutions and stakeholders, including the Sharjah Private Education Authority, the councils of parents of male and female students in the emirate, and schools of all grades in developing policies and regulations to improve access to continuing education.
RAK’s dedication and vision
UNESCO recognised Ras Al Khaimah for its dedication inimproving emirate-wide education, expanding the use of modern technologies in the learning process, and empowering communities.
Dr. Mohamed Abdullatif Khalifa, secretary general of Ras Al Khaimah’s Executive Council, said: “Ras Al Khaimah joining UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities is a distinguished global achievement for the Emirate. It is evidence of the policies we are implementing in the education sector, which are inclusive of all segments of society, no matter their stage of life, and are reflective of the wise leadership of the UAE; the insightful and ambitious vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah; and the constant support of Sheikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah and Chairman of the Executive Council, in line with our country’s overall strategy and its global competitiveness priorities.”
Dr. Abdullatif Khalifa added: “Membership in GNLC will allow Ras Al Khaimah to share with the world its experience of consolidating education into the cultural, social, developmental and economic fabric of our society, and sharing our best practices to similar advanced cities internationally. It will also allow the Emirate to benefit from the experiences of member cities and contribute to developing global education policies as a basis for advancing human development and sustainability.”
Munther Mohammed bin Shakar Al Zaabi, director-general of Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, noted: “Ras Al Khaimah joining the GNLC highlights our vision to constantly improve the education sector and instill a culture of lifelong learning. This translates into providing people with educational programs that will enable them to achieve personally while also contributing to the overall success of Ras Al Khaimah.”
He added: “Ras Al Khaimah is moving forward in the provision of high-quality education for all, as it is a fundamental tool in the emirate’s development and desire to build a bright, prosperous and sustainable future.”