Abu Dhabi: The need for greater technological integrations in schools, the challenges in creating well rounded pupils who can succeed in higher education studies and then the job market are some of the difficulties facing the educational sector today.
These were some of the issues highlighted at a press conference announcing the inaugural edition of the Transforming Education Summit (TES), which will take place from May 7th to 9th at the Emirates Palace Hotel.
The biennial event is organised by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of ADEC.
"The aim of TES is to address how educational change can be implemented across sectors in societies around the world…the UAE, like its partners in the GCC, seeks to reap a ‘demographic dividend' if transformations in education are properly implemented," said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, ADEC's Director General.
"Given that 65 per cent of the population is under 25 years of age, ADEC has a mandate to maximize the potential of young people in Abu Dhabi and empower them to be part of their society's remarkable growth," he added.
Over 150 international delegates, including former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Muhyiddin Yassin as well as business leaders and leading academics, will take part in the three day summit.
"According to a study we are presenting at the summit, one in four young people are currently unemployed in the Middle East, which is double the global unemployment rate. Among the reasons for this is the lower level educational quality being offered in the region," said Richard Shediac, the senior vice president at Booz & Company.
Following the event, Booz & Company will release a report in partnership with ADEC containing the recommendations amassed from the summit's discussions, to be used by participants to help effect change in their home countries. ADEC will also host a summit to discuss these findings later on in the year.