Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday inaugurated the first operational phase of The Digital School in five countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania and Colombia.
In the first year, more than 20,000 students will be enrolled, as part of a vision to increase the number of students to 1 million students within the next five years. Dubai Cares, as a strategic partner to offer support and advisory services, has added 32 global entities as allies to the initiative, which enhances the Digital School's partnerships portfolio. Dubai Cares also made a financial commitment of Dh5 million to support the Digital School's global standing.
The announcement was made during a special event held at Expo 2020 Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed said: “Our goal is to bring digital learning to new horizons as it is the education of the future and the future of education.”
Commenting on the initiative’s goal of providing learning opportunities for refugees, displaced persons and students in disadvantaged areas in different countries around the world, Sheikh Mohammed added: “In line with international standards in its educational and knowledge content, The Digital School articulates our belief that education is a right for all and that equal educational opportunities are the basis of comprehensive and sustainable development.”
The inauguration event was attended by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; and Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Also attending were members of the board of directors of The Digital School, which include Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Digital School; Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs; Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai; Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority; Dr Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares; Dr Mohamed Qasem, Assistant Professor at the College of Technological Studies in Kuwait; and Dr Walid Al Ali, Secretary-General of The Digital School.
The event highlighted the objectives of The Digital School in its first year to reach students in five countries, train 500 teachers, set up 120 learning centres, and provide world-class educational content in three languages initially – Arabic, French and Spanish.
In coordination with local authorities and national education systems, The Digital School is working in its first year in five countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania and Colombia. It adopts the latest technology applications, artificial intelligence and educational tools to fulfil the educational needs of the students benefiting from the initiative.
Presented initially in three languages – Arabic, French and Spanish – with materials matching the nationally approved curricula in the beneficiary countries and communities through a modern digital education platform, The Digital School provides lessons in mathematics, science, Arabic, computer, and others through virtual and comprehensive classrooms. It offers an interactive learning environment that contributes to student empowerment and enhances communication between students and educators through advanced tools to assess performance, promote self-learning, and ensure an interactive simulation of each student's needs.
The Digital School system consists of six key components: interactive digital content, learning technology appropriate to the application environment, professional development for teachers and education facilitators, local and international partnerships to achieve the sustainability of digital education, an education model that promotes independent learning skills, and continuous data assessment and evaluation.
The Digital School also seeks to empower teaching communities, educators, and to assist in the professional development of teachers, educational leaders and education facilitators through a broad training program in partnership with Arizona State University to qualify 1,500 digital teachers over the next three years.
The training program includes a dedicated module for teachers, education facilitators, school principals and education officials, and offers a mixed learning course that combines self-learning and coaching for a period of up to six months, after which the trainees who meet the requirements will receive a certificate issued by The Digital School and approved by the Arizona State University. It is available in four languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
Students can benefit from the ‘digital tutor’ to support them in their study plan and follow up on their educational progress, with the provision of a comprehensive assessment mechanism within the learning stages.
Sheikh Mohammed had launched The Digital School in November 2020, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Al Olama said: “The Digital School has a global alliance of more than 30 international organizations and academic, educational and research institutions, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, Harvard, and Arizona State University, that support its goals and contribute toward designing a promising and sustainable future for digital learning. Through technology applications and solutions according to the Education for All vision, we look forward to reaching one million students in the next five years.”
The Digital School’s strategic partnership agreements
-Emirates Red Crescent Authority becomes the strategic partner to establish 1,000 learning centers for the Digital School around the world,
-Dubai Cares, as a strategic partner to offer support and advisory services, has added 32 global entities as allies to the initiative, which enhances the Digital School's partnerships portfolio. Dubai Cares also made a financial commitment of Dh5 million to support the Digital School's global standing.
-Arizona State University (USA) also becomes the strategic partner for training and qualifying digital teachers,
-Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai becomes a main supporter by allocating a sustainable charitable endowment to support the digital school,
-Microsoft becomes a strategic partner in developing future digital education technologies.