ZU Education Conference discusses next five decades in education to meet UAE centennial objectives

ABU DHABI, Zayed University virtually held the 3rd annual Education Conference “Zayed’s Legacy: the next 50 years start now” hosting over 500 education experts to explore the future of education over the next five decades for the UAE Centennial 2071 Objectives.

The conference was organised in collaboration between Zayed University’s College of Education, UAE Ministry of Education and the Arab Thought Foundation.

The conference was held in the presence of three key ministers from the UAE academic sector – Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and President of Zayed University; Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education.

In her opening remarks, Al Kaabi stated, “Over the next 50 years, the UAE aims to adapt to and be an effective partner in creating the best educational models and technologies in the world and in applying the finest early childhood education systems. Moreover, as we collectively work towards our country’s Centennial Plan of 2071, the UAE aims to set a multidisciplinary educational system that ensures producing creative talents and evolved mechanisms that help make professionalism and positive moral values the cornerstones of our operations.”

Jameela Al Muheiri said, “Based on the directives of the leadership, we in the Ministry of Education held discussions and consultations with all partners concerned with education in the country to formulate a plan for the next 50 years for education, and decided on the following topics to work together in the next few years. The first axis focuses on individual education and the need to redesign the educational system to meet the individual needs of each student. The second is focusing on the skills that contribute to the formation of a generation that has sufficient awareness of how to build a healthy life from the psychological, intellectual and physical aspects to be able to achieve the required balance for coexistence with others.”

“The third axis is to provide an educational system that adapts the latest technology and uses artificial intelligence to support the educational system. And last but not least, develop future skills to meet the requirements of the labour market within institutions or entrepreneurship,” she added.

Prof. Henri Awit, Director-General of the Arab Thought Foundation, said “Addressing this vital and urgent task requires all of us – leaders, citizens, individuals and groups, to improve awareness, place a clear vision, establish close networking, and continuous perseverance. These are the basic principles that our conference aspires to highlight and promote.”

Dr. Rana Tamim, Dean of the College of Education – Zayed University, said, “The education workforce has witnessed a global authentic professional development to meet the expectations of the transition to online, blended, hybrid, or emergency remote teaching. Whatever the term is, the current situation has also enabled us to focus on how we are meeting our students’ needs, and with this, we need to ensure that we make the best out of teachers’ and academics’ experiences around the world as we envision the future of education and plan for what is coming.”

The conference featured concurrent sessions offered by faculty from Zayed University’s College of Education, as well as five international speakers, Prof. Henri Awit, Director-General of the Arab Thought Foundation; Professor S. Gopinathan, the Academic Advisor at The HEAD Foundation, who addressed the importance of teacher preparation for a reimagined future schooling system. Samia Kazi, who holds leadership roles at global early childhood organisations, spoke about artificial intelligence and early childhood education. Colin Penfold, a Principal Consultant at Education Development Trust, addressed the future of STEM education. Dr Gail Brown, recognised for her research and thesis in comprehension, member of ILA, SSSR and ALEA, tackled the importance of Reading Fluency and a Simple, Evidence-Informed Intervention.

18 online sessions and workshops were held during the virtual conference, highlighting assorted topics by seasoned educators from the region. The conference highlighted topics in multilingual language acquisition and identity in specific social contexts – Translanguaging, Inclusive Education, Curriculum Development, Educational Technology and Teacher Education, Mental grammar and instructional grammar, Language Evolution theories and Mathematical Literacy.

The conference also highlighted School Leadership in the UAE Today, Transdisciplinary STEAM Curriculum Using Assessment on Transforming Students’ Learning, discussed Online Learning Habits & Engagement, using art to teach Arabic in class, Dyscalculia and effects on teachers, parents, and students, and much more.


Source: Emirates News Agency

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