Zayed Humanitarian Forum honors Ministry of Education as a leader in rendering humanitarian work in the UAE.

[UAE, July 17, 2014] – Zayed Humanitarian Forum honored the UAE Ministry of Education as one of the supporting leaders in the field of humanitarian work within the UAE held on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi.

Ayesha Al Siri, Director of Nutrition and Health Department in the Ministry of Education, stated that this recognition is the culmination of the Ministry’s efforts and its vital role in offering continued support to different aspects of humanitarian works. Al Siri clarified that the humanitarian work being carried out by the Ministry stems from their belief in the importance of philanthropic activities and volunteering as an essential human value that leads to communal solidarity and promotes positive values ​​among individuals.
Al Siri explained that the humanitarian activities practiced by the Ministry of Education is aimed at encouraging students to make valuable contributions towards different charities, provide assistance to those who need it, not to mention instilling basic concepts of philanthropy to promote these values ​​in students by organizing various programs and initiatives. Ayesha Al Siri pointed out that the participation of the Ministry in this field is wide and varied–stressing that the concept of philanthropy takes many forms that the Ministry seeks to optimally employ in line with the interests of students.
Al Siri added: “The Ministry tries to make best use of the events that are held in this context, such as the Zayed Humanitarian Day, which is a window to allow students to participate and interact with others through volunteering, offering what they can to help.
The Ministry has contributed in increasing human sensibility among students by directing them towards a lending a hand to the peoples of the Arab and Islamic countries that suffer from the scourge of war, such as Syria, Gaza, and elsewhere.”
For his part, Salah Al Housani, Deputy Manager of Student Activities and Competition at the Ministry of Education, said that the volunteering is a value that the Ministry is keen on promoting by introducing a seamless way to stimulate the minds of the students to interact with it in a positive way. He pointed out that the Ministry has specially developed projects that pertain to this aspect.
He added that in order to strengthen its humanitarian activities, the Ministry has implemented classroom and extra-curricular activities in the form of competitions and lectures in schools, in cooperation with relevant institutions that deal in this aspect, such as the Red Crescent Society and other charitable organizations.
Al Housani urged the necessity of instilling noble human values ​​in the hearts of students since childhood, as they are considered an important aspect of the true Islamic religion. He further pointed out that the role of the Ministry is to consistently  inspire these values with the children.

All six GCC countries rank within the top 10 in Western Asia, Bahrain, UAE & KSA rank under top 20 countries in online service delivery.

GCC countries achieve manifest ranks in the UN e-Government Survey 2014.
  
UAE, July 16, 2014ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization under the authority of ICDL Arabia that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the region, has shared the recent findings of the United Nations (UN) e-Government Survey 2014, pointing out the excellent performance of the GCC countries.

Bahrainjumped 18 places to earn the 18th rank, while the UAE enjoyed a global ranking of 32. Other GCC countries also figured prominently in the survey with Saudi Arabia at 36, Qatarat 44 and Oman and Kuwaitat 48 and 49, respectively. The UN e-Government Survey is conducted every two years to analyze the progress made by the countries in all regions of the world in digital interactions between governments and people to implement an integrated e-Government platform. This year’s report focuses on the significant investment made by countries in the information and communication technologies (ICT) for a smooth transition to online public services by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, and sustainability.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL Arabia and ICDL GCC Foundation.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL Arabia and ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “The tremendous rise in the ranking of the GCC countries in their position from the 2012 survey depicts their e-Readiness, which indicates their preparedness to offer its citizens, residents and visitors with seamless, efficient and effective e-Services. The GCC countries ranking among top ten in Western Asia driven largely by the proactive initiatives taken by their respective governments to implement online services as an economic tool to support the knowledge economy.
The GCC governments have made significant investment to build their government portals, which offer swift and transparent services. In addition, the report has recognized the deployment of the Emirates ID Authority’s Biometric Enrolment in the UAE as part of the National ID Registration Program as one of the world’s best biometric programs.”
Bahrainranked first among the GCC countries, while it is 5th in Asia. Bahrain’s progress is attributed to the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT) and the e-Government Authority, established to develop and implement a comprehensive e-Government strategy. Driven by a highly advanced e-Government portal, the UAE ranks number two in the GCC and seven in Asia. The results of the 2014 survey also show that Bahrain ranks 7th on the Online Service Index, followed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia at the 12thand 18th position, respectively. Moreover, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwaitare the Arab countries with a score higher than 66.6 per cent in the whole of government.
Driven by a highly advanced e-Government portal, the UAE ranks number two in the GCC and seven in Asia. In fact on emirate level, Abu Dhabi’s Systems and Information Center (ADSIC) the body responsible for e-Government implementation recently won first place award in the ‘Best Application of Information Technology and e-Learning’ category at the recently concluded World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland for its successful implementation of an initiative that aims at empowering the public with basic ICT skills to be able to use Internet and online services. Dubai, on the other hand, has initiated its transformation from e-Government to Smart Government, a concept of delivering government services through innovative and technologically advanced channels.
Likewise, the report also stated that the GCC countries have established a GCC e-Government committee and organized the GCC e-Government Conference with an aim to provide a platform to the regional leaders to discuss in depth all aspects of the e-Governance programs implemented in their respective countries. The conference also enables them to share their best practices with other GCC countries in order to enhance their respective e-Transformation processes.
The GCC countries have adopted a common goal to enhance their e-Services that will allow them to increase the productivity and efficiency of government and improve their global e-Government ranking.
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About ICDL:

The International Computer Driving License (ICDL) is a global computer literacy initiative developed to provide knowledge about Information Technology (IT) and enhance competence of using personal computers and common computer applications for all the citizens of the world. The ICDL GCC Foundation is the sole body to implement and disseminate the program across the GCC States and Iraq with the support of leading educational institutions and accredited bodies. The Foundation mission is to enable proficient use of Information and Communications Technology that empowers individuals, organizations and society, through the development, promotion and delivery of quality certification programs around the world.

First forum of its kind to promote creativity and innovation in smart learning.

“Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University” launches “Smart Learning Best Practice Forum 2014”
 University supports transformation to “smart city” model
]UAE, July 14, 2014[ “Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University” has announced the launch of its “Smart Learning Best Practice Forum” for the year 2014. The aim of the forum is to encourage the exchange of best practices in smart learning in educational, academic and training institutions across the world. Moreover, it will promote creativity and innovation in smart learning as an essential factor to ensure successful transformation to “smart city” model. The forum will be held on October 20, 2014 and will include seven trackes namely: “smart learning”, “learner centricity”, “excellence orientation”, “smart partnership”, “technology exploitation”, “resource utilization”, and “process innovation”.

“Smart Learning Best Practice Forum 2014” is the first forum of its kind that encourages the implementation of the best practices in smart learning in educational, academic, and training institutions. It supports the continual growth and development of smart learning including the ability to come up with innovative ideas, evaluate their compatibility with strategic thinking approaches and ensure their implementation rigorously to achieve tangible and intangible benefits. The event is supported by European Learning Industry Group (ELIG), the Swiss Center for Innovations in Learning (SCIL) of St. Gallen’s University, the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), and the Association of Arab Universities.

The agenda of the forum includes seminars, discussions and the “Smart Learning Best Practice Award” a first-of-its-kind awards that was launched to honor the best practices followed in the educational and training institutions across the world and to ensure the quality of smart learning as a prominent feature of the modern world based on technical innovations. The “Smart Learning Best Practice Award” has seven categories and will be awarded as per the evaluation of an International Jury comprising world-wide International experts and specialists in best practice thinking with smart learning aspects based on unified criteria of Novelty,  Innovativeness, Sustainability, Transferability, Maturity, Implementability and Compatibility. 

 

 Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University – Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, said: “Smart Learning Best Practice Forum 2014” is launched to support Smart Learning Initiative introduced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. It is a solid platform that will enhance the learning experience by adopting the highest standards of Smart Learning to boost education as an essential component of the UAE Vision 2021. Likewise, the Smart Learning Best Practice Award will add value to HBMSU’s efforts to encourage the culture of excellence, creativity and innovation in Smart Learning by honoring and promoting the best practices that keep pace with rapid changes in the digital world.”   

 

Participation in “Smart Learning Best Practice Forum 2014” and Smart Learning Best Practice Award is open to any individual or team involved in Smart Learning practices from any educational or training institutions around the world. Individuals or institutions willing to participate in the forum may register by completing the free application form available on the university’s website: www.hbmsu.ac.ae, and institutions that seeks to establish itself as a smart learning institution can apply for any of the awards’ categories by submitting the award application form to the e-TQM Institute before the 1st of September, 2014.

World’s leading learning company launches the ‘Global Scale of English’.

PEARSON LAUNCHES WORLD’S FIRST GLOBAL STANDARD OF ENGLISH IN ARAB REGION
Dubai, UAE, 8thJuly, 2014: Two billion people worldwide claim to speak English[1], 85% of multi-nationals use English as their language of business[2]and 79% of international HR directors look for English

proficiency when recruiting[3].  And yet until today, there has never been a globally recognised standard in English – no single way of recognising and quantifying the level of an individual’s English.

Today, Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, unveils the Global Scale of English (GSE) – the world’s first truly global standard for scoring English language proficiency. In development for 25 years and tested on over 10,000 students in 130 countries – including Gulf countries, the GSE will transform how English is assessed, taught and scored in the Arab region, and around the world. Developed by Pearson English, a division of Pearson, it aims to provide one precise, numeric, universal scale for businesses, governments and academic institutions, as well as for the one billion plus people estimated to be learning English worldwide.
Why is the GSE so important for the Arab World?
The launch of the GSE will have a positive impact in the Arab region, where millions of students learn English in the hope of improving their future prospects. English is a valuable tool in a young person’s ability to secure rewarding employment and enjoy career advancement, evidenced by the region’s large number of job advertisements stipulating English proficiency as a minimum requirement. For some time, Arab governments have recognised the value of making English a compulsory subject in schools, and English is increasingly becoming the medium of instruction in many of the region’s leading universities – it is the norm for many first year students in universities and vocational colleges to undertake a compulsory English course. The proliferation of private English providers in major centres such as Dubai and Riyadh is a further sign that English is an essential skill demanded by employers, and job applicants without English competency are severely disadvantaged in their search for work.
English is now firmly established as the international language of business. As Arab countries become more connected to the international economy through trade and other business links it is essential that the region’s workers have the English skills necessary to perform in this global environment. The Arab World’s future economic achievements will therefore be very much tied to the uptake of English amongst citizens of the region.
Karim Daoud, Managing Director of Pearson’s Middle East Hub, says of the effect of the GSE in the region:
“We know that embedding English language skills in our young people is critical not only to their future well-being, but to the development and growth of our region’s economies. The GSE will play an important role in encouraging strong English language skills amongst the population. For the first time, the GSE provides an easily accessible, objective standard by which individuals, employers, recruiters, governments and education providers in the Arab World can determine how well someone can use English, in very specific circumstances. Importantly, the GSE will allow the millions of English language students in the Arab region (and their parents, educators or employers) to determine the effectiveness of their English learning, in a very clear and detailed way”.
What is the GSE, exactly?
The GSE means English language proficiency no longer needs to be measured in vague terms like basic, intermediate or advanced. It will enable English learners to accurately score and communicate their English language skills and progress on a granular, numeric scale from 10-90[4]providing a far more precise measurement of the learner’s ability than any existing methods which tend to categorise in broad bands.  It is rooted in real life so that learners can clearly see what they can achieve at every level, for example, if you score 29 on the scale, you are able to identify and order very common food and drink from a menu; at 62, you can write a structured review of a film, book or play; at 74 you can extract the main points from news items with opinions, arguments and discussion.* 
Already trialled by some of the world’s leading educational institutions , for learners the GSE will provide the answers to the questions “how good is my English?”, “am I progressing?” and “what do I need to do next?”
Why is there a need?
There are over 50[5]countries around the world that use English as an official language – that’s around a quarter of the world, and yet none of these countries have a consistent standard.  Leading global businesses and recruiters such as Google[6], Electrolux, and Holiday Inn agree there is a clear need for a better understanding of English proficiency for employees and potential recruits.
Research carried out by LinkedIn for Pearson[7], amongst C-suite and HR directors of multi-national companies in Brazil, China, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico and the UK revealed: 
     83% of global C-suite and HR Directors agreed that a standardised measure of English proficiency would be useful in the recruitment process
     72% of the HR industry feels there is currently no fair/common standard of English assessment.  Chinese respondents are most likely to think this and find difficulty in administrating because of it
     Nearly 70% of employers are currently assessing an employee’s proficiency in English
     Respondents from Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia most strongly expressed a need for a global standard and are currently using a mix of TOEFL, TOEIC to assess English.  Germanrespondents are more likely to assess English proficiency with an English speaking interview
     80% of global businesses agree that individuals who are able to speak good English are more likely to succeed in their business and 90%agree that it benefits their business if employees speak English
Bhavneet Singh, President of Pearson English, says of the launch:
“The world needs all its diversity of voices, cultures and languages, but with more of us talking to each other than ever before – via social media, in multi-national businesses or on our worldwide travels – increasingly the world is choosing to communicate in English. That is why there is a well overdue need for a global standard of English.  We have been working with businesses, institutions and learners in over 130 countries and they have told us that there is a need for a granular, numeric, universal scale – and we believe after 25 years of work with leading academics we have it – in the Global Scale of English.”

 Global Scale of English (GSE) – Fast Facts
        The GSE is the world’s first truly global standard for measuring English language proficiency
        The GSE will, for the first time, enable English learners to accurately measure, score and communicate their English language skills on a granular numeric scale (from 10 – 90)
        25 years in development, it is the most academically robust and precise form of English language assessment to have ever been developed
        The Scale has been tested on over 10,000 students in over 130 countries and 156 languages, as well as with teachers from over 80 countries
        It has also been developed with input from an external advisory group, which has included representatives from the Council of Europe and the British Council
        The Scale was developed by Pearson’s English division, Pearson English. Pearson English is releasing the Scale as an ‘Open Standard’, with accreditation to be managed by an Independent Technical Committee. Pearson English hopes other education providers will also adopt the Scale as the backbone to their products
        The GSE means English language proficiency no longer needs to be measured in vague terms (e.g. basic, intermediate, fluent) and can instead for the first time be assessed on a precise, numeric and universal scale
        Pearson English will be embedding the GSE into all its products and services across Pearson English Business Solutions (online business English learning solutions formerly known as GlobalEnglish), ELT (institutional English language publications including brands such as Longman), and Wall Street English (centre based learning for consumers).
        Visit English.com to learn more about the Scale and how it can help further progress language skills to help careers, studies, business and travels.
How can I find out more?
Visit www.english.com  for more information on the Global Scale of English or www.linkedin.com/company/pearson-english.
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For further information, please contact:
Virtue PR & Marketing Communications
P.O Box: 191931
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: 00971 4 4508835
About Pearson:
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.
Pearson English is a division of Pearson and more than 1.5 million teachers and 35 million students use our English language learning resources and tools each year.  We offer dynamic and effective learning solutions to individuals, institutions and corporations in over 150 countries.
Our key businesses include: Wall Street English (centre based learning for consumers); Pearson English Business Solutions (online business English learning solutions formerly known as GlobalEnglish) and ELT (institutional English language publications including brands such as Longman). In 2013, Pearson announced a strategic investment in English language learning platform Voxy and acquired Grupo Multi, the leading adult English Language Training company in Brazil.
In 2014 Pearson English released the Global Scale of English, the world’s first common, global benchmark of English language learning. It measures English language progress on a numeric scale in a way that is consistent, granular and actionable for governments, corporates, academics, institutions and learners. The Scale has been created as an Open Standard for English that meets a global need.



[1] British Council, The English Effect Report
[2] Professor Wu, The Impact of Globalization and the Internet on English Language Teaching and Learning
[3] LinkedIn research for Pearson English, May 2014
[4] It is impossible to measure the communicative ability with any accuracy below 10, and as language is infinite, the GSE does not report beyond 90
* See factsheet and infographic for full list of statements
[6] See factsheet for approved quotations
[7] Source: LinkedIn research for Pearson English, May 2014

13th annual regional ICDL Summer Camps launched with strong support from public and private sectors.

Annual event aims to empower GCC youth against cyber threats
UAE, July 1, 2014 – ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization under the authority of ICDL Arabia that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the region, has announced the launch of its 13th ICDL Summer Camp with support from various government organizations, private sector companies, and education regulators and training institutions. The ICDL summer camp is free to participants and will be held in various groups for two months, running between June 29 and August 28, 2014 across the GCC region.

Each group will attend the ICDL camp for 3 to 4 weeks to receive training and certification. The camp is being organized with an objective to spread digital competency and cyber safety among GCC youth, while educating them about the safe practices of using the Internet in order to safeguard them from online threats. In addition, it is also a platform where participants can utilize their free time in acquiring essential and practical skills and stay away from other social evils such as substance abuse.

While the ICDL camp is designed to combine educational and recreational activities, valuable prizes will be distributed to those distinguished performers. The UAE camp is in line with the UAE Government’s Vision 2021 to create a knowledge-based society by empowering its nationals, particularly the youth, with essential ICT skills. Almost 1,700 students from the UAE are expected to enroll in the ICDL camps offered as part of the Abu Dhabi Education Council’s Sayfuna Momayaz, first ever ‘Smart Summer 2014’ by Dubai Education Zone, and Sharjah and the rest of the northern emirates. Meals and transportation will be also provided to all participants at no cost throughout the camp while there will be a series of recreational activities as well as exclusive gifts from camp sponsors.
The certification programs offered at the ICDL Summer Camp will enable teenagers aged 14 to 18 to acquire essential computer skills as well as learn effective, responsible and safe practices of using digital devices and social media platforms. Training and certification will take place at ICDL accredited centers at prime universities and colleges across the country, including University of Sharjah, all the campuses of Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Abu Dhabi University and UAE University in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western region, National Institute for Vocational Education at Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), National Academy for Research & Development, and many more. A number of privately owned accredited ICDL training centers across the region will also join the initiative throughout the summer period and offer registration for reasonable fees.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General, ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “In the last 12 years, more than 55,000 from the youth across the region have enrolled in the ICDL certification program through the ICDL Summer Camps, which is a tremendous accomplishment for us. Our main goal in organizing these summer camps is to enable the youth in utilizing their free time in productive activities such as acquiring essential ICT competence as well as learning new social skills. It is also a way to promote voluntary and social work activities such as conservation of the environment among young impressionable minds. In addition, the camp will also be an opportunity for the participants to learn more about the history and culture of the region in an interactive environment. ICDL believes that it is a good way to strenghten community participation that can be a stepping stone in building cooperative partnerships among different social institutions.”
The 13th ICDL Summer Camp is supported for the fifth year by the leading organizations from the public and private sectors. The camp sponsors include H.H. Rulers Court in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Center, Dubai Education Zone, Ministry of Interior Child Protection Center, Sharjah Education Council; and responsible corporate citizens like ITP Publishing Group, HSBC, Etihad Airways, Canon, du, Dubai Water and Electricity Authority, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, Brother, Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers – Atlantis, Yas Waterworld – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Dolphinarium, and Dreamland Aquapark, Umm Al Quain. 
“We expect a tremendous response for this year’s program, as we will address topics such as social media and cyber safety that are highly relevant to today’s scenario where unrestricted Internet and smart devices have become so accessible by children. The camp will offer more value to our participants while empowering them with the latest trends in digital literacy that is vital in today’s life. We will be emphasizing on the risks of the Internet, including cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cyber addiction, and identitying threats and child exploitation. Since we believe awareness is the best defense, we will address the issues of cyber safety with the younger generation and teach them how to protect themselves from various threats lurking in the cyber world,” concluded Ezzo.  
For details regarding the ICDL Summer Camp, please log on to www.icdlgcc.org or contact
+971 4 4540420.
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About ICDL:

The International Computer Driving License (ICDL) is a global computer literacy initiative developed to provide knowledge about Information Technology (IT) and enhance competence of using personal computers and common computer applications for all the citizens of the world. The ICDL GCC Foundation is the sole body to implement and disseminate the program across the GCC States and Iraq with the support of leading educational institutions and accredited bodies. The Foundation mission is to enable proficient use of Information and Communications Technology that empowers individuals, organizations and society, through the development, promotion and delivery of quality certification programs around the world.