HBMSU Chancellor appointed governing board member of UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar becomes first Arab scholar  to join world’s elite educators for his role in promoting smart learning across Arab World
[UAE, September 27, 2014] – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), has announced the appointment of Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), as the newest member of the governing board of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. Dr. Mansoor will be responsible for directing the institute’s efforts and initiatives towards bridging the digital divide in education and the development of knowledge-based societies. He will also be involved in consolidating human resources in the region, particularly through the publication of ePrograms for continuous learning purposes.

Dr. Mansoor will be joining an elite group of the world’s most prominent educators, including 10 officials and dignitaries who have made major contributions in the promotion and dissemination of information and communication technologies (ICT) across the field of education. The HBMSU Chancellor’s appointment is attributed to the pivotal role he has played in the promotion of smart educational resources in the Arab World.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar

This is the first time that an Arab scholar has been nominated for membership to the governing board of UNESCO’s Institute for Information Technologies in Education. The nomination, according to UNESCO senior officials, is in recognition of Dr. Mansoor’s key efforts in spreading a culture of smart learning and disseminating contemporary knowledge to suit the needs of the Arab region.
H.E. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, DeputyChairman of Police and Dubai General Security and Chairman of HBMSU Board of Governors, commented on the election of Dr. Al Awar for this eminent position, “This appointment is attributed to the patronage of our young state’s leaders, along with the efforts of loyal and creative youths in uplifting the UAE among other nations in the most prestigious international events.”
The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education was established as an integral part of UNESCO by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 29th session (November 1997). The institute contributes to the design and implementation of the programmes of the organization with regard to the application of ICT in education.

ICDL launches ‘ICDL for Teachers’ initiative to enable interactive classroom learning.

New certification initiative empowers teachers to adopt  modern teaching strategies using ICT and Cyber Safety in the classroom
UAE, September 27, 2014 – ICDL Arabia, the governing body and certification authority for the ICDL certificate program in Egypt, the GCC States and Iraq, has announced that it has launched a new initiative  specially designed for teachers in the region. The ‘ICDL for Teachers’ initiative aims to empower teachers with the skills they need to develop modern teaching strategies using ICT in their teaching practices, allowing them to achieve educational goals more efficiently. Enhanced ICT skills enable teachers to simplify routine tasks, such as planning lessons more efficiently; enhance communication with students and parents; improve collaboration between educators; and adopt cyber safety within the school environment.

The ‘ICDL for Teachers’ initiative  enables the use of ‘smart’ classroom devices, such as smart boards, projectors, personal computers, and tablets by teachers for a more interactive learning experience. Aside from enabling them to use ‘smart’ technology in the classroom, the initiative will also enable teachers to become skilled with subjects such as IT Security including Cyber Safety, Online Collaboration, Project Planning and Social Media. Candidates will be awarded ICDL certificates upon successfully completing the course.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL Arabia, said: “According to a recent research report, the recurring spend on education in the GCC is poised to reach USD 150 billion by 2016. The region’s governments along with the support of the private sector are keen to upgrade facilities in the education sector to offer a better learning experience to its students because of its vital role in the region’s growth and prosperity. International research has shown that ICT has a positive impact on students’ performances and encourages them to become resourceful and learn independently. Technology makes lessons more retainable by employing a variety of different learning styles helping students digest information in new ways and improve their retention levels.”
Ezzo stated that “We need to adopt radical changes in the classroom in order to improve the quality of education in our region. The traditional classroom and current practices are no longer effective and the ability to use common office applications is inadequate for the modern day classroom. We launched ‘ICDL for Teachers,’ as a new initiative to empower teachers with essential ICT skills to engage their students in learning using a variety of instructional methods and resources aided by technology.”
ICDL Arabia is already working with Qatar Supreme Education Council and Bahrain Ministry of Education on empowering teachers with latest ICT skills, and is in talks with other Educational authorities across the region to seek cooperation on this new initiative. Ministry of Education in Oman was the first to adopt ICDL IT Security program for its Teachers and staff back in 2013 and so far thousands have been certified.
ICDL Arabia has been spearheading various initiatives to place IT Security and Cyber Safety at the top of government agendas across the region. It has been supporting a wide-scale implementation of awareness programs, including skills validation through training and certification programs centering on IT Security, Cyber Safety and the effective, safe, responsible and mindful use of Social Media. It continues to collaborate closely with the concerned authorities and experts to further elevate the level of IT Security awareness among the public.


Education and Diversification Inextricably Linked.

Pearson points to recent IMF conference to demonstrate importance of education in successfully diversifying Gulf economies
Dubai, UAE, 3rd September 2014: Karim Daoud, Managing Director of Pearson’s Middle East Hub, says education is critical to Gulf States achieving successful economic diversification.

Mr Daoud’s comments follow the recent high-level conference held in Kuwait by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “Economic Development, Diversification and the Role of the State”. High ranking officials from around the world gathered at the forum to discuss how effective economic diversification can take place in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Panelists at the Conference agreed that diversification would be essential to ongoing economic growth in the region. There was also consensus that diversifying the economies of the Gulf away from a traditional reliance on oil will be critical to creating enough new jobs in the region, and meeting the employment demands of a rapidly growing youth population. A recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that approximately 75 million jobs needed to be created in the MENA region by 2020 just to sustain current levels of employment – in a region where youth unemployment is already high by global standards.
Mr Daoud says that a robust and efficacious education system must be at the heart of any successful diversification strategy:
“The Gulf states have made remarkable gains in economic and social development in a relatively short space of time. The next area for advancement must be developing the non-oil tradable sectors. The diversification experiences of countries such as Malaysia and Singapore demonstrate the importance of education in achieving diversification targets. Making education widely available and enhancing the quality of education is vital to ensuring future workers have the skills needed to thrive in new growth industries and foster the innovation and entrepreneurship necessary for generating new businesses and creating new jobs”.
The IMF Conference noted that improving education in the areas of mathematics and science, and raising the standard of technical and vocational programmes available were priorities, a point agreed on by Mr Daoud.
“Pearson is heavily invested in finding out what is working in education in this region, and what is not, having recently made a public, global commitment to efficacy. Our research in the GCC demonstrates that the public and private sectors desperately need an increase in the number of vocationally trained employees to meet the rising demand coming from non-petrochemical industries. Pearson is working with organisations in the region, such as Saudi Arabia’s Colleges of Excellence and the Saudi Petroleum Services Polytechnics, to give young people qualifications in these rapidly emerging industries. What we are also seeing is a need for workers who have had 21st century skills embedded in their educational programmes. Achieving vibrant new sector growth will therefore very much depend on the region’s education systems being able to cater to these needs – diversification depends on it”.
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