UAE participates in UNESCO meeting to discuss return to schools in Arab countries
While participating in a meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, to discuss the return to schools in Arab countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education, said that the UAE’s leadership is keen to ensure the continuity of education in the country, despite the dire circumstances, as it strongly believes in the importance of educational sustainability.
The UAE was one of the first countries to adopt smart learning, as it is included in its future strategy, she added, noting that the Ministry of Education, upon the directives of the country’s leadership, adopted smart learning tools in 2012 and drafted plans to ensure they are successfully used in classrooms.
"Smart education was implemented on a large scale in the UAE in 2017 and 2018, and in 2019 it was fully adopted. Due to the pandemic’s effects on everyone’s lives around the world, the country is relying on smart education in 2020," she added.
The ministry, in cooperation with its partners from various sectors, is providing smart education tools to all students around the country, Al Muheiri pointed out, affirming that laptop computers and the internet were supplied to students and teachers.
"The ministry is offering 13 educational platforms on its smart education portal, and has trained 25,000 teachers in the public sector to use smart education tools, along with nearly 9,200 school principals and teachers from private schools. A specialist training course on remote learning was also held, in cooperation with the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University, for some 67,000 people.
The ministry has developed a framework to assess remote learning systems to ensure quality education," she explained.
The ministry is continuing to draw up plans to maintain the sustainability of education and has established flexible frameworks that can adopt to changes caused by the pandemic, she added, noting that it has also released a procedures manual for the resumption of the academic year, adopted a range of measures to ensure the health and safety of students and teachers, and provided teachers with e-learning resources.