Revealed Global Report on Status of Teachers, in Cooperation with UNESCO
Digial School Launches Global Academy for Digital Teachers
Ahmed Belhoul Al-Falasi:
Committed to Supporting SDG4, Promoting Lifelong Learning Objectives
Omar Sultan Al Olama:
UAE Government Adopts Enabling Teachers with Tech, Digital Skills to Lead Future of Education
The Digital School, an initiative triggered by "Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives" (MBRGI), has launched the "Global Academy for Digital Teachers," in cooperation with the American Arizona State University. The initiative aims to utilize the high-quality, approved cooperation tools for teachers around the world. The Academy will work to enhance their capabilities through providing digital teacher development programs in several languages, including Arabic, English, French, Spanish in many development tracks for teacher roles, such as management, facilitation, teaching, and support.
The launch of the "Global Report on the Status of Teachers in the World 2023", which the UNESCO Working Group intends to prepare under the auspices of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Excellence in Educational performance, was also announced. The Foundation supports all teachers in pre-higher education and educational institutions to develop their skills and practices. The announcement was made in the UN Headquarters in New York during the Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al-Falasi, chairing the delegation of the MoE to attend the "Transforming Education" Summit 2022, which was called for by H.E. Antonio Gutteres, Secretary General of the UN.
The announcement also comes on the sidelines of the event, sponsored by the UAE, entitled, "Transforming Education through Teacher Leadership and Innovation," with the participation of UNESCO and in cooperation with the General Secretariat and members of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030.
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al-Falasi, Minister of Education, stressed that the UAE is committed to supporting the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), to ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. He said, "The goal of the Global Academy for Digital Teachers initiative is to provide a practical, scalable, and accessible solution from the UAE to the world and support the educational transformation process, specifically the thematic courses of action 3 and 4, where the first phase of the project targets 10,000 teachers worldwide. More programs will be offered in the coming stages in cooperation with the Academy's partner."
H.E. explained that the Global Report on the Status of Teachers in the World, which aligns with the Foundation's mission, supported teachers and quality education with up-to-date knowledge and analysis to enhance evidence-based policy-making to ensure that all children would have access to quality learning opportunities. He added that the report bridged a gap in a set of global knowledge and resources on how to use data to drive sound policies to improve the teaching profession.
He pointed out that the initiative shed light on the urgent issues facing the teaching profession, which might support or hinder progress towards achieving the SDG 4 and attracted attention to the need for more investment in the teaching profession and better internationally comparable data to track progress in this area.
Al-Falasi stressed that the efficiency of the education system was always measured by the quality of teachers' performance because they were the only variable that most influenced students' learning. teachers also played a major role in shaping the future of their countries by motivating their students to learn and become integrated citizens, as the passionate and inspiring ones among them helped students to connect their personal goals to their societal and national goals. He explained that teachers were the ones who imparted knowledge and shaped concepts of the world, while instilling local morals and advocating global moral values.
Al Falasi pointed out that the transformation of education would only happen if teachers were professional, trained, and motivated and were supported to lead the process and guide learners to reach their goals and achieve their well-being. He said, "Within this context, we approved the Educational Professions Licensure system in 2021, which aims to make teaching an attractive profession, governed by a set of skills within a clear career path of professional advancement and development. This would ensure the quality of teaching. We also support teachers and their creativity constantly, as we have established many awards that reward excellence and innovative practices. The awards are currently being presented at the local and regional levels and will be presented at the international level soon."
For his part, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Digital School, H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama, affirmed that the UAE government adopted empowering the teacher with technology and digital skills to lead the future of education. He added that the UAE was also keen to empower communities through the dissemination of knowledge and building an integrated educational system using modern and digital technology, to provide integrated education that would keep pace with changes and support the system of future opportunities to improve the lives of the communities.
H.E. said that the launch of the "Global Academy for Digital Teachers" stemmed from the Digital School's belief in the central role of the teacher in the formation and sustainability of learning communities and the importance of keeping pace with the developments of the digital world. He said, "The initiative saw an expansion of the Professional Development Program for Digital School teachers, which was successfully implemented last year, with the program having graduated more than 500 digital teachers from 5 countries."
It is worth noting that the "Digital School," launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, may Allah preserve him, in November 2020, is an international initiative that seeks to provide "distance" and "blended" education opportunities in a smart, flexible way. It is keen on empowering learning communities and teachers and the professional development of teachers, educational leaders, and educational facilitators through an integrated training program.
The digital school is supported by an international advisory board that includes a group of global experts from reputable institutions and organizations and is supported by the "Digital Learning Future Alliance", which includes more than 30 international organizations and academic institutions. The Alliance aims to empower students in remote areas and developing regions, where the appropriate conditions or ingredients the students need to pursue their education are unavailable, with digital learning options. It also provides a qualitative, accredited option for remote learning, targeting the less fortunate community groups, refugees, and displaced persons, through modern educational materials and curricula that make use of technology and applications of advanced technologies.