Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al
Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed
Forces, Qudwa 2019 commenced its third edition with the Qudwa Ideas_Lab, an
invitation-only working session held in recognition of World Teachers’ Day to
reflect on the changing role of teachers and shape strategies to teach for
The newly-launched initiative revealed that strategic
application of technology will pave the way for the transformation of the UAE
education sector. Held at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, the event is
organised by the Education Affairs Office of the Crown Prince Court of Abu
The Qudwa Ideas_Lab immersed around 100 teachers and education
leaders in a collaborative experience to explore the impact of global
competence on teaching methodologies. The Lab also emphasised the importance of
training teachers to ensure their students are ready for a challenging and
rapidly changing world.
Lab attendees included key government ministers Hussain Ibrahim
Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al
Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. Abdulla
Al Karam, Chairman and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development
Authority, Dr. Saeed Musabah Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Sharjah Education
Council, and Ali bin Abdul Khaliq Al-Qarni, Director General of the Arab Bureau
of Education for the Gulf States, alongside education experts, teachers and
Qudwa partners from Teach For All, the American University in Dubai,
Educational Testing Service (ETS), OECD and more.
"Our priority is developing teachers’ skills, vision, and educational
practices, and providing them with the necessary tools to positively impact the
education process and achieve global competence. By adopting a unified
educational system, the UAE has established a distinguished education model
that stimulates advanced teaching methodologies, and advances the ambition and
future aspirations of the country and its quest towards globalism," said
Hussein Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, in his keynote speech.
"The current education model, the Emirati School model,
focuses on early childhood through educational games that simplify information
delivery and expand children’s ability to consume and process information, as
well as adopts global strategies and standards by involving parents in the
education system," he added .
"It is crucial that Emirati schools provide a stimulating
learning environment to achieve sustainable education practices and establish a
secure foundation for all students, in addition to officially begin teaching
Chinese as a third language alongside Arabic and English. The network of
‘Positive Schools’ recently introduced by the UAE is one of the outstanding
programs enabling teachers to promote tolerance, and provide Emirati school
students the ability adapt to different cultures and circumstances, to be
conscientious, open and accepting of different perspectives, and to seek mutual
understanding across the diversity of human experience," the minister
Also present at the occasion, Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid
Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills,
added in his closing remarks: "Traditional teaching methods relied on
teachers divulging information to their students; however, this never
guaranteed that students truly processed the information, but rather just
blankly memorized. For millennials especially, education needs to be delivered
as relevant messages, but also customized to their interests."
"As technology continues along with its exponential and
immeasurable growth, we can expect that even the more advanced teaching
positions will see some degree of automation in the future. For example,
technology to automate grading of multiple-choice assignments has saved
teachers hours upon hours, liberating them from such slow and repetitive activities
to make room for more meaningful, personalized interactions with their
students," he added.
"It is without a doubt that automation is impacting the
education world; however, the growing global need for instilling soft skills
such as interpersonal skills, communication, and leadership skills in our
students to equip them for the future continue to prove that teachers will,
more than ever, remain relevant to our society and the educational
journey," he concluded.
"We are proud to be here on an occasion as prestigious as
World Teachers’ Day to appreciate the world’s 90 million teachers, of which
70,000 teachers of different backgrounds and cultures teach in the UAE,"
commented Dr. Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Knowledge and Human
"We are in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and
AI has already changed many sectors including manufacturing, banking,
transportation, and more. Soon, it will change education and the structure of
schooling; however, this is something to welcome, not fear," he added.
"It is without a doubt that technology and AI will transform education and
teaching; however, the one thing that AI will never be able to mimic is the
heart of a teacher. This heart ultimately keeps teachers as a core pillar of our
modern society and essential to the way we are working towards our vision as a
country, and shaping our future."
Saeed Musabah Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Sharjah Education
Council, said, "The future is moving towards a technological revolution,
completely reversing what has already been established as an education system.
In order to maintain a balance, it is crucial to define the needs of both
teachers and students; the first thing teachers need is values, as with values,
teachers can plant the seed of knowledge and grow talent in their
The outcome of the Qudwa Ideas_Lab will be captured in a
"Blueprint" representing the views of teachers and experts, which
will act as a roadmap to help teachers in the UAE grow professionally, work
collaboratively, and prepare their students for a dynamic and interconnected
Under the theme "Teaching for Global Competence",
Qudwa is a platform for teachers that aims to elevate the teaching profession
in the UAE and highlight the latest innovations in the education sector. The
Forum aims to form a network of education leaders that places the ongoing
advancements of the profession at the heart of the education conversation.
The 2019 Forum seeks to position the UAE as a global leader in
the education sector with a future-ready education system by developing the
ability of students to thrive in a rapidly changing global environment. This
increasingly depends on the capacity of teachers to impart a new set of skills
to foster global competencies, in addition to impacting regulation and policy.