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Mohammed launches smart learning initiative

Mohammed bin Rashid discusses best use of tablet PCs in education with young students

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Smart Learning today during a special ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai in presence of Dubai Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Upon his arrival, Sheikh Mohammed was given a warm welcome by young students followed by the rendition of the UAE national anthem and a recitation of verses from the holy Qur'an. Minister of Education Humaid Mohammed Obeid Al Qattami then delivered a welcoming speech highlighting the role of technology in catalysing the significant development in UAE's education sector as per the highest internationally-recognised standards.

Al Qattami then announced the launch of the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Smart Learning; a joint venture between the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in cooperation with the UAE Prime Minister's office. The initiative aims to create a solid and integrated e-learning platform that actively involves teachers, students as well as parents, thus enhancing the learning experience.

The AED1-billion project, which will be piloted over a period of five years in public schools, seeks to establish a unique learning environment in schools through the introduction of 'Smart Classes,' with students utilising tablet PC and high-speed 4G networks as means of acquiring knowledge. The initiative also includes specialised training programmes for teachers and the introduction of new curricula to serve its purpose.

Chairman of the TRA Board of Directors, Mohammed Al Qamzi delivered a speech focusing on the utilisation of the latest technological advancements as tools of transferring knowledge. He also praised the role of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Fund in bringing about the innovative concept of 'Smart Learning' in public schools.

During the event, Sheikh Mohammed emphasised that "investment in education is an essential component of UAE Vision 2021." "We want to provide the new generations with the skills needed for the future. This is our national duty," Sheikh Mohammed added, reiterating that investing in people has been UAE's strategy for the last 40 years. "We believe that the future of the UAE begins from schools," said Sheikh Mohammed.

On the sidelines of the initiative's launch ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed inspected a workshop organised by the Ministry of Education and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority demonstrating the use of technology in educating the young generation. Sheikh Mohammed stressed his belief in turning this project into an outstanding success.

Sheikh Mohammed also said that he is closely following the eTransformation process at the federal level, represented by the UAE Cabinet, in addition to public schools that nurture and prepare the next generation.

The ceremony was attended by Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash, Chairman of Etisalat Mohammed Omran, senior officials and a host of faculty members and students from UAE's education sector.

Concluding the event, Sheikh Mohammed stood for a group photo with team members who worked round-the-clock to make this remarkable initiative a success.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012