UAE – To complement its successful efforts to transfer knowledge and experiences and exchange the best smart learning practices with the international academic community, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has created a clear road map for developing an innovative model for smart learning in the Arab World supported by the UAE and Egypt which it recently presented to a high-level delegation from the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology headed by Assmaa Hosney, Chief Executive Officer, Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA). They prepared the roadmap out of their firm belief that the quality, excellence and global competitiveness of learning and education across the Arab World need to be raised to the highest levels. This step reflects the high confidence accorded by the Arab World’s governments and academic institutions to HBMSU, the first academic center to re-shape the future of smart high-learning through creative methods that keep pace with 21st century requirements.
The delegation visit followed up on discussions held between H.E Eng. Yasser ElKady, Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), and HBMSU Chancellor Dr. Mansoor Al Awar along with other university officials and academic and administrative personnel during the Minister’s previous visit, where they discussed the latest developments and technological innovations that have had the greatest impact on redeveloping the educational environment.
The latest meeting included extensive discussions and a brainstorming session to come up with an integrated framework for strategic cooperation in developing a smart learning model based on innovation, smart technology, quality, and scientific research. The goal is to establish knowledge-based economies and contribute in reshaping the future for the Arab World’s next generation.
Dr. Al Awar, H.E. Mohammed Gheyath, Director General, Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program, and H.E Ali Al Yafei, Minister’s technical consultant representing the UAE Ministry of Education, attended the meeting with an Egyptian delegation that included Dr. Hossam Osman, Vice President ITIDA; Eng. Ahmed Sobky, ITIDA VP for ICT Markets Development; Dr. Abeer Shakweer, Minister’s Advisor for Social Responsibility and Services, MCIT; Dr. Yasser Hesham Dkrory, President of Eqyptian e-Learning Univeristy; Eng. Yasser Kazem Director, E-Learning Competence Center, MCIT; and Mariam Fayez, Minister’s Representative, Ministry of Communications and IT.
Dr. Al Awar expressed pleasure in laying strong foundations for the development of a new and innovative model for smart learning in the Arab World with the blessing of the UAE and Egypt. He emphasized the importance of this step in advancing the knowledge revolution to improve the ability of Arab States to support international efforts to translate educational goals set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), especially in terms of promoting education for sustainable development.
Al Awar said: “Under the wise guidance and ongoing follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and our University President, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University will continue to proactively support the Arab World in spreading a culture of smart education, enriching knowledge, and leading innovation, excellence and quality in learning and scientific research. The University has had significant achievements in building an educated generation capable of shaping and creating the future. It is our responsibility to share our extensive expertise and transfer our leading experiences in smart education to those who are involved in the development of education and learning in the Arab World. This ambitious move will ensure the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all and will support entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, thus contributing to the activation of the role of the Arab Region in achieving the objectives of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.”
Al Awar concluded: “Through this new partnership supported by the governments of the UAE and Egypt, we look forward to shaping the future of Higher Education in the Arab World through optimal investment in modern technology. Together, we shall work towards achieving the strategic and ambitious aspiration to make smart learning an essential pillar for upgrading the education sector, while strengthening the presence of the Arab World as a leading global center of excellence in knowledge, educational and academics.”
For her part, Ms. Assmaa Hosney has lauded the pivotal role played by HBMSU in the efforts to spread the culture of smart education and distance learning in the UAE and the rest of the Arab world. She further stressed that joint cooperation lays a solid foundation for exchanging the successful experiences between the UAE and Egypt, in accordance with the latest technological innovations that have become essential components in keeping at pace with the requirements of the knowledge era, which will further accelerate the transition to integrated knowledge-based economies.
Hosney added: “We will work together to support and develop a smart learning industry designed to serve the beneficiaries in the Arab world– using regional indicators to measure the performance and the success of the smart learning ecosystem. Egypt’s technology-enabled human resources and SMEs will be a key element in implementing the baseline of a joint action and cooperation between the two countries.”
The visiting Egyptian delegation took a closer look at initiatives recently demonstrated by the University to H.E Eng. Yasser ElKady. The delegates also examined the mechanisms of the ‘Smart Training Model’ which represents a quantum leap in the raising of educational competencies and the promotion of training mechanisms to new levels of innovation and scientific excellence. The Egyptian delegation was briefed as well on the Gamification initiative which turns learning into an enjoyable journey by making it more ‘interesting,’ challenging’ and ‘exclusive,’ in addition to the Personal Virtual Assistant initiative, a proactive step in communicating with students. These initiatives are part of a large portfolio of quality programs and initiatives launched under the umbrella of the University.
The Egyptian side has discussed efforts to integrate people with special needs in the educational process and developing smart educational content for them. The delegation also reviewed the projects and programs of the E-Learning Competence Center, Egyptian E-Learning University, the experience of the technology parks, their oasis of science, creativity, and entrepreneurship, and the possibilities of creating an IT industry in Egypt backed with e-learning programs and initiatives.