Pearson launches School Improvement Service to align with UAE School Inspection Framework

Pearson aims to help schools meet new national standards and embed world-class systems and processes in UAE schools
Dubai, UAE, 14 May, 2016: Pearson has announced a new School Improvement Service, designed to help UAE schools perform against the standards set out in the UAE’s new School Inspection Framework. The Framework is designed to help meet the country’s national agenda for education reform set about the UAE’s 2021 vision.

The UAE School Inspection Framework was rolled out in 2015, unifying the many inspection and school improvement models that had previously been in place throughout the country. The Framework is an evaluation system that measures the quality of a school’s performance, supporting school improvements through regular inspections. School inspections are structured around six performance standards including student achievement; personal and social development of students; teaching and assessment; curriculum; protection, care, guidance and support of students; and leadership and management.
The 2015-2016 Framework Guide, released by the UAE Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority, and the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Training, states:
“To achieve the world-class education system to which it aspires, the UAE must apply a high quality evaluation system to measure reliably the quality of school performance and to support school improvements and students’ outcomes through rigorous and regular school inspection. The UAE School Inspection Framework is based on comprehensive performance standards that define the essential aspects of a quality education”.
International school improvement expert, Dr Brad Ermeling, Principal Research Scientist at Pearson, believes there are four key elements to achieving optimal school improvement outcomes. He says:
“Research conducted through the Pearson Research and Innovation Network has shown that the best results come from school improvement programmes when four considerations are taken into account. These are:
1.      Emphasis needs to be placed on doing the “ordinary”, day-to-day work well. It is often these seemingly insignificant tasks that have the greatest impact on how well a school performs overall;
2.      The detail is exceedingly important – it is one thing to come up with a great idea or vision, but often the most difficult aspects of reform is in figuring out the details that will actually make the plan work.
3.      Successful action (that is, getting things done) begets improved attitudes, beliefs and knowledge, and;
4.      Everyone needs to be involved and school leaders are instrumental in bringing the entire school community on board with necessary changes.
Therefore, a holistic approach to school improvement that looks beyond individual areas of school improvement is necessary”.
Amanda Collins, Pearson’s Regional Director for School Services, says that the new Pearson School Improvement Service maps this international research with the specific needs of institutions in the UAE. She says the Service is designed to meet the challenges faced by UAE schools in preparing for inspection and help them along the path of continuous improvement.
“Schools are consistently looking for ways to improve to give learners the best possible chance of meeting their potential, both academically and in other important areas of development. The new School Improvement Service helps schools to achieve that goal, whilst mapping against the specific criteria set out in the Inspection Framework. We work closely with schools to identify what areas require attention through a school-wide needs assessment. The team, which includes certified school inspectors, then sets about creating a tailored plan. This plan includes face to face and online professional development, policy support, in-class support and coaching that improves performance in identified areas, with on-going consultation and monitoring the cornerstone of the service”.
Ms Collins goes on to say that improving learner outcomes is the overarching aim of the School Improvement Service.
“There are many elements of a successful school improvement programme, professional development, staff appraisals and targeted teaching interventions to name just a few. However, improving learner outcomes is the ultimate goal of the whole process. We want to help create schools where learning thrives and where learners are excited about the future they can achieve”.

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King’s school in Dubai (video)

Kings’ Schools is a prestigious schools group. Schools include the founding school Kings’ School Dubai in Umm Suqeim as well as Kings’ School Al Barsha and Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba and our head office Kings’ Education.
 Kings’ School Dubai is the only school in the Emirates to have achieved the rating of “outstanding” for six years since inspections by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau began. Our schools have a British heritage and an international perspective where children become effective, enthusiastic and independent life-long learners who are able to adapt to the changes and challenges of a fast-moving, modern world.

DSOA and Imdaad Organize Be’ati School Programme at Indian International School.

DSO based IIS third and fourth grade students learn about environment sustainability
Dubai-UAE: 04 April, 2016 – Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, in partnership with Imdaad, a leading provider of integrated facilities, environment, and energy management solutions in the GCC region, recently hosted the Be’ati School Programme at the DSO based Indian International School (IIS).

Be’ati, which means ‘My Environment,’ is Imdaad’s flagship corporate social responsibility initiative that was rolled out in 2009. Since then, the programme has been visiting schools in the UAE to host quizzes, short films and competitions for raising awareness on the significance of a sustainable environment. As part of the initiative, concepts such as waste segregation at source, recycling, reducing carbon emissions, and preserving natural resources to make the earth a clean and green planet are given particular emphasis. Imdaad has set a target of educating and transforming more than 30,000 school children into active partners of environment preservation for the benefit of future generations.
The latest edition of the green campaign was conducted in two sessions and included tailor-made fun activities for more than 500 students from Grades 3 and 4 of the Indian International School. Through interactive presentations, Imdaad and DSOA illustrated thebenefits of environment-friendly practices and a green lifestyle. Khaddour, the fun-loving leaf character and the mascot of Be’ati was also present to encourage and motivate the children to adopt eco-friendly waysincluding recycling as a daily practice.
Commenting on this initiative, Eng. Khalil Shalan, Senior Vice President – Operations & Facilities at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said: “We congratulate Imdaad for organizing the fun and educational sessions at the Indian International School that underlined the importance of maintaining a green and clean environment. DSOA strongly supports eco-initiatives in line with its CSR strategy that is based on three comprehensive pillars – the environment, human capital, and community. As part of this priority, we are committed to supporting entities such as Imdaad to increase young people’s awareness of environmental and sustainability practices. We are confident that such inspiring initiatives will help children assume ownership of preserving the natural resources within their communities, and eventually take on more vital roles as responsible citizens.”
Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO, Imdaad, said: “As a leading entity for the management of facilities, environment and energy, Imdaad considers it a personal responsibility to launch environmental initiatives. The Be’ati School Programme is our flagship campaign that teaches school children about the importance of environmental sustainability. We extend our gratitude to DSOA for partnering with us in organizing this outreach campaign at the Indian International School. We also commend the school’s management for supporting our cause and enabling us to relay the public welfare message to their students. The sessions gave us anopportunity to interact with the young leaders of tomorrow. Their enthusiasm clearly indicated their resolve to play valuable and participatory roles in preserving our precious environment.”
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About Imdaad

Imdaad, a multi-awarded, fully integrated facilities, environment, and energy management solutions company in the GCC, is owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, the investment arm of the Government of Dubai.  It provides turnkey solutions under Hard and Soft Facilities Management (FM), Waste and Environment, Power and Energy portfolios and is recognised in the market for its innovative, professional, and quality-driven services. Imdaad also offers 24X7 home maintenance service under its HomePro portfolio. The company has received several prominent industry awards and recognitions, including ‘Green Facility Management Organization of the Year’ at the 2015 Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) Awards and the ‘Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA), among others. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a core value for Imdaad and its community-focused programs such as Be’ati (My Environment) – a flagship CSR initiative and Khaddour – the fun-loving green leaf character, reinforces its strong commitment to environmental sustainability.

Out of the 14 outstanding schools in Dubai, 10 follow the British Curriculum.

British Council’s ‘Schools Now! Conference’ concludes in Abu Dhabi
Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) inducted 13,500 UAE nationals into the UAE private sector over 10 years; Goal is to reduce unemployment rate to less than 1 per cent, from the current 2.6 per cent says Executive Director
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2 March 2016: There are more than 350 private schools in the UAE catering to over 470, 000 students, of which 81,000 (17%) are Emirati. Interestingly, of the top 14 outstanding schools in Dubai, 10 follow British Curriculum.

These statistics were highlighted on the concluding day of the ‘Schools Now! Conference’ organised by British Council in Abu Dhabi.
The concluding day of the international event revealed that 32 percent of UAE private schools follow British Curriculum, which, according to Adrian Chadwick, Regional Director MENA, British Council, speaks volumes for the value parents place in a British curriculum schools in the UAE.

‘Schools Now! Conference’ organised by British Council in Abu Dhabi.

The opening session on the second day was attended by Ros Marshall, CEO of Taaleem Schools, UAE, and Essa Al Mulla, Executive Director, Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP), among other decision makers from the field of education from across the world.
Al Mulla revealed that ENDP has inducted 13,500 UAE nationals into the UAE private sector over the past 10 years.
He said Emiratisation is a top priority for the UAE, and added that ENDP has a goal of reducing the UAE unemployment rate to less than 1 per cent, from  the current 2.6 percent (according to Dubai Statistics Centre figures) by 2021.
He lauded the British Council’s role in bringing innovative, world-class and highly relevant topics into the education arena.
The conference featured a number of keynote speeches, plenary papers, panel discussions and short paper presentations. The three Plenary sessions on the concluding day were “Redefining School Leadership– Challenging the status quo”, “Measuring Effectiveness, Improving Outcomes – what do examinations tell us?” and “Student Insight”.
The second day highlighted that for a school to be successful, the traditional head teacher/ teacher/ student hierarchy needs to be revisited and challenged. Head teachers cannot be the only leaders; teachers must do more than impart knowledge and students need to be able to take responsibility for their learning as well as the environment and culture of their school.
“We are glad that the conference has achieved its goals of focusing on contemporary approaches to empowering school leaders and teachers around the world” added Chadwick. “From the discussions that took place in Abu Dhabi over the past two days, and from the insight and relationships shared and created, the British Council will continue to work with ministries and school leaders across MENA to support greater quality in the classroom, and better learning outcomes for all.”
The conference focused on the importance of measuring effectiveness and improving outcomes as participants underscored that assessment is essential to allow learners to get the appropriate educational support and interventions and to evaluate the effectiveness of different educational pedagogies. The conference said that with the advent of new technologies, examinations should serve their role in measuring a learner’s mastery of knowledge as well as chart the ongoing growth and development in learning over a period of time.
The conference also tackled highly relevant topics such as the changing role of an academic leader as an educationalist, the leadership dynamics of contemporary schooling and the emerging role of school leaders as security administrators as well as the importance of quality assurance.
The conference in its final plenary presented the student perspective on key issues and opportunities. Speakers urged academic leaders, policy makers and employers to sit up and listen to each other for the benefit of all.
Among the participants in the ‘Schools Now! Conference’ were global leaders and experts from the British Council offices from across the globe, as well as prestigious international organisations such as Pearson, Cambridge International Examinations, UK; Royal Society of Arts (RSA), UK; Presidium Group of Institutions, India; HSBC Bank Middle East Limited plus many others. Local entities from the UAE also took part in the event, including Taaleem, UAE; Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP); INJAZ – UAE and Heriot-Watt University Dubai.

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Autodesk empowers students to bring their ideas to life at GESS Dubai 2016

Leading software company throws the spotlight on design solutions Memento and Fusion 360 as strategic tools to help nurture and enhance student creativity
March 03, 2016 – Autodesk, a leading design software company that is playing a very innovative role in the education sector, globally and in the Middle East region, has expressed its eagerness to help empower students in bringing their creative ideas to life.

The statement came during the company’s participation at Global Educational Supplies and Solutions Dubai 2016 (GESS Dubai 2016), the region’s only event dedicated to the entire spectrum of educational supplies and solutions, which opened last March 1, 2016 and will run until March 3, 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The company has revealed that 3D technology has now become a more common part of today’s classrooms, which has resulted in the discovery that students are making significant contributions to the world around them at young ages. Looking to further nurture their creative talents, Autodesk will be holding specialized workshops for students visiting GESS Dubai 2016—throwing the spotlight on its key design solutions Memento and Fusion 360.

During the show, the company will be leveraging Fusion 360 and Memento as the perfect complement in further encouraging and developing the design skills of today’s students. These powerful and easy-to-use solutions converts photos and laser scans into 3D meshes that can be cleaned up, transformed and 3D printed so that anyone, even the young, can explore captured objects from across the world.  In the US, students as young as 13 years old have used Fusion 360 to conceptualize and 3D print prosthetic devices to college teams developing environmentally sustainable homes using BIM 360 Glue. Young talents are pushing the boundaries of design and innovation both inside and outside of the classroom using the same design software used by professionals every day. With Autodesk’s education business model, there is now more than 680 million students and educators from over 800,000 secondary and post-secondary schools in 188 countries taking advantage of free access to Autodesk’s professional software and services for use in classrooms, labs and at home. The company has affirmed its continued commitment in investing in the next generation—offering free access to Autodesk software to students, educators, and academic institutions worldwide.

Autodesk continues to provide free access to industry-standard professional 3D design software and learning content to students, educators and schools worldwide. The move demonstrates the company’s commitment towards providing today’s youth with the necessary tools and resources needed in helping them achieve success in their academic and future careers. Autodesk originally offered free software to college students but has now also started to provide it free to middle school and high school students in the UAE. To ensure wider reach, the company maintains active collaborations with ADVETI Institutes, Secondary Technical School (STS) and many universities. In fact, the success of this initiative can be seen in Autodesk’s move to empower 16-year-old Emirati girl students to design next generation mini-F1 cars. 

Dubai Smart Government signs MoU with KHDA to support electronic and smart services.

                       
UAE, November 9, 2015 – Dubai Smart Government Department (DSG) and Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), under which DSG will offer the necessary support for its electronic and smart shared services provided to KHDA in line with the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for Dubai government services to be available round the clock.

The services which KHDA benefits from include the Government Resources Planning Systems (GRPS), Government Information Network (GIN), MyID, ePay, Government Service Bus, Correspondence Tracking System, SMS Dubai, eSurvey, Happiness Meter, eHost, eComplain, eSuggest etc.
The MoU also stipulates that the levels of this support and the priority-based response period should be specified with a view to fulfilling the leadership’s vision that efforts should be combined to achieve Dubai Vision 2021 and the ultimate goal of bringing happiness to customers.
Commenting on the MoU, H.E. Ahmad Bin Humaidan, DSG Director General, said: “DSG works as per a clear strategy aimed at reaching a connected and collaborative smart government by meeting the needs of all government entities in implementation of the smart government objectives as announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, for prompt transformation to smart government for Dubai to become the smartest and most innovative city in the world and for the UAE to consolidate its lead in smart transformation worldwide.”
Bin Humaidan added: “We have signed an MoU with KHDA based on our commitment to employ our enablers including advanced infrastructure, smart services, systems and high-level technical support with a view to improving the readiness of the smart services which KHDA benefits from as well as developing them and ensuring their sustainability based on our belief in the important role played by KHDA in building a high-quality educational sector for the happiness and improved satisfaction of customers.”
Meanwhile, H.E. Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, said: “This MoU is a significant step towards ensuring the sustainability of KHDA’s services as per the world’s best standards, benefiting from the high performance of the shared services provided by DSG.”
Al Karam believed co-operation between the two sides would serve the interests of customers including schools, universities, students, parents, educational staff, investors and government partners for building a high-quality educational sector keen on bringing happiness to its community.
Al Karam affirmed that KHDA is working on achieving the prudent leadership’s vision for all efforts to be combined in order to fulfil the UAE vision and Dubai transformation to the world’s smartest city, valuing DSG’s role and unique transformations of all Dubai entities. He also praised DSG’s methodology of work, which serves in consolidating the transformation to smart government, reiterating that KHDA is proud to strengthen its partnership with DSG and appreciates working with it.

Earlier, DSG has been awarded an ISO 20000:2011 Certification for IT service management, which proves its commitment to the global IT standards for improving the performance of services in general, and makes it highly qualified for effectively providing support services to government entities.

DSG has recently launched at Gitex Technology Week 2015 new smart shared services: Dubai Government’s CloudOne, which provides a smart shared infrastructure that enables Dubai government entities to easily access many IT resources, thereby saving the expenses and efforts needed to build these resources individually, and Watson interactive system, which employs artificial intelligence for the public dealing with government services. DSG has also launched Dubai Now that, combines a large number of smart government services for 22 Dubai government entities participating in the app so far. 

Al Hammadi: “UAE is leading global trends towards modern education systems.”

·       UAE Minister of Education: “We will continue to integrate basic IT skills & digital literacy in school curriculum.”
·       Ministry of Education’s Assistant Undersecretary of Support Services: “Modern designs for schools & attractive learning environment for teachers, administrators & students.”

UAE, June 9, 2015 – H.E. Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, has announced that the five principles to unleash the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) agreed upon at the International Conference on ICT and Post-2015 Education held recently in Qingdao, China, are the same as those guaranteed by the UAE’s Constitution and Legislations. These principles are in line with the development strategy of UAE Vision 2021, the UAE National Agenda, and the Ministry’s Education Development Plan 2015-2021.
H.E. Al Hammadi pointed out that since the declaration of the Union, the UAE has realized the value of five principles, namely, the right of education, equity, integration, quality education and lifelong learning, which formed the main themes of the conference. The UAE also realized early on and proactively that it is important and necessary that everyone gets good, equal and comprehensive education in order to build modern, sustainable, inclusive and knowledge-based societies.  
H.E. Al Hammadi expressed his views at the conference where he headed a high-profile official delegation from the UAE that included H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary of Support Services. The International Conference on ICT and Post-2015 Education was inaugurated by Liu Yandong, Vice-Premier of the State Council of China, in the presence of the Ministers of Education, a host of senior educational officials, experts and specialists representing over 90 countries.
Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Al Hammadi said that the global educational system is witnessing rapid transformations and long-term directives that are directly related to major advances in ICT, cognitive revolution, and the knowledge-economy society. This was evident throughout the conference, where various topics were discussed during the specialized panels. He emphasized that the UAE enjoys a leading position in terms of providing education systems that keep pace with the changing time as confirmed by UAE Vision 2021. The vision calls on the need to invest in science, technology and research at various levels with special emphasis on education and its development to provide students with the knowledge and skills of the 21st century to increase specialized scientific abilities in the present and the future.
H.E. Al Hammadi revealed that attendees focused on e-Learning, and the UAE, as it seeks to achieve the highest global competitive rates, talked about ‘smart’ learning and post smart learning. The country has also adopted a series of development programs that support this renewed type of education in its curricula, teaching methods, assessment and exam systems, infrastructure, and extracurricular activities. These, along with the support of an elite list of educators and administrators, will support the Ministry in developing a school environment that incubates creativity and innovation while stimulating ingenuity. These concepts have been adopted by the global education systems now and were revisited during the deliberations regarding the future of education and technology beyond 2015.
H.E. Al Hammadi confirmed that ICT for learning and other fields is no longer a specialized skill, but is the basis for success in modern societies. He noted that the Ministry of Education adopts what was affirmed by the conference about the importance of integrating basic ICT skills and digital literacy in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools. Moreover, it provides many unprecedented educational opportunities to enable Emirati students to use digital devices to enhance their familiarity with modern sciences, knowledge, and specialized research. Additionally, the Ministry focuses on developing students’ administrative, educational and technical skills that will help them in utilizing knowledge to keep abreast with the latest technology by inventing smart teaching tools, reflecting the distinctive capabilities of the UAE’s educational arena.
H.E. Al Hammadi pointed out that the UAE Ministry of Education, in cooperation with its strategic partners and institutions concerned with the education sector, is developing comprehensive National Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Systems in order to provide sound evidences to formulate policies on recruitment and use and measure the impact of ICT in education. He also added that through these joint efforts the Ministry aims to enhance the management of the educational system, ensuring compliance with the highest standards of educational practices and strengthening the planning, implementation and follow-up process, in addition to promoting sustainability concepts in education.
H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services, said: “The Ministry of Education is intensifying its efforts to create new opportunities to utilize all available capabilities which represent the core of the educational process and the backbone of development. These capabilities include human resources, infrastructure, educational equipments and tools, school facilities, auditing, evaluation, and follow-up systems along with other logistic factors that support the efforts to develop the education sector and achieve sustainability within school community.”
He added: “The Ministry is focusing on providing professional development opportunities for teachers, administrators and staff in schools, as they are the pillars of the education sector. We believe that investing in human capital is of great significance due to its vital role and that its development requires the implementation of high-level educational practices as well as conformity with the highest standards of professionalism to ensure optimal management of the development process by qualified personnel. The Ministry looks forward to strengthening existing partnerships with leading consulting firms as well as with the universities and educational institutions in the UAE which can share their experience in implementing and supervising various training programs.”
H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi stated that according to the China Conference, the requirements of educational development include good education, quality of educational services related to modern educational and service facilities, advanced equipments, and innovative educational techniques and technology. He said that these requirements are the most important elements for positively changing school operations. They are also effective tools for supporting the Ministry’s objective of enhancing schools in the UAE and making them attractive for students, teachers and administrators.
“The Ministry has approved new designs that aim to develop modern schools in the UAE. We look forward to opening the new schools soon in line with our efforts to achieve the objective of our development plan and keep pace with global movements. The schools will include sustainable facilities developed according to the highest standards of Green Buildings, an institution developed in accordance with the special specifications of smart learning systems, as well as special-purpose facilities such as rooms for learning resources and enrichment activities. The modern schools will also include technical and scientific laboratories that are being developed in line with the requirements of advanced curricula and innovative teaching methods. The Open Classroom is one of the highlights of the modern schools, as they support the objectives of the educational development plan aimed at providing high-quality service and educational outcomes to enable students to enroll in the best universities in the UAE and abroad without prior preparation,” H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi added.
H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi said that the Ministry is aiming to enhance the operational efficiency of schools in the UAE through a series of roles related to administrative and financial affairs, pointed out that the step will facilitate the educational process, meet the daily needs of the schools in accordance with the applicable regulations and in a flexible manner, to achieve the objectives of Q-Scale Project and other leading initiatives. The final statement of the conference emphasized the importance of encouraging lifelong learning, promoting innovative and advanced Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) methods, and supporting the concept of accountability. It also reflected the urgent need for adopting the principles and methods of online education, and activating the role of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in improving learning paths and enabling all segments of society, especially those with special needs, to gain access to educational services.
The statement also highlighted the significance of ICT-based innovative educational tools as main contributors in maximizing employment opportunities, especially in the fields that require certified skills.

Ministry of Environment and Water successfully concludes activities of National Environment Day.

Closing ceremonies highlighted with launch of National Strategy on Environment Education and Awareness
UAE, March 5, 2015 His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, attended the concluding activities for the UAE’s celebration of the 18thedition of National Environment Day held today (Thursday, March 5, 2015) in Abu Dhabi. The event which is held every March 4th under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, was attended by government and private institutions, civic organizations and members of the local community.

Also present during the event were Dr. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, who is more popularly known as the ‘Green Sheikh;’ Mohammed Saleh, Director General, Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA); Ali Mehad Al Suwaidi, Acting Undersecretary, Ministry of Education; Riyadh Bin Aylan, Director General, Sharjah City Municipality; Khaled Huraimel, General Manager, Bee’ah; Dr. Ali Mohamed Ibrahim, Chairman, Environment Friends Society (EFS); Dr Mohamed, MENA Regional Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and a number of officials and representatives from different government agencies.

During the ceremonies, Dr. Bin Fahad stressed on the importance of National Environment Day, which has been celebrated for the last 18 years. The event, as he pointed out, has been implemented along with other government programs and initiatives with the objectives of increasing environmental awareness and encouraging UAE nationals and residents towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. In his speech, the Minister also pointed out the need for greater attention at the national level and greater integration and harmony between efforts, programs and awareness strategies rolled out by the Ministry and other environmental authorities.
H.E. Bin Fahad shared that this year’s event has received both broad and formal public interest, which was widely reflected in the overwhelming response generated from the planned activities and events that were held as part of the annual celebration. He further added that the events highly excelled in innovation and creativity, reflecting the backbone of knowledge for the ministry. For the first time in 18 years, a separate website was created for National Environment Day—featuring information about the event itself, related activities, the environment, green economy and particularly focused on innovation in addressing critical environmental issues.
The Minister stressed that education and awareness are considered essential factors for the efforts towards environmental preservation and development. An important part of these policies depends on key criteria like culture, awareness and the decisions and actions made by individuals or groups on the environment and its resources.
Towards the end of his speech, H.E. Bin Fahad expressed his gratitude and appreciation to government agencies, various media organizations, public welfare associations and environmental authorities who have helped in organizing this year’s National Environment Day celebrations.
The ceremony also featured a short film presentation about innovation and its importance in the move towards preserving the environment. Engineer Mariam Saeed Hareb, Director of Environmental Education and Awareness, Ministry of Environment and Water, gave a summarization of all the events that transpired during National Environment Day. This was followed by a graduation of a group of environmental ambassadors from the seven emirates who participated in a series of intensive training and workshops on various environmental issues. The initiative, which is a project organized in partnership with the Ministry of Education, was sponsored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation. 
The highlight of the closing ceremony was the launching of the National Strategy on Environment Education and Awareness—an initiative that follows the Ministry’s commitment towards raising the level of environmental awareness in the UAE. The strategy, which will be implemented from 2015 to 2021, represents a unified qualitative step towards ecological awareness and efforts to preserve the local environment.
H.E. Bin Fahad emphasized that the strategy represents the ongoing efforts to raise more awareness in saving the environment, which also falls in line with the vision and objectives set by UAE Vision 2021.
Engineer Hareb explained that the strategy is focused on six key objectives that were based on international standards and guidelines of the parties involved. The program aims to educate the country’s younger generation and encourage them to lead the UAE towards a sustainable future and strengthen the community’s commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. The launch also aims at encouraging active participation from the public and private sector; educate governments and key stakeholders on environmental issues and to ensure the integration and effectiveness of environmental awareness campaigns.
Lastly, Minister Bin Fahad toured the ‘Wall of Knowledge,’ an initiative that aims to raise the awareness and knowledge on key environmental issues and concerns with the use of the latest technologies available today. ‘The Wall of Knowledge’ features the ability to connect more than one smart device at a time to create an internal network that integrates elements of the real world with the digital world, using more than 25 electronic minds.

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New York Times best-selling author, renowned speaker and thought leader to empower the region’s youth to be leaders in the 21st century.

Global education practice leader Sean Covey’s first ever Middle East tour to focus on ‘The Leader in Me’ program: creating leaders, one child at a time

UAE, March 1st, 2018 – FranklinCovey Middle East, a global company that specializes in performance improvement of organizations, has announced the first ever visit of world renowned author and motivational speaker Sean Covey to the Middle East.

During his pioneering tour, Sean will discuss how The Leader In Me whole-school transformation model – developed in partnership with educators – empowers students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st Century. The Leader In Me, builds on the work of Dr Stephen R Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and redefines what school greatness means by focusing on culture, leadership and academics.

Sean Covey, who is also the Executive Vice President Global Solutions and Partnerships and Education Practice Leader of  FranklinCovey, will be visiting Riyadh on March 22nd & 23rd, 2015, Abu Dhabi on March 24th and Dubai on March 25th, 2015.

Today’s changing world has a whole new set of rules, to which our youth will need to adapt. Key skills businesses and educators identified as vital to the futures of today’s students are developed within The Leader in Me process. These skills include: Leadership, Accountability, Adaptability, Initiative and Self-Direction, Cross-Cultural skills, Responsibility, Problem Solving, Communication Skills, Creativity and Teamwork.

‘The Leader in Me’ is a school-wide process that develops staff and students as leaders and thereby transforms the culture and performance of the school. While raising pedagogical standards, The Leader in Me draws on the world-class content of FranklinCovey, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which staff, students and parents adopt as a common language. The Leader in Me schools seamlessly integrate leadership development into their daily curriculum, activities and systems; it becomes the school’s operating system. A school culture is created where every student is encouraged to set and achieve meaningful goals, to be a positive influence on others and to use his or her individual gifts to better the world. ‘The Leader in Me’ process strives ‘to build leaders, one child at a time.’

Sean said, “The Middle East represents a diverse geographic spread and a fantastic opportunity to build on the engagement of students, staff and parents. The education sector in the Middle East is highly viable thanks to a population heavily skewed towards youth. The Leader in Me is producing transformational results in over 2,000 schools worldwide and we are excited to bring the process to the Middle East.

Our vision is that one day our entire community will be impacted with citizens who are lifelong leaders and learners.”

In Riyadh, Sean is set to meet with officials from Saudi Arabia’s Educational sector and large corporate organizations. In the UAE he will meet the principals, teachers and parents from various schools under the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the country’s capital and with deans and senior executives of colleges and universities to be hosted at the American University in Dubai (AUD) to highlight the ‘7 Habits for College Students,’ which will empower them with the tools for achieving success in the future.

Sean graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a degree in English and later earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and is known for writing motivational books for children and teens like Fourth Down and Life to Go: How to Turn Life’s Setbacks into Triumphs as his 1st motivational work published in 1990, The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens’ which became a New York Times Best Seller.

Sean lives by the common saying, “You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever”, He acknowledges that we only get one chance to prepare our students for a future none of us can predict. But the question is what are we going to do with that one chance?

About FranklinCovey:

FranklinCovey is a global company specializing in performance improvement helping organizations achieve results that require a change in human behavior. FranklinCovey’s education division is one of the world’s most prominent and trusted providers of education-leadership programs and transformational processes to thousands of primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools and institutions around the world. Our mission is to enable greatness in educators and students everywhere

Autodesk Makes Design Software Free to Schools Worldwide.

Design Software Leader Expands Reach of Free Education Offering to Prepare an Industry-ready Workforce
DUBAI, UAE, Dec 8, 2014 — Fulfilling its promise to expand access to its professional design software in education, Autodesk, Inc.(NASDAQ: ADSK) has made its industry-leading design, engineering and entertainment software free* to students, instructors and academic institutions worldwide.

With this new education business model, more than 680 million students and educators from over 800,000 secondary and post-secondary schools in 188 countries can take advantage of free access to Autodesk’s professional software and services for use in classrooms, labs, and at home. 
“The way we make things is changing rapidly, and we need a workforce ready to design for new manufacturing and construction techniques. By providing free professional design tools to students, faculty members and academic institutions around the world, we’re helping get industry ready for the next phase,” said Carl Bass, CEO, Autodesk.
Following its announcementof free software for academic institutions in the United States earlier this year as part of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, Autodesk has gradually expanded free access to its leading design software to academic institutions across Asia Pacific and Europe.  The leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software is also helping schools move to the cloud by providing academic institutions with its full suite of next generation cloud-based design products, cloud services such as the A360 collaboration platform, as well as maintenance subscription for free.
From students as young as 13 years old leveraging Fusion 360 to conceptualize and 3D print prosthetic devices, to college teams developing environmentally sustainable homes using BIM 360 Glue, young talent are pushing the boundaries of design and innovation both inside and outside of the classroom using the same design software used by professionals every day.
“Our students are using Fusion 360 to design an Energy Scooter which we are bringing to market via Kickstarter, and they’re only in 8th grade! If we can help more classroom teachers incorporate learning through design in their curriculum, and technologies that engage students in problem-solving through engineering, students will see how math and science are springboards to careers as future innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Karen Kaun, Founder of Makeosity.
To facilitate the integration of design tools into curricula, Autodesk also offers free project-based learning content and resources including the Digital STEAM Workshop and Design Academy.
“Closing the digital gap in education starts by providing European schools with common access to the same advanced technology being used by industry professionals today. Autodesk’s pledge to provide our schools, students and teachers with free access to its professional 3D design software will enable educators to introduce design thinking into our classrooms; equip digital natives with the design tools to learn to solve real-world challenges in new creative ways; and prepare the next-generation workforce with the 21st century skills to meet industry demands and advance our economies,” said Neelie Kroes, formervice-president of the European Commission.
To learn more or to request free educational access to Autodesk software, visit http://www.autodesk.com/education.
About Autodesk
Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone—from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists—uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. For more information visit autodesk.com or follow @autodesk.
Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, A360, BIM 360 and Fusion 360, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.
© 2014 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services may only be used for educational purposes and are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the software license agreement or terms of service.  Details and restrictions available at http://usa.autodesk.com/legal-notices-trademarks.