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UAE’s space programme to have major influence on higher education with $20bn investment

Education leaders from around the world have called for stronger and innovative reforms to build a better future for all.

Several UAE cabinet members were in attendance, to highlight the importance education has on the future growth of the UAE. Among the high-level UAE ministers who made keynote presentations at the Global Education conference include HE Hussein Al Hammadi, Minister of Education for the UAE; HE Eng. Hussain AlHammadi, Minister of Education, UAE; HE Dr. Majid AlNuaimi, Minister of Education, Bahrain; HE Dr. Ali AlNuaimi, Member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, UAE, Director General of Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), Chancellor of the UAE University; HE Jameela Bint Salem Al Muhairi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Public Education; HE Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi – Minister of State for Higher Education; and HE Dr  Mohammed AlAhbabi, Director General, UAE Space Agency.

Speaking at the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Dubai conference held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, government leaders from across the region and education experts from around the world highlighted the need for education systems to foster more positivity in students’ learning experiences, because it is in schools where they spend more than three-quarters of their growing life.

Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, UAE, said “The school environment is such as a critical element in shaping the students’ personality and so education in the UAE is putting more focus on positive learning.”

According to Dr Ilona Boniwell, a well-known consultant in happiness who also spoke at GESS, “The UAE can draw on a wealth of experience of evidence-based positive education programmes internationally, which has focused on addressing many causes of unhappiness in the world today, such as bullying, discrimination, and other challenges that have affected the students’ enjoyment of learning in many ways.”

For the UAE, one significant goal that will have a massive impact on the future of education in the Emirates is its aspirations to have a human colony in Mars under its Mars 2117 vision.

His Excellency Dr Mohammed AlAhbabi, Director General, UAE Space Agency, says the Emirates sees itself becoming a major player in the space exploration industry, pouring in $20bn into its space programmes, the biggest investment of its kind in the Middle East.

“We will be needing a new generation of scientists and space engineers, for which we need to be preparing now. This future generation of thinkers and innovators will help us find answers and solutions to the many challenges we are currently facing; not just as one country, but as the entire human race.”

The penultimate day of GESS Dubai 2017 put the spotlight on higher education, paving the way for the show’s vertical expansion to include the full-spectrum of education – from primary school to the university level.

“I believe it is a natural progression as we continue to explore ways to enhance what we can offer to the education sector in the Middle East,” said Matt Thompson, Director, F&E Education, organisers of GESS Dubai and the Global Education Forum.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to strengthen our position as an effective platform connecting suppliers from around the world to key decision-makers throughout the Gulf to ensure the best products and solutions for the education market are available for use by teachers and students to raise the standards further for quality education in the region.”

iBoardTouch, a leading UK technology company which has been a long-time exhibitor at GESS Dubai says they are constantly in search of partners around the world.

“As UAE and Middle Eastern governments begin to appreciate the importance of interactive devices in the classroom to improve teaching methods and learning results, we are delighted to have found an ideal partner in the UAE through the networking opportunities afforded by GESS,” said Zulfi Baig, Operations Director of iBoardTouch.

A2S, a well-known furniture supplier from Germany, believes the market is about to grow bigger in the long term. “We expect the market to rebound in the next two years, but long-term we see the market providing enough opportunities for companies like ours,” said Jens Richling, Project Manager.

GESS Dubai returns next year for the show’s 11th edition scheduled on February 27 to March 1, 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

– GESS Media