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Taking a peak into the classroom of the future, educators in Dubai explored new ideas and themes to look into the future of education at an event hosted by Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Monday.

Educators from Dubai’s private schools attended the ‘What Works’ event hosted by Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) at Dubai Future Accelerators.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA said, “Moving forward, we need to adapt tools that will enable a future emotional revolution in education. Creating resilience, happiness and courage among young people is a step towards the future.”

The event was hosted as part of the What Works movement, which brings together educators thrice a year to share best practices and learnings. The latest edition also marked the launch of a new report outlining ‘The Future of Education’ for schools in Dubai.

Steve Munby, CEO of Education Development Trust, said, “Dubai continues to make progress in education and it represents an opportunity to look at innovations and good practices which are contributing to the global dialogue on the future of education.”

Rohan Roberts, innovation leader at GEMS Education, who was speaking at a panel discussion said, “Changing mindsets and creating awareness about the impact of technologies is important. We are living in an age where information is freely available and what we really need to do now is to focus on helping students differentiate between what is the right information and what is not. Critical thinking will emerge as the distinguishing ability in the new age of education.”

Emily Larson, Director, International Positive Education Network, said, “We could replace all of our teachers with technologies and robots but they don’t have the emotional and human skills which are much needed in education. Preparing students for the future jobs presents us with an opportunity for us to rethink education for the new age and schools will create shared spaces for character development, positive education and wellbeing.”

As educators discussed and debated new ways to bring the future forward, a group of 25 students from six schools took part in a hackathon hosted by IBM at KHDA to explore “How will education be on Mars in 2117?”

Ghada Dulaim, Cloud Innovation, Operations and transformation leader at IBM, said, “The hackathon with KHDA is our first for primary and secondary students. Their creativity and energy is inspiring and are well-equipped to take the future forward.”

A total of 32 sessions were hosted at the What Works Future event, facilitated by experts from Dubai Expo 2020, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and IPEN alongside educators from Dubai’s private schools.

What are the opportunities in the future for Dubai schools?

  1. Education for entrepreneurship and work readiness – The UAE National Agenda aims to ensure that the nation is ‘among the best in the world in entrepreneurship’ and recognises that this will require action by educators to instill an entrepreneurial culture in schools and universities.
  2. Ensuring student happiness and wellbeing – Schools will need to focus on 21st century skills like critical thinking, social and emotional skills.
  3. How best to accelerate the use of technology to meet future demands – Education needs to adopt to the needs of all children and moving towards embracing the diversity of students’ learning needs. Teachers will need to rethink the use of technology and address challenges to convert them into opportunities for a better future.


 – KHDA Media