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Over 1,000 influential education leaders, practitioners and industry experts expected to attend the two day event
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 6 April, 2016 – Bett, a leading global education technology exhibition and congress series, today concluded the successful first day of its inaugural Middle East Leadership Forum and Expo. Distinguished speakers from global organizations and regional governmental entities attended the event, against the backdrop of the iconic InterContinental hotel, Abu Dhabi.

The two-day event has been organized in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) with the primary aim of discussing the transformation of education in the Middle East, whilst promoting the discovery of technology and knowledge to enhance lifelong learning across the regional academic landscape.

Gordon Payne, Divisional Director, Education & Technology at i2i Events, addressed delegates and dignitaries in his official welcoming speech and called for every attendee to be encouraged by the ambitions of the local education authorities and leaders in the region. An address was also delivered from Philip Parham, British Ambassador to United Arab Emirates, British Embassy Abu Dhabi.

In his opening keynote, H.E. Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council demonstrated the authority’s clear commitment to developing human capital for transitioning to a sustainable, global knowledge economy.

ADEC’s Director General stressed on the importance of investing in technology in order to help develop education further, while improving learning and teaching skills through the usage of modern technology that will help create a knowledge based generation of youth capable of taking part in future challenges, especially since technology already plays a huge part in the lives of students these days.

His Excellency called upon all educators working across schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to fulfill our prudent leadership’s vision “education first” by considering education one of the nation’s top priority, and this can only happen through teamwork spirit, while taking advantage of the numerous programs and activities launched on a nationwide level to help improve the overall education system. “I call upon all educators to take part in the different workshops bett Middle East has to offer, to network and learn new things, while taking advantage of the vast experiences available during these two days.”

Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Vice President, Anthony Salcito, also spoke at the event and shared how he sees schools throughout the region – and around the world –transforming the way teaching and learning happen.  During his presentation he said, “The modern workplace has evolved as businesses are moving from organization-centric to people centric and students preparing for today’s workforce need to develop skills required for this shift. The five Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, computational thinking — are the core skills hiring managers are hungry for as they transform globally.”

The first day included morning keynote addresses, speeches, and interactive keynote panel discussions that encouraged participation from audience members. This was followed by three simultaneously-running steams centered around teacher training, professional development, higher education and vocational education.

Summarizing the achievements of the first day, Gordon Payne, Divisional Director, Education & Technology , i2i Events commented, “The level of success that we’ve seen from today’s event serves as a true testament to the UAE’s growing appetite for education technology and nurturing 21st century skills. By adopting these innovations the nation can set itself on the right path to achieving its goals of being able to economically compete in a rapidly changing world. We’re proud of our decision to bring Bett to the Middle East, and of our role in bringing significant regional and international leaders from the education sector together where they have the ability to share knowledge and engage in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”ADEC0344

Other keynote speakers at the event today included:

  • Anthony Salcito, Vice President – Worldwide Education, Microsoft
  • Marc Prensky, Founder & Executive Director, The Global Future Education Foundation and Institute
  • HE Mohammed Gheyath, Director General, Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program
  • Suresh Subramanian, Vice President and General Manager, Industry Solutions, Hewlett-Packard

In addition, as part of ADEC’s professional development week, 40 principals and up to 240 selected STEM teachers from across 40 different public schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi were selected to attend the bett Middle East Leadership Forum, EXPO and Learn Live sessions.

Bett Middle East will continue tomorrow, opening at 08:00hrs. The event will follow a similar format to the first day, with the addition of a special Teacher Academy stream. Free-to-attend expo content will feature live demonstrations and interactive sessions, and new themes include 21st century skills, leadership, and language, culture and content.