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Thousands of teachers from the Gulf’s public and private schools’ system are expected to get a big professional boost at the forthcoming GESS Dubai exhibition and conference, the largest education show in the Middle East.

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD)-certified workshops and sessions offered at GESS Dubai are free for all teachers based in the GCC, and cover a wide of topics aimed at enhancing their skills and assisting their career advancement in the workplace.

For the past 11 years, GESS Dubai has brought internationally-acclaimed experts who have shared invaluable insights on leadership & management of schools, curriculum development, technology adoption, classroom learning enhancement and other aspects of education that have contributed to raising of teaching standards in the UAE.

“We have made these CPD-certified sessions available for all teachers to enable them to get additional training and boost their work prospects, which in the long-term will also help boost the profession and make teaching an attractive career for Emiratis and expatriates,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East, organisers of the GESS Dubai that will take place on 27 February to 1 March 2018 at the Sheikh Saeed Halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Key challenges

There is a consensus among education experts that professional advancement for teachers in the Gulf need more support, to help teachers gain the skills and knowledge needed to cope with an ever-changing learning landscape.

With the transient nature of the teaching profession in the GCC and the increasing use of technology that allows students access to a wide plethora of information and knowledge sources, “teachers need the support system to be able to deal with such challenges and be equipped with the skills necessary to leverage technology and future advances in education to become better at their jobs,” added Thompson.

It is worth pointing out that the Gulf has a better teacher-to-student ration compared to the world average, even vis-a-vis advanced economies like the US and the UK.

According to various research done by UNESCO as well industry analysts such as Alpen Capital, there are about 16 students per teacher at the pre-primary and tertiary levels and above 10 at the primary and secondary levels of education. The ratio is better than the world average of more than 20 at pre-primary and primary schools and 17.4 at secondary. The ratio in the GCC is also healthier than that of the US and the UK, where it is in the 14 to 18 range at primary and secondary schools.

Having a low student-to-teacher ratio suggests greater attention and instructional support per student. “But the quality of teachers will also have an impact on the kind of learning being shared with students,” Thompson continued.

Revolving around the theme Lifelong Inspiration, among the more than 250 workshops and sessions teachers can attend for free at GESS Dubai include Embodying learning with mobile gamification platform Seppo (Rui da Silva, Director of Innovation, GEMS Dubai American Academy), Digital Learning Content and Enhanced Learning Analytics: Personalising Learners Experiences for Single Courses or Smart Nations (Yaz El Hakim Director of Education and Communications, Kortext), Developing the Smart Future Ready Citizen (Sajida Shroff, CEO, Altamont Group), Leadership Workshop (Mary van der Heijden, Educational Consultant, Fieldwork Education), The Importance of Leadership and Management to Education (Ayanthi Rajakaruna, Lead Consultant – Education, BRAMS) and COBIS Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance (Colin Bell, CEOCOBIS -UK) among others.

Some sessions focused on student learning include INNOV8TR- Developing Students Innovators (Evo Hannan, Head of Design and Innovation, GEMS International School Al Khail) and Preparing the Young Generation for Life and Work (Poonam Heryani, Head of Academics, Edupreneur).

GESS Dubai is free-to-attend for education professionals and the public who wish to see education innovation and advances from around the world in action through various workshops and sessions as well as exhibition showcases from over 550 leading global education-focused companies and brands. Registration can now be done online at