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The UAE is implementing an advanced skills enhancement programme that aims to develop well-rounded students as part of a long-term strategy to enhance the country’s future competitiveness.

This was the highlight of the speech delivered by Her Excellency Jameela Al Muhairi, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Public Education at the inaugural day of GESS Dubai, the MENA region’s biggest education conference and exhibition.

Al Muhairi says for the UAE to succeed, students must be equipped with advanced skills and values such as compassion and tolerance. “Trends in the uses of technology in education, artificial intelligence, large data, blockchain and other recent developments have emerged. It is essential that we address all these changes and take the initiative in studying them and how to use them to develop learning and learning processes.

“Our responsibility lies not only in educating students in modern education but also in preparing compassionate, tolerant generations who are fully aware of what is going on around them. They will be responsible individuals who will make the right choices that positively affect society as a whole. This is the principle of lifelong learning that we want our schools to develop in our students,” Al Muhairi continued.

Bahrain’s Education Minister Dr Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi, as well as Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawky, also attended GESS Dubai to share their vision for the future of education in their respective countries.

Meanwhile, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General, Finnish National Agency for Education, concurred with the UAE’s vision, saying any education system needs to be renewed continuously and must include the individual learner, schools and society. He shared Finland’s successful collaboration with start-ups and educational technology experts as a powerful platform for developing student skills that have lifelong relevance and value.

Sallyann Della Casa, Chief Identity Hacker, Gleac agrees that future success must come from developing both core education capabilities and soft skills, such as critical thinking, leadership, decision-making, collaboration and communication. “Many forward-thinking and successful companies are increasingly investing in developing soft skills within their organisations, as well as in looking for these traits among students because these are what matter in achieving success at work and in life.”

The GESS Dubai exhibition and conference will run until 28 February 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, offering education professionals a fantastic opportunity to learn from world-leading experts on the latest education trends and developments.

Visitors can also explore a wide range of education-focused products and solutions showcased by over 550 local and international companies.

GESS Dubai is free-to-attend for education professionals.