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Students in Dubai could soon be developing plans to build and operate a school on Mars, or using customised capsules to learn new skills and subjects.

These ideas and more were put forward by a group of UAE residents who were invited to Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) offices after offering their suggestions for the education sector through the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Majlis.

Four key ideas were proposed during the meeting, including the planning and development of a school on Mars, as imagined by children, to help reinforce STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) concepts.

A second idea involved the development of customised chips or capsules that can help students and adults learn new skills or specialised subjects.

Other ideas, such as appreciation events for teachers, are already implemented in some form, including the Teachers of Dubai social media campaign that is run by KHDA.

A volunteer-led initiative that translates Arabic and English texts to Braille was also proposed at the event and was supported by Tamkeen, who will explore the possibility of digital books with audio aids to help people access them

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, chairman of the board of directors and director general of KHDA said: “The Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Majlis allows us to generate new ideas from the broader community. It is very encouraging to see UAE residents planning for the future, especially the Emirates Mars Mission. It is up to educators to inspire and prepare the next generation to be curious and excited to explore the unknown. Engaging with stakeholders is a great way to include the larger community in different initiatives.”

Hind Al Mualla, chief of creativity, happiness and innovation at KHDA encouraged more people to use the platform to engage with government entities. She noted: “We appreciate the enthusiasm from the community and their creative suggestions. The Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Majlis offers the perfect platform to learn what our stakeholders are seeking and engaging with them to share ideas and projects. We welcome more suggestions from UAE residents and we can’t wait to go to school on Mars!”

The Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Majlis app allows all residents to participate in building the future of Dubai by providing a platform for sharing and implementing innovative ideas and solutions. Anyone with a creative idea to benefit teaching and learning in Dubai can submit it through the app, where it will be channeled to the KHDA team.