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Are Dubai students’ good global citizens?

Bringing together good values with education, school principals and teachers in Dubai received an insight into global citizenship on Monday, April 18, 2016, at an event hosted by Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) at Indian High School, Dubai.

With sweeping innovations in technology and student-focused education set to change how young people learn, schools of the future will be radically different. Graham Brown Martin, an internationally renowned author, designer and innovation adviser shared in his keynote address at the What Works event said, “The purpose of education is to equip our children with skills to reimagine society, to meet the challenges of their generation. As educators, we need to think how are children in our schools going to think of tackling a new emerging set of issues.”

Speaking at the event, Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of Emirates Foundation said, “We live in a digital world where the speed of change is exponential. We are asking young people to operate in a world which is very different and requires a more comprehensive skill set. The more languages we speak, the more we feel connected with the theme of global citizenship. Using the virtual space to create new skills will help us equip the youth for a better future.”

Mouza Al Suwaidi, Chief of Engagement at KHDA said, “Knowing how to live together in an interdependent, interconnected world is not an optional extra – but an essential foundation for a successful life. Teachers are agents of social change and delivering lessons that contribute to building good human values can help young students fit into a sustainable global community which is increasingly connected.”

Explaining global citizenship in Dubai schools, Mouza shared insights about the lighthouse project which connects the school community with an objective of learning from countries whose education systems have performed exceedingly well.

More than 80 schools in Dubai are participating in the lighthouse initiative which unites school principals to collaborate on finding out how 10 other countries have improved their performance in international educational assessments. The initiative allows school leaders to discuss positive aspects of education in other countries with the purpose to help UAE move closer to achieving its national agenda goals.

“One of the ideas behind this collaborative task was the desire to encourage principals to network outside their regular groups. This really is a first-step towards making our schools understand the idea of being global citizens while helping us as a country to get closer to achieving targets set out in the national agenda,” shared Mouza.

More than 420 teachers and principals from 85 private schools in Dubai attended the event. Some of the sessions hosted at the What Works Global Citizens event included designing the future of education, recognising global identity, learning from the world and building global projects in schools among others.

- KHDA Media