Leading educational experts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently suggested that Emirati schools will shift towards smart learning through devices such as tablets. Dr Abdulrahman Al Ansari reviews.
Regional news agency 7Days spoke to educational experts on this topic while attending Bett. Hosted recently in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, Bett is a leading international technology exhibition and congress. Ibrahim Eldabour, a teacher of Maths at the Al Ain-based Khalid bin Walid School said that by giving children tablets, you make it easier for them to solve problems.
Elaborating, he argued: “My maths students are using the tablets to draw graphs using applications like GeoGebra, Desmos or Graphs which make learning easier for them… Many children feel more comfortable using the tablet than the books because it’s much more entertaining… Strict supervision is however required so children can use these gadgets for useful purposes.”
Eldabour’s views were echoed by Mohammed Gheyath, who serves as the Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme. Gheyath argued that by using devices such as tablets, laptops and smart boards, Emirati teachers can utilise “smart learning techniques to change teaching and learning in the UAE.”
He added that the use of tablets in Emirati government schools has helped pupils engage more effectively with other students and teachers. This has spurred the development of research and problem solving skills. Elaborating, Gheyath said: “Use of technology in teaching has helped improve children’s love for learning and teachers say they are now seeing more students attending class than before.”
The Director General went on to note that government schools in Dubai and other Emirates have a comprehensive Smart Learning programme. Under this initiative, the country’s government has placed 35,000 tablets and 5,000 smartboards in classroom, as well as provided 6,000 educators with laptops for teaching purposes. Going on, he said that “it is not only giving out tablets or internet connections, we are enhancing the entire education system, starting with the curriculum itself.”
The UAE government has implemented a major initiative to build the Emirati knowledge-based economy. Commenting on this, UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was quoted by the Khaleej Times saying: “The UAE has set its course for a post-oil world through investing in the development of our people in the fields of science and advanced technology.” It is key that the UAE invests in science and technology education, in order to develop the workers required for a robust knowledge-based economy.
As the experts questioned by 7Days argued, utilising smart learning techniques through devices such as tablets and smartboards brings a range of benefits for Emirati schools. Specifically they promote problem solving abilities, which are essential skills in the fields of science and technology. By introducing smart learning devices en masse throughout Emirati schools, the UAE’s government is providing its educational system with the infrastructure required to cultivate a lucrative knowledge-based economy.
Abdulrahman Al Ansari has more than 18 years of experience in the global financial services industry. He serves as the chairman of a number of reputable financial firms including AMA Investment Holding and Bid Capital Management Consultancy.
Abdulrahman’s professional portfolio encompasses a diverse range of sectors from commodities and natural resources to education, healthcare, oil & gas and investment banking. He has earned a reputation as an innovator, who consistently develops new ideas and solutions to address the complex and demanding challenges which confront his clients every day. Over the years, Abdulrahman has cultivated a special interest in the continued economic and community development of the UAE.