Mohammed bin Rashid launches first phase of “The Digital School” in 5 countries

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the first operational phase of The Digital School in five countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania and Colombia. In the first year, more than 20,000 students will be enrolled, as part of a vision to increase the number of students to one million students within the next five years.

The announcement was made during a special event held at Expo 2020 Dubai. His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Our goal is to bring digital learning to new horizons as it is the education of the future and the future of education.”

Commenting on the initiative’s goal of providing learning opportunities for refugees, displaced persons and students in disadvantaged areas in different countries around the world, His Highness added: “In line with international standards in its educational and knowledge content, The Digital School articulates our belief that education is a right for all and that equal educational opportunities are the basis of comprehensive and sustainable development.”

His Highness also noted that “The Digital School seeks to enhance the future of education, ensure continuous innovation, and promote digital learning as a strategic investment for the future.”

The inauguration event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Lieutenant General His Highness Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; and members of the board of directors of The Digital School, which include His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Digital School; Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs; Dr. Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai; Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority; Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares; Dr. Mohamed Qasem, Assistant Professor at the College

of Technological Studies in Kuwait; and Dr. Walid Al Ali, Secretary-General of The Digital School.

The event highlighted the objectives of The Digital School in its first year to reach students in five countries, train 500 teachers, set up 120 learning centers, and provide world-class educational content in three languages: Arabic, French and Spanish.

The Digital School is the first comprehensive digital school, providing distance education in a smart and flexible format, so students can join wherever they are, with a focus on the less fortunate, the disadvantaged and refugees in Arab nations and across the globe.

The Digital School provides digital study and supporting materials that are compatible with the Arab and international curricula, and offers an opportunity to interact with a number of licensed teachers and their colleagues through virtual classrooms.

The Digital School operates through the widest international and national partnerships of its kind within a knowledge alliance that seeks to mobilize efforts and

resources to provide opportunities for quality education to millions of students around the world.

The Digital School aims to reach one million male and female students in the first five years, focusing primarily on students in disadvantaged communities and underprivileged groups.

In coordination with local authorities and national education systems, The Digital School is working in its first year in five countries including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania and Colombia. It adopts the latest technology applications, artificial intelligence and educational tools to fulfill the educational needs of the students benefiting from the initiative.

Presented initially in three languages – Arabic, French and Spanish – with materials matching the nationally approved curricula in the beneficiary countries and communities through a modern digital education platform, The Digital School provides lessons in

mathematics, science, Arabic, computer, and others through virtual and comprehensive classrooms. It offers an interactive learning environment that contributes to student empowerment and enhances communication between students and educators through advanced tools to assess performance, promote self-learning, and ensure an interactive simulation of each student’s needs.

The Digital School works to be at the heart of new changes in this vital field, by utilizing the latest technologies and artificial intelligence applications and building international partnerships with more than 30 educational, technical and development institutions around the world through the establishment of the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning.

The Digital School is supported by the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning, the first of its kind initiative that works to unify efforts in the field of the future of digital education globally.

The Digital School has also signed agreements of

support and strategic cooperation. The school has concluded agreements with leading charity, humanitarian and knowledge institutions, such as the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai, which allocated a sustainable endowment whose proceeds will help disseminate education through The Digital School; the Emirates Red Crescent Authority to establish 1,000 learning centers affiliated to Digital School within the next five years; a strategic cooperation agreement with Arizona State University as a strategic partner in the training and capacity building of teachers; and Microsoft to collaborate in providing and developing modern digital education solutions for The Digital School.

Furthermore, The Digital School has signed strategic memoranda of understanding with many institutions and entities concerned with the future of digital education and innovation, including the Mobile Learning Alliance, the World Food Program, Dubai Cares, and Amazon.

The Digital School has an international advisory board

that comprises prominent international experts from reputable institutions and bodies such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the international “Generation Unlimited” initiative, a global partnership that aims to ensure that young men and women around the world are enrolled in education, training or employment by 2030; Harvard University; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of New South Wales Sydney; Arizona State University; and the Brookings Institution.

The Digital School system consists of six key components: interactive digital content, learning technology appropriate to the application environment, professional development for teachers and education facilitators, local and international partnerships to achieve the sustainability of digital education, an education model that promotes independent learning skills, and continuous data assessment and evaluation.

The Digital School also seeks to empower teaching communities, educators, and to assist in the professional development of teachers, educational leaders and education facilitators through a broad training program in partnership with Arizona State University to qualify 1,500 digital teachers over the next three years.

The training program includes a dedicated module for teachers, education facilitators, school principals and education officials, and offers a mixed learning course that combines self-learning and coaching for a period of up to six months, after which the trainees who meet the requirements will receive a certificate issued by The Digital School and approved by the Arizona State University. It is available in four languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

Students can benefit from the “digital tutor” to support them in their study plan and follow up on their

educational progress, with the provision of a comprehensive assessment mechanism within the learning stages.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched The Digital School in November 2020, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, as a strategic educational initiative aimed at providing digital learning options for students, especially in remote and developing areas.

In addition to increase the number of beneficiaries to one million students over the next five years, The Digital School aims to train 1,500 teachers in the next three years, and to expand the scope of the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning to include more international institutions working to ensure access to education for all, thus fulfilling the objectives of the Spreading Education and Knowledge pillar, one of the five main pillars of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives for a better future for humanity.

Source: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

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