QDB hosts the industrial comprehensive training program for Qatari entrepreneurs

qdb hosts the industrial comprehensive training program for qatari entrepreneurs QDB hosts the industrial comprehensive training program for Qatari entrepreneursDoha, Qatar: The Qatar Development Bank hosted the third edition of its intensive 5-day industrial training program. The program brought together 20 entrepreneurs, who learned effective strategies for establishing and managing manufacturing projects in Qatar. These sessions presented attendees with a step-by-step approach for setting up viable and competitive manufacturing businesses in the country.

Mr. Abdul Aziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of QDB said: “At QDB , we believe that our role does not stop simply at financing. Instead, we feel that our responsibility includes serving as mentors for our local business community. We are proud to host this training program for the third time, as we strive to develop knowledge transfer and foster organic growth across Qatar, while fostering entrepreneurial growth across the country in line with the 2030 vision.”

Prior to hosting the training which was conducted in collaboration with Enterprise Qatar, Social Development Center, Eversheds and Moore Stephens as well as Various experts and trainers from GOIC; Qatar Development Bank experts assessed each participant’s business ideas. Training facilitators showed how entrepreneurs can accurately identify and assess potential business opportunities by carrying a comprehensive evaluation of their relevant industrial macro-environment. The third day of the training familiarized participants with key aspects and procedures necessary to make their proposal a success, including: industrial opportunities in Qatar, commercial representation, resources and contacts, employment laws, credit and bankability as well as the contractual agreement .

“This is the third edition of the program,” Mr. Al Khalifa added, “and we were pleased to see a major content upgrade and an increase in the total number of participants as well as the partnerships with the working institutions in the country. The program dedicated for Qatar’s provides useful knowledge for launching industrial projects and for local entrepreneurs to be familiar with all the potential requirements, opportunities and the risks when launching a major industrial project.”

Participants were also presented with methods of production schedule, planning and control, materials requirement, capacity, shop floor and inventory control, product costing and pricing, and feasibility studies. Day 4 comprised presentations on production management which includes product manufacturing process, plant layout, procurement of the necessary equipment and tools, plant engineering and maintenance, and production programming.

The last two days of the training program looked closely into the model of the manufacturing process where QDB experts gave practical tips for developing and managing a manufacturing small and medium size enterprise and the requisites for registration. Attendees were provided with an overview of QDB ‘s indirect loan facility, Al Dhameen, project finance and the Qatar Business Incubator, a joint initiative between the bank and the Social Development Centre, in addition to QDB ‘s online advisory service, the SME Toolkit, as smart solutions to jump-start a business venture.

QDB concluded the 5-day program by charting schedules for participants to avail of customized mentoring and counseling sessions.

© Press Release 2013

via http://www.edarabia.com/94854/qdb-hosts-the-industrial-comprehensive-training-program-for-qatari-entrepreneurs/

Relief as expat teachers get extra time

relief as expat teachers get extra time Relief as expat teachers get extra timeJeddah, Saudi Arabia: Expatriate women teachers have heaved a sigh of relief over a government announcement that they have until the start of the new academic year to transfer their sponsorship to schools.

However, teachers and educators said that the Ministries of Education and Interior have not resolved several issues regarding the process including whether expatriate workers can return to the sponsorship of their fathers or husbands. Teachers also wanted to know if their husbands would lose the perks of their marital status contracts.

Abdullah Ahmed Thaqfy, director of the education department in Jeddah, told Arab News that Education Ministry officials had talks with their counterparts at the Labor Ministry to extend the period until the new academic year, which would start around Sept. 1, 2014.

Thaqfy said the ministries approved the concession to ensure there was no disruption of the current school year. However, all teachers must transfer their sponsorship at the start of the new academic year, he said.

This came as a relief to many teachers who had planned to leave their schools by Jan. 6. Many had already resigned from their schools, resulting in the disruption of classes.

Shagufta Jamil, a mother, said the situation had resulted in her daughter’s entire class failing their math paper because there was no teacher available.

“This is not the only case of a teacher leaving a school. The students are the ones most affected. Even if these schools hire new teachers, it does not mean the students will get along with them. It’s very important for the Education and Labor Ministries to think carefully before taking any action,” said Jamil.

Another parent, Haneen Ahmed, said she was also worried about the situation at schools because of teachers leaving over the iqama transfer issue.

Padma Hariharan, director and head of Novel International Group of Institutions, thanked the ministries for the extra time but said it should provide clear direction on the process involved.

“We understand that it is mandatory for teachers to fall under the sponsorship of their schools. However, we need clarification from the Ministry of Labor on the terms and conditions. For instance, we received a memo from our school owner that a husband has to write a letter to his office or company owner to get his wife released from his sponsorship,” she said.

Hariharan said that some teachers also want to know if their husbands would lose the perks of a contract where their status is “married” if they were taken off their sponsorship. In addition, some husbands have said their companies had not provided assurances that their wives would be able to get back onto their sponsorship.

Hariharan said the ministries must clear up these “doubts” and not disrupt the schooling of students by changing their policies.

© Arab News 2013

via http://www.edarabia.com/94853/relief-as-expat-teachers-get-extra-time/

HBM honours winners of Higher Education Smart Applications Award

hbm honours winners of higher education smart applications award HBM honours winners of Higher Education Smart Applications AwardAbu Dhabi, UAE: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, has honoured the winners of the “Higher Education and Scientific Research Smart Applications Award” in its first edition 2013-2013, last Thursday in a ceremony held at the new Ministry building.

The ceremony opened with an address by Saif Rashed Al Mazroui, Assistant Under-Secretary for Institutional and Support Services in the Ministry, where he congratulated the participating teams on their accomplishments, thanked them and urged them to participate in future editions.

Sheikh Hamdan had endorsed the results of the award on the tenth of this month, which he launched in June 2013, with the aim of providing higher education and scientific research services in accordance with the highest international standards through upgrading of educational services and support for the continuous improvement and development in the higher education sector in the country.

The winning teams who took the first three places were honoured with certificates of appreciation for all the team members, in addition to monetary rewards. The three teams’ supervisors, managers and representatives of the participating universities were also honoured.

The winning teams in the top three places were all from Khalifa University, and they achieved the highest marks in relation to the evaluation criteria, namely; ease of use, creativity and innovation and efficiency and effectiveness. The winning applications covered several services such as certificates attestation, scholarships abroad, search for academic institutions and programmes and “Asaal Fahim” service.

Al Mazroui added that other participating teams will be honoured later in addition to honouring the jury.

Commenting on this achievement, Dr. Mohammed Al-Mualla, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Khalifa University, said, “we are very proud that our students took the first three places in this national contest with their excellence and distinctiveness which, if anything, shows the high academic level the Khalifa University offers its students, which is reflected in the culture of research and innovation in all our programmes at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral levels.

“We thank the supervisors of the contest from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for providing an opportunity for our students to participate and we hope to continue cooperation and that our students will continue to excel as always to be leaders of the future.”

© Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2013.

via http://www.edarabia.com/94841/hbm-honours-winners-of-higher-education-smart-applications-award/

Sale of black-market essays to university students on the rise

sale of black market essays to university students on the rise Sale of black market essays to university students on the riseUAE: The practice of selling black-market essays, projects and research papers to students on university campuses across the UAE is alive and kicking.

Gulf News has learnt about the widespread demand for these items, though putting a number on the size of the problem is difficult — given that no UAE research is available on the topic.

But studies in other countries show how rampant is the practice. A study by Manchester University found that 45 per cent of students surveyed from across the UK in 2010 said that they were “sure” that in the past year another student had cheated during an essay, report, test or exam.

Gulf News interviewed a Dubai student who admitted he was caught trying to pass work that was not his own during a business course he was struggling with in his second year.

“The end of the semester was approaching,” recalled the student, who requested anonymity. “Passing the course depended on our final project, so my group and I decided to buy a project from a straight A student who had previously taken the course.

“When we started presenting our project on submission day the professor became furious. Turns out we were presenting the same project the previous team submitted because the straight A student had sold us both the same project. Both groups received an F and had to repeat the course after paying Dh3,000 to purchase the project.”

A former student at a university in Sharjah, who got away with submitting a paper she bought online, said it was a one-off thing.

“My professor called me into her office and told me that a paper, which I had worked so hard on, was so poor that I had to rewrite it. It was the final week, I had many other things to submit and study for and I was scared that if I did not have the time to do it my overall GPA would drop. It was a one-time thing that I did not repeat; I got 86 per cent on the paper.”

Writing for someone else is a thriving business, at least for one ghostwriter tracked down by Gulf News, who said: “Business is good.”

In fact, he said business was so good he now has an active list of more than two dozen university students who regularly depend on his services.

You may think that stress, bad grades and laziness are the main reasons why students resort to these measures, however, according to the ghostwriter, a poor grasp of English is usually the cause.

“You may be surprised that most of my clients are straight A students, they do all the research and know everything. They can explain it to me perfectly in Arabic but cannot write it in English.”

Lucrative business

The ghostwriter said that most of his clients are from GCC countries and are taught in Arabic in public schools. Other top customers include Russians and Indians.

The ghostwriter charges around Dh100 per page, however loyal customers and bulk buyers receive a discount. The source, who wanted to remain anonymous, added that the pages requested can range from one page to 20, however the average number of pages is three. He added that the cost of a paper can go as high as Dh2,000 depending on the topic and number of pages.

The source also revealed that the end of the semester is his busiest time, where in extreme cases he can have up to 40 clients. “During these times I work on more than five different papers per day,” he said.

He said he is popular among students, not only because of his good writing skills but also for the measures he takes to ensure the students do not get caught.

“I tone down the English depending on the student’s capability of the language, I also never plagiarise, I write everything from scratch. After writing the paper I sit with the students and I explain the paper thoroughly so that he will be able to answer any questions that the professor might ask.

“So far none of my clients has ever got caught,” he added.

Another ghostwriter said that most of her clients are students who attend the same university she graduated from.

She revealed that the cost of her service can reach Dh5,000, the shorter the deadline the higher the charge. “I do this as a side job in addition to my full-time job at a corporate company. I won’t say that it pays as well as my full-time job but it is still lucrative.”

Online writing services

A simple online search for ‘buy an essay online’ will return almost 100 million hits, revealing a thriving business that is steadily growing in popularity among university students abroad, and more recently among students in the UAE.

Most of these online writing services claim to provide custom-written essays by native English-speaking writers. They also pledge to provide 100 per cent authenticity to ensure students are not accused of plagiarism.

The majority of these websites provide essays for high school, undergraduate, postgraduate and even PhD students in return for a fee that usually ranges from $13 (Dh47) to $40 per page, depending on the deadline and the academic level of the student.

According to a British news agency the online essay industry is estimated to be worth more than £200 million (Dh1,201 million) in the UK alone.

According to Zeenath Reza Khan, an instructor at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), who is working on her PhD research paper about students’ attitude towards cheating, this form of cheating is called e-cheating because students are using electronic methods such as websites.

Websites offering such services often claim they are providing ‘model’ essays for students.

© Gulf News

via http://www.edarabia.com/94840/sale-of-black-market-essays-to-university-students-on-the-rise/

Open call for children’s book illustrators

open call for children s book illustrators Open call for children’s book illustratorsSharjah, UAE: Organisers of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) have called upon illustrators of children’s books around the world to participate in the third edition of the Sharjah Exhibition for Children Book’s Illustrations.

The exhibition, which will be held on the sidelines of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival from April 15 to 25 at the Expo Centre in Sharjah, will give away a total of $21,000 (Dh77,131) in cash prizes to winners.

“Sharjah has always been the pioneer in cultural events, mixing books with art, words with imagery, and poetry with music, thus participating in the creation of an art scene that caters to all social segments,” Ahmad Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SIBF director, said.

“Naturally, children occupy a high position on our priority list as we strive to enhance a culture revolving around children, with highly professional content that focuses on virtue and human values,” he added.

Interested applicants need to submit a minimum of three and a maximum of six of their original works together with their participation form to SIBF before February 15, 2014. The illustrations should be equal to or less than 50 centimetres.

Criteria

Each illustration should tackle an issue about human values to help in the production of high standard children’s books, both in terms of content and illustration, Hind Lenaid, head of exhibitions at SIBF and general co-ordinator of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, said.

Lenaid said a special jury will adjudge the artwork, with the first prize to be awarded $8,000, the second prize with $6,000, and the third prize with $4,000. Organisers will also give three incentive awards, each worth $1,000.

The fair’s first edition saw the participation of 61 artists from 26 countries around the world. It awarded the first prize to Gabriel Pacheco from Mexico.

The third edition of Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is set to be held in April next year, where participation is expected from hundreds of local, Arabic and international publishers specialised in children’s books and educational and cultural content.

Aside from exhibitions, the Sharjah Exhibition for Children Books’ Illustrations also creates a database of all participating artists for future use. This provides a platform for artists to promote their artwork worldwide and connect with other artists, authors, publishers, children and their guardians.

© Gulf News

via http://www.edarabia.com/94839/open-call-for-childrens-book-illustrators/

School students to be trained on developing apps in early 2014

school students to be trained on developing apps in early 2014 School students to be trained on developing apps in early 2014Amman, Jordan: The Jordan Gaming Task Force will train dozens of schoolchildren early next year on how to develop digital games as part of its efforts to boost the industry, according to Nour Khrais, its chairman.

Under its initiative, “The App Challenge”, the taskforce, in cooperation with the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and stakeholders in the industry, will hold a five-day intensive training course for students from 12 public and private schools from across the country’s governorates, said Khrais.

“In order to make the digital gaming industry grow further in Jordan, we need to address the grass roots, and teaching students how to develop apps and games is part of raising awareness on the importance of the industry,” he added.

“Showing school students the potential for monetising apps and games is a step in the right direction,” Khrais told The Jordan Times in a phone interview on Thursday.

Following the five-day training, the taskforce will follow up with the selected teams for 45 days and monitor them as they develop apps, which will then be tested by professionals.

Six out of the 12 will be shortlisted, and the top three winners will receive financial awards and devices, Khrais said.

Meanwhile, stakeholders representing the industry will convene in January and come up with a strategy to improve the digital gaming industry in Jordan, he noted.

“The strategy seeks to unify all efforts to develop the industry and come up with a detailed plan in this regard,” he said.

Founded in 2011, the Jordan Gaming Task Force seeks to develop the electronic gaming industry in the region.

© Jordan Times 2013

via http://www.edarabia.com/94825/school-students-to-be-trained-on-developing-apps-in-early-2014/

Teachers told not to accept wages below minimum

teachers told not to accept wages below minimum Teachers told not to accept wages below minimumMakkah, Saudi Arabia:The Human Resources Development Fund ( HRDF ) has warned Saudi teachers against signing contracts at private schools for less than the minimum wage of SR5,600. It said school owners are accountable for failing to implement the royal decree regarding the minimum wage for teachers.

The teachers who registered through the Unified Contract System should receive this amount which is in line with a royal decree and should not accept less than the stated amount. The HRDF supports the minimum salary and will ensure that teachers obtain their rights.

The Fund’s financial support for Saudis’ salaries (paying a part of their salary) encompasses the private sectors’ jobs including managers. The Unified Contract System defines the responsibilities of the Education and Labor Ministries and private schools.

The HRDF guarantees full payment of salaries to private school teachers who have met the conditions of the Ministry of Education.

The HRDF also participated in the career day for graduates of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program in the United States providing 4,000 jobs in the private sector, with salaries ranging between SR8,000 and SR30,000.

© Arab News 2013

via http://www.edarabia.com/94833/teachers-told-not-to-accept-wages-below-minimum/

UAE Universities embracing mobile learning

uae universities embracing mobile learning1 UAE Universities embracing mobile learningDubai, UAE: Leading global experts in mobile and digital learning have gathered in Dubai for the Higher Colleges of Technology Mobile Learning Festival, where they have discussed world’s best practice for online learning.

Hundreds of educational and technology specialists attended the inaugural event which took place recently, where a series of workshops and panel sessions were held to facilitate the sharing of ideas about the most effective ways of utilising new mobile learning technology.

The HCT Mobile Learning Festival celebrates the remarkable uptake of mobile learning technology in the UAE. In September 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, launched the country Federal Mobile Learning Initiative, which has transformed teaching at the UAE three federal higher education institutions. The revolutionary initiative is one of the world?s largest nation-wide mobilisations of mobile learning in education, with over 14,000 new and foundation year students at the Higher Colleges of Technology ( HCT ), Zayed University and UAE University provided with iPads and accompanying digital learning content.

Pearson, the world’s largest learning company, has been working closely with HCT to develop mobile digital content for its students as part of the Federal Mobile Learning Initiative. HCT Centre for Applied Research and Training (CERT) and Pearson have recently announced their intention to establish the UAE Centre for Mobile Learning, which will provide technology, course design, and faculty development design to the UAE Federal Higher Education Institutions as well as the wider market.

Ada Lanzaro, Pearson’s Product Development Manager for English Language, used the opportunity to share details about the development of Pearson mobile digital content for HCT .

Ms Lanzaro said: “Pearson is committed to ensuring its products have a measureable, positive impact on the learning outcomes of those that use them. We have made a public commitment to efficacy which includes guaranteeing the effectiveness of our mobile learning solutions. In order to create mobile learning technology that can demonstrably help people learn and progress their lives, attention needs to be paid to all phases of the production process, from the initial concept and planning stages, right through to the implementation and review of the product. It is crucial that people tasked with the important job of designing mobile learning content understand how to structure and develop the material so that it meets learning outcomes while maximising interactivity, accessibility and engagement and ultimately creates a successful learning experience for the student”.

Ms. Lanzaro says that the UAE commitment to digital and mobile learning is impressive, and will help to produce graduates who are ready to thrive in a global, 21st century economy: “At Pearson, our focus is on creating active, dynamic learning environments that help people to progress their lives through learning. By working with institutions such as HCT to develop cutting-edge mobile learning tools that strive to improve learning capacity, we are helping to produce a future workforce that will lead the UAE continuous and rapid educational and economic advancement”.

© Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2013.

via http://www.edarabia.com/94824/uae-universities-embracing-mobile-learning-2/

Transport project to link Riyadh university campuses

transport project to link riyadh university campuses Transport project to link Riyadh university campusesRiyadh, Saudi Arabia: The Riyadh public transport project or the King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transport in Riyadh plans to link the top five university campuses in Riyadh. The High Commission for the Development of Riyadh (HCDR) said that the main targets of the public transport project (metro and bus system) in the city are the major educational facilities, government installations, commercial and health centers and densely populated areas. The six train networks will link the campuses of King Saud University (KSU), Prince Sultan University (PSU), Princess Noura bint Abdul Rahman University (PNU), Imam Muhammad bin Saud University and King Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

Special terminals for each university campus are located along the train network paths and will provide safe and efficient service to the students, staff or visitors to the universities. The internal metro of PNU will be linked up with the railroad on the airport road, which in turn meets with three other tracks from the main railway network in the King Abdullah Financial District. The bus transportation network will be part of the project, which consists of a 24-track way covering some 1,083 km, to include Riyadh city, and all government and private universities in Riyadh.

Arab News recently visited the Alstom metro car manufacturing facility in France, where the Riyadh metro will be built. Alstom will provide the city with a fully integrated metro solution that combines the company’s state-of-the-art metro sub-systems. The total value of the project, which is financed by the Saudi government through the Public Investment Fund, amounts to SR30 billion, of which Alstom’s share represents more than SR6.18 billion. The rest of the project’s cost will go to the FAST consortium, including Farhan Commercial Company (FCC) in Riyadh, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Samsung, Strukton (Netherlands), Setec (France) and Typsa (Spain).

© Arab News 2013

via http://www.edarabia.com/94823/transport-project-to-link-riyadh-university-campuses/

Saudi academics hail king’s vision for holistic education

saudi academics hail kings vision for holistic education Saudi academics hail kings vision for holistic educationJeddah, Saudi Arabia: Saudi intellectuals and academicians have hailed the huge grants worth SR210 billion that have recently been allocated to funding higher education.

Saudi Arabia spends 10 percent of its GDP on education, making it the highest spender on the sector in the world.

Most countries in Europe and North America spend an average of four to five percent of their GDP on education.

Speaking with Arab News, academics commended the government’s efforts in fostering career-building among Saudi youth.

They said that this move reflects Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s determination to develop such a vital education sector in a country where 50 percent of the population is below the age of 25.

The education sector has consistently witnessed an increase in budget allocations every year over the last five years.

The government sanctioned SR105 billion in 2008, SR122 billion in 2009, SR137 billion in 2010, SR150 billion in 2011 and SR204 billion in 2012.

King Saud University in Riyadh got the lion’s share of the budget, with SR9.5 billion, while King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah received SR5.9 billion, Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh SR4.11 billion, King Khalid University in Abha SR3.7 billion and King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran SR1.3 billion in the budget allocations announced yesterday.

According to a study conducted by Saleh Abdul Kareem of King Saud University in Riyadh, the Kingdom’s budget for education was pegged at SR666 million in 1970, with only a 15-percent literacy rate among men that year.

The government’s budget for the education sector now comprises 25 percent of the total budget and the literacy rate is above 96.5 percent, according to World Bank statistics for 2009.

“The huge budget allocation for the education sector will indeed shape the future of the nation and create opportunities for development in many areas,” commented Professor Saleh Al-Amani from the Department of Political Sciences at King Saud University in Riyadh.

“The budget for education indicates King Abdullah’s vision to transform the nation into a knowledge-based society,” he said.

Speaking with Arab News, Khalid Al-Bassam from the economics department at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah said that the budget was not only important in terms of figure, but that it constitutes a serious effort to shape the future of Saudi youth.

He said that the increase in the amount allocated for the King Abdullah Scholarship for higher studies was only natural since it is the government’s duty to support its students abroad.

Al-Bassam also hoped that the new Education Minister, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, would bring about new reforms and further develop the education sector.

Professor Ali Ayed Shahrani of King Khalid University’s Bisha campus told Arab News that: “The new budget will enable us to implement our plans to open up new medical and engineering colleges in Bisha.

The budget has equipped the Kingdom to lead the country into the 21st century,” he said.

Shahrani said, “By investing in its human capital, the Kingdom ensures lasting growth and a knowledge-based economy backed by quality education.”

“This move reflects the efforts of the government to develop youth and build a strong nation based on knowledge,” said Professor Ihsan Abulhaiqa of King Abdulaziz University .

There are currently 34,749 schools, with 276,400 classrooms being used to teach 5,187,498 students from the kindergarten (KG) to secondary level, including special education and adult education, according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Education.

There are 24 universities functioning in the Kingdom in the higher education sector.

King Saud University in Riyadh is amongst the oldest institutions, having been established in 1957.

A total of 508 colleges and institutions are affiliated with these universities, where 880,003 students are pursuing higher studies.

Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz University has the highest number of students in the Kingdom, with 132,094 students on its roll during the 2009 to 2010 academic year, according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Higher Education.

© Arab News 2013

via http://www.edarabia.com/94804/saudi-academics-hail-kings-vision-for-holistic-education/