Adult education sign-up begins

adult education signup begins Adult education sign up beginsAbu Dhabi, UAE: Students in the emirate of Abu Dhabi can now enrol in adult education centres or for home schooling programmes for the 2015-2016 academic year, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The registration period will extend until May 14, according to the emirate’s education sector regulator.

Those who wish to pursue home schooling can register online through the Adec website and then complete procedures at dedicated customer service centres. On the other hand, adult education centres will accept applications during the specified period based on the individual’s residential location.

A total of 6,000 students are currently enrolled in adult education centres across the emirate, while 4,600 students undertake home schooling programmes.

Mohammad Salem Al Daheri, Adec’s Executive Director of School Operations, said that Adec is keen to support all students in continuing their studies. The best educational services are provided to all learners to enable them to contribute to the socioeconomic development in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the future.

Al Daheri added that students are enrolled in 34 centres in Abu Dhabi, out of which 10 offer morning classes and 24 offer evening classes.

Enrolment in all grades includes Emiratis and their children; while enrolment in foundational and complementary cycles includes children of expatriates, first and second-degree relatives of Emiratis, and Arab expatriates. All other nationalities are allowed to enrol in home schooling.

© Gulf News

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Qatar Post Grad Students Recognized for Higher Ed Advancement

qatar post grad students recognized for higher ed advancement Qatar Post Grad Students Recognized for Higher Ed AdvancementDoha, Qatar: The Gulf Intelligence Qatar Energy R&D Forum Post-Graduate Qatar Student Award for the Advancement of Higher Education in Qatar, supported by ORYX GTL, today recognized four students from Qatar for their contribution in transforming the country into a knowledge economy and building national capacity in education and R&D.

Four post-graduate students were recognized for their outstanding achievements by Professor Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, President, Qatar University and ORYX GTL, the supporting company of the 2015 awards. Masters winners were Ms. Asma Sadia, MSc. Chemical Engineering Texas A&M University at Qatar (currently enrolled), and Ms. Nabila Adam Mohamed, MSc. Environmental Engineering, Qatar University (graduated 2014). The PhD winners were Mr. Ibrahim Daher, PhD Petroleum Engineering, Imperial College London (currently enrolled), and Mr. Mohammed Omer Mohsen, PhD Civil Engineering, Qatar University (currently enrolled).

“Post-graduate education is critical to building a national capacity in Qatar, and I am pleased to see such ambitious students as winners of the 2015 Post-graduate Qatar Student Award for the Advancement of Higher Education in Qatar. I would also like to extend special congratulations to the two students from Qatar University that were recognized today,” said Professor Sheikha Abdullah Al-Misnad, Qatar University .

“ORYX GTL is pleased to support the next generation of researchers, who will be instrumental in transforming Qatar in a knowledge-based economy. The four individuals recognized today have demonstrated their commitment to the Qatar energy industry through the course of their educational career and research focus areas,” said Abdulhadi Barqan, Chief Administrative Officer, ORYX GTL.

The goal of the Post-Graduate Qatar Student Award for the Advancement of Higher Education in Qataris to bring together key stakeholders from academia, industry and government to collectively empower individuals to make useful contributions to fulfilling Qatar’s National Vision 2030.

The award winners were chosen following a review process led by a Selection &Advisory Committee comprisedof academia and industry experts from ORYX GTL, Qatar Foundation R&D, Qatar University , Texas A&M at Qatar University , Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and Imperial College London. The selection criteria required nomineesto be either Qatari Nationals;be Qatar-based for a period of at least 10 years; or be Qatar-educated, and be near completion or be a recent Masters or PhD graduate, with the intention of or already working in Qatar.

© Press Release 2015

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KHDA warns schools against charging extra fees without approval

khda warns schools against charging extra fees without approval KHDA warns schools against charging extra fees without approvalDubai, UAE: The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) warned that schools charging extra fees without the authority’s approval will be penalised.

The announcement was made after parents complained about schools introducing unauthorised fee hikes.

Mohammad Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Permits Commission at KHDA, said there have recently been cases where some schools have continued with fee-related irregularities.

“KHDA does not tolerate such behaviour and has been imposing punitive actions on schools that have continued the fee-related non-adherence,” he said.

Among the schools that parents complained about was Elite English School, which introduced fees that do not follow the Education Cost Index (ECI).

Private school fee increases are determined by the Education Cost Index (ECI), which is calculated annually by the Dubai Statistic Centre taking into account the consumer price index and school operation costs, including remuneration, rent and utilities.

Based on the ECI, private schools in Dubai were given approval by the KHDA for the raising of fees for the academic year 2015-16 by a minimum of 2.92 per cent up to a maximum of 5.84 per cent, depending on their ratings following annual school inspections.

Darwish said the authority is currently in the process of regulating all the costs currently incurred by the parents at Dubai’s private schools and no extra fees can be introduced by schools without KHDA’s prior approval

“In case of a situation where schools need approval for services they are offering, they should continue to offer the services uninterrupted until the cost is verified and the approval is obtained,” he said.

The authority announced earlier that the ECI for the year 2015-16 is 2.92 per cent. This means schools rated ‘outstanding’ in the inspections can increase their fees by 5.84 per cent (double the ECI). Schools rated ‘good’ can increase their fees by 4.38 per cent (1.5 the ECI), while schools rated acceptable or unacceptable can increase their fees by 2.92 per cent.

Schools are only allowed to increase their fees based on the ECI and those who wish to do so, must get KHDA’s prior approval on all fees they are currently charging parents or planning to introduce.

© Gulf News

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50,000 schools kits distributed in Gaza

50 000 schools kits distributed in gaza 50,000 schools kits distributed in GazaDubai, UAE: Dubai Cares, currently reaching more than 13 million beneficiaries in 38 developing countries, organised a campaign to engage the community, allowing volunteers to participate in assembling 50,000 school kits for children in Gaza.

Recently, Dubai Cares managed to distribute kits to students in primary school through United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), one of the organisation’s implementing partners in Palestine.

Dubai Cares’ ‘Rebuild Palestine. Start with Education’ initiative aims at improving access to education and facilitating rehabilitation for children affected by conflict. The initiative also includes a Dh11 million programme, launched in October 2014 and organised to alleviate the devastating effects of the 2014 seven-week military conflict on the education sector in Gaza. The programme will provide infrastructure and psycho-social support services to children suffering from conflict.

“Despite the fact that these children live under hazardous conditions, the people of the UAE strongly felt that they deserve the same educational opportunities as their peers in other parts of the world. I am proud that the UAE community is playing a role in ensuring that children in developing countries have access to education by participating in our community initiatives as well as funding our programmes,” said Tareq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares.

Dubai Cares partnered with ANERA in West Bank, Gaza and occupied east Jerusalem to launch an Early Childhood Development programme to support 10 preschools in the West Bank, 10 pre-schools in Gaza and five preschools in occupied east Jerusalem.

“Without education, the country will have to face the prospect of a working-age population ill-equipped to deal with the opportunities and challenges of the modern global economy. We strive to address these issues through our programmes,” said Al Gurg.

© Gulf News

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Winning works of the Arab Journalism Award combined in a book

winning works of the arab journalism award combined in a book Winning works of the Arab Journalism Award combined in a bookDubai, UAE: The need for a reliable reference that can teach Arab media students the best skills in media writing in Arabic has been addressed by the Dubai Press Club and the Mohammad Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai (AUD), who decided to launch a book combining all the works that won the Arab Journalism Award (AJA)

The book, which will be a collection of winning works by successful journalists in the Arab world from the past four editions of the award, will be exclusively available for media students at the MBRSC and will be integrated as part of their curriculum.

Ali Jaber, Dean of the MBRSC and member of the AJA, raised the issue yesterday during a press conference about media schools in the Arab world using old references when teaching students journalism in Arabic, and how it’s not enough for those who want to learn the best techniques in media writing.

“This project has been a result of major brainstorming sessions and will serve as the main reference for students studying media in Arabic at MBRSC. The idea was to extend the award into something that lingers for a long time,” said Jaber. “There’s a noble side to the award, it’s not only an award given to a great writer.”

Jaber said that the only way to good writing is to expose students to good writing. “We needed something that was similar to the Pulitzer Prize book, which has served as a major reference for students in the [United] States.”

The book, to be launched this year, he said, will be substantial and will include more editions in the future to be used as a reference in writing classes. “We hope that all media schools teaching media in Arabic to use this reference that provides samples of innovative and successful journalism works.”

He also highlighted the vision of MBRSC, following a discussion with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to have students graduate from their Arabic media courses and get hired in the Arab media industry.

Mona Ganem Al Merri, Director-General of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) and AJA Secretary-General, said that the launch of this reference book will raise the standards of the award and involve it in academia.

“The Arab Journalism award honours distinguished works of journalism and this book will be documenting these successes. What journalists contribute to the media will now be taught and used as a reference for researchers, scholars and media students as part of their research.”

She also said that the works included in the book have previously gone through a strict arbitration and evaluation process by a highly qualified and experienced jury, which is what makes them so important.

The Arab Journalism Award was launched in 1999 and has honoured over 231 journalists in various categories.

© Gulf News

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Emirates Group reveals Emiratisation strategy at Careers Fair

emirates group reveals emiratisation strategy at careers fair Emirates Group reveals Emiratisation strategy at Careers FairDubai, UAE: Emirates Group revealed their three-phased Emiratisation strategy, ‘Rehlaty’, at Careers UAE 2015.

The national recruitment strategy, which is currently in its third phase, was implemented two years ago to ensure UAE nationals are well placed in a variety of positions to support the growth of Emirates airline and Dnata.

Through Rehlaty, the group has set an Emiratisation target to recruit and retain UAE nationals and is offering a range of career opportunities and scholarships to ensure its new recruits are well equipped for a dynamic career.

“We’ve spent years developing and establishing a dedicated National Recruitment strategy that would give us a structured framework. Rehlaty will ensure UAE nationals who join the group are matched with the right opportunities and are offered the necessary development tools to grow,” said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

The three phases of Rehlaty consist of planning, developing and retaining UAE nationals and placing them across different facets of the business.

“At Emirates Group, our aim is not to simply fulfil a quota, but to build, invest and contribute to the development of this nation through its people. I look forward to seeing UAE nationals occupy senior positions within the group, and ensure both the company and the country are well positioned for future challenges,” he added.

Whether the candidates are high school graduates or holders of bachelor degrees, Emirates Group said they will ensure that they are provided with the educational support to grow within the organisation.

The National Recruitment and Development division in the Emirates Group includes a dedicated team of 37 personnel, to recruit and develop extensive training programmes for UAE nationals.

The division makes continual efforts to attract citizens by visiting educational institutions and career fairs across the UAE.

© Gulf News

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AUS and Etisalat sign agreement to develop business opportunities

aus etisalat sign agreement to develop business opportunities AUS and Etisalat sign agreement to develop business opportunitiesSharjah, UAE: American University of Sharjah (AUS) and Emirates Telecommunication Corporation (Etisalat) will collaborate to assess and develop business opportunities between the two organizations. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to that effect by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS, and Abdulaziz Hamad Taryam, CEO Advisor and General Manager Etisalat Northern Emirates, on behalf of their respective organizations at a special ceremony held, Monday, April 27.

According to the agreement, the two organizations will work together to pursue the objectives of establishing a strategic relationship to assess, evaluate and develop business opportunities. Both AUS and Etisalat will cooperate in a number of areas. These include developing a business engagement model that results in a preferred and strategic partnership between the two organizations; working together to understand current and future business requirements; establishing a joint team to undertake all activities under a partnership arrangement; as well as any other activity that both parties decide to include within the scope of the MoU.

“We are pleased to sign this MoU with Etisalat,” said Chancellor Kjerfve, speaking on the occasion. “AUS has been mandated to be organically linked to the industrial, economic and cultural sectors of society in productive cooperation. And, therefore, we have always placed great emphasis on establishing ties that not only prove to be mutually beneficial but also have a positive impact on society in general. I believe that this agreement with Etisalat augurs the start of a special relationship and one whose benefits will reach beyond our two institutions,” he added.

Commenting on the MoU, Abdulaziz Hamad Taryam said, “We are delighted to collaborate with American University of Sharjah, which is one of the leading educational institutions in the region. We will work through this MoU to develop an interactive business model that will assess the current and future requirements of our two organizations in synch with our respective visions.

“The MoU is consistent with our strategy in providing help to the education sector. The telecom sector has many technological solutions geared towards educational content that can be of help to academic institutions. We also have successful partnerships with various governmental entities aimed at introducing information and communication technology in learning environments as well assisting in developing specific areas of research through the curricula,” he concluded.

Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), expressed satisfaction over the signing of the MOU, which came only a week after the launch of a Content Distribution Agreement between AUS and Etisalat. “I hope the agreement will strengthen the existing relationship between AUS and Etisalat and enhance our contribution towards the knowledge economy emerging in the country.”

The MoU signing ceremony was also attended by a number of senior AUS and Etisalat officials.

© Press Release 2015

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Students cycle 6,000km for expedition

students cycle 6000km for expedition Students cycle 6,000km for expeditionDubai, UAE: Cycling 6,000km around a school foyer for Dubai British School (DBS) students until April 30 is a great challenge.

But those who have taken up the task are confident they will finish in order to raise funds for their very own expedition this summer to conserve wildlife and ecosystems in Africa.

Four students, led by their geography teacher, David Wright, will have a life-changing experience once they reach South Africa as they explore wildlife in Kruger National Park and Sodwana Bay — two sites where they will engage in a camping expedition of sorts for two weeks.

Hundreds of students, including DBS school staff and security guards took part in the ‘Cycle to South Africa Challenge’ on Sunday to support the help the four students and their teacher make a difference in other communities.

“We are trying to complete 6,000km of cycling, which is equivalent to the distance from Dubai to South Africa by flight, to raise approximately Dh60,000 for this expedition. It is a great opportunity for our students to travel to help other communities find ways to solve conservation issues,” said Wright.

The first week will be spent in a lodge at the National Park, Wright said, where they will be looking at large herbivore species and tracking them “while also looking at conservation management of elephants”.

“The second week will be staying at a camp site next to Sodwana Bay. The students will be diving there and also looking at conservation management of the reefs in the Indian Ocean,” said Wright. “We will be working closely with other groups and students from around the world who are also going to be part of the expedition organised by Operation Wallacea.”

Wright said moving from Dubai to a remote location with different life conditions is going to be difficult, but collecting accurate data matters the most to them.

“I’m hoping the four students will come back and educate others here.”

Samantha Jones, 17, from England, said she couldn’t feel her legs after cycling for two and a half hours yesterday around the school foyer, “but I guess it’s an adrenaline rush and the support that is pushing us forward.”

“It’s exciting to travel to South Africa for the first time to learn about the biodiversity of the place and how animals live there. Conservation of elephants will be our main focus, but we will also try to find out how sustainable they are in the park. My only fear is diving into the Indian Ocean because I’m very scared of sharks.”

Elizabeth Keily, 17, from Australia, said she will do her best to raise funds for the event by holding activities and cycling whenever she can.

“I’m very excited to learn about the ecology and nature in South Africa. I’m just a bit worried about the living conditions because we won’t be staying in hotels but at camping sites which probably won’t have proper showers and no electricity.”

© Gulf News

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Non-profit organisation that helps educate girls seeks UAE investors

non profit organisation that helps educate girls seeks uae investors Non profit organisation that helps educate girls seeks UAE investorsDubai, UAE: A not-for-profit organisation that has helped hundreds of thousands of girls to get an education is appealing for investors in the UAE.

Since 2002, Educate Girls Globally has helped more than half a million girls in India, but as its work continues to expand, it is looking for potential supporters in the Emirates.

“Our main focus is to give girls the opportunity to have an education, no matter what their financial or cultural background is,” said Anjula Tyagi, executive director of Egg.

“Girls have an absolute human right to education but in many parts of the world they just don’t get the opportunity.

“For the equivalent of US$4 (Dh14.6) a year, a girl in India can be given an education and taught important life skills that will help her to join the workforce.”

Egg works in partnership with regional and state governments, which pay for up to 40 per cent of its costs of school programmes. The long-term aim is to reach one million girls around the world by 2020.

“We face significant challenges because in many cases there isn’t the political will,” said Ms Tyagi.

“But it’s not just a case of the girls going to lessons in classrooms. We also work very hard within the communities themselves and sometimes it can be very difficult to overcome the cultural aspects about educating girls.”

Egg does not build schools. Rather, its focus is to train teachers, school management and the wider community on the benefits of educating girls and women, she said.

“The longer term aim is to make these areas self-sustainable so once enough girls have gone through their schooling and are playing a more active role within these communities, they get ownership.”

The UAE’s proximity to India and its large Indian expatriate community made Dubai the preferred choice in which to open a regional office.

“I’m hoping to meet with people over the next few days to try to raise awareness of the work we do and to try to get people to invest in some of our projects,” said Ms Tyagi.

These include work in Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and its latest project in Gujarat.

Investors are given the option to ring fence the money they donate to specific projects they would like to support.

“So if an investor wants to support the Gujarat project or wishes to donate to our planned work in Africa, then they can do that,” said Ms Tyagi.

“We estimate we need $250,000 to run the project in Gujarat and will be helping 36,000 girls.”

© The National

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Astronaut to visit Dubai schools

astronaut to visit dubai schools Astronaut to visit Dubai schoolsDubai, UAE: Students in 14 Dubai-based schools will get the opportunity to meet the well-known and record-breaking American astronaut, Dr Donald Thomas, during his four-day visit to Dubai and learn more about his experiences of living on a space station.

Dr Thomas, who is acknowledged as one of the foremost authorities on space exploration and holds the record for the longest stay on board an international space station with a total of 1,040 hours in four missions, will be familiarising the students with space travel and closely interacting with them during his visit to their schools.

The initiative is part of a joint collaboration between the UAE-based Compass International Tours and the US Space and Rocket Centre (USSRC), an affiliate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), and allows the region’s students to interact closely with one of the highly acclaimed legends of deep space exploration.

Lissy Donald, Managing Director of Compass International, described the initiative as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students in the UAE to learn from one of the most inspiring space heroes.

“We are delighted to be appointed by the US Space and Rocket Centre as the Ambassador to represent them in the UAE region and encourage the younger generation to reach for the stars. Dr Thomas’ visit is the first in a series of many programmes that we plan with an aim towards bringing space awareness within easy reach of the region’s students,” said Donald.

Compass will also launch special packages for students aged seven to 18 that will allow them to spend two weeks at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Hunstville, Alabama, and experience various aspects of the space programme such as living in zero gravity, fitness and dietary preparations and other interactive learning methods.

Starting on April 27, Dr Thomas will visit 14 Dubai-based schools, including Westminster School, Crescent School, Wellington Academy, Cambridge International School, Winchester School, School of Research Science and GEMS Modern Academy, and will address students in each school through a detailed presentation and demonstrations, besides fielding questions from the students.

Dr Thomas will be accompanied by Dr Deborah E. Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of USSRC, and Michael Flachbart, Vice-President of Centre Operations at the USSRC. The visit of the three leading officials will also help student from the region, especially those who cannot afford the field trips to the USSRC.

Since opening its doors in 1970, nearly 16 million people have toured the USSRC. Many of the more than 600,000 annual visitors are students on field trips. Compass International has facilitated the trips of thousands of UAE students to USSRC, Huntsville, in the past couple of years.

© Gulf News

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