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Eye of Dubai
Culture & Education | Monday 9 December, 2019 4:55 pm |

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum leads high-profile opening of 12th Policy Dialogue Forum in Dubai

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Vice President of Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance led on today (Monday, December 9, 2019) the high-profile opening of the 12th Policy Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 at Roda Al Bustan Hotel in Dubai. 

The Teacher Task Force has organized the Forum along with the UAE Ministry of Education in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development and the UAE National Commission for Education, Culture and Science (UNESCO).

The opening ceremony saw the attendance of other high-profile figures including HE Husain Al Hammadi, UAE’s Minister of Education; His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Jordan Naidoo, Representative of the UNESCO Director General; Jamal Mohammed Al Mehairi, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation For Distinguished Academic Performance; and Gerd-Hanne Fosen, Co-Chair of International Task Force for Teachers for Education 2030. 

Being held under the patronage of Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance, the event convened 300 education experts from 70 countries to tackle the impact of new learning goals on teacher preparation and training, address inequalities and diversity, and shed light on the effects of innovations on teacher education and training and practices. Ministers of education, policy-makers, school leaders, teachers, and representatives of non-government, inter-government, and professional organizations and private foundations are among the Forum’s participants.  

HE Husain Al Hammadi, UAE’s Minister of Education said, “It is UAE’s pleasure, specifically for Dubai, to host the 12th Policy Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 that aims to discuss policies related to teachers. The UAE has built its present on the foundations of noble human values ​​and an ambitious civilizational vision whose path is characterized by our founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who focused on enhancing the educational and cultural knowledge of the residents. Therefore, we understand the importance of good education and strike a balance to invest in technology and artificial intelligence that promotes sustainable solutions for human well-being.”

HE added, “300 educational leaders, decision makers, experts, and educators have found ample room in this important educational forum to work together to advance the education agenda in the countries of the world. This meeting will further accelerate and serve as a roadmap for a more developed future stability and prosperity, in addition to continuous eagerness to mobilize support for projects and programs that contribute to ensuring quality, equitable and inclusive education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

The research on existing teacher policies and practices suggests that many countries around the world are forging paths ahead in developing a new vision for teaching and adjusting their teaching policy to accommodate changes in learning goals. Speakers at the opening highlighted how the forum this year creates an opportunity to both look at emerging trends and to pause for reflection. They emphasized that the suggestions for concrete actions will be undertaken – which will facilitate advocacy and knowledge exchange; partnership building and mobilising resources for developing the future of teaching. 

“The idea to host this forum stems from the vision of our Vice President, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in supporting the education sector and enabling its quality. His Highness has always been keen to continue the partnership with UNESCO and we are proud of your efforts in working towards a better future for educators around the world. We are proud of hosting you in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We hope that your forum will succeed in achieving its goals and your efforts will always be crowned with success and rewards,” said Jamal Mohammed Al Mehairi, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation For Distinguished Academic Performance.

He added, “Under the theme ‘The Future of Teaching,’ the 12th Forum is a platform for the attendees to take a closer look into the modern teaching and learning vis-à-vis the emerging trends and developments in the 21st century. We will also take advantage of this occasion to discuss how we can further reshape the future of the local and global education systems, in line with the current realities,”

Following the official opening, the event witnessed Ministerial Roundtable and Thematic Groups Meeting, in addition to plenary sessions on teaching approaches, addressing inequalities, and several side events focusing on Future of Education, The Global Barometers on Teachers and Teaching and Teachers Policy Guide Review.

The Forum comes at a time when teachers are facing growing challenges, including difficult working conditions, poor pay, and lack of support and training. According to the figures released by the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, only 85% of teachers worldwide were trained according to national standards.  Moreover, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimates that 55% of children and adolescents of primary and lower secondary school age are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and 60% are not acquiring critical skills in mathematics. 

This year’s gathering will focus on these challenges and more. The participants will also tackle the need to equip modern learners with a broad array of skills, not just academic knowledge, as well as discuss how the education system, especially public education, can cope with innovative learning and teaching approaches and rapid technological developments. They will look at the relevance of existing and future-oriented teaching practices, re-examine past assumptions, identify gaps in teacher policies and reforms, and propose ideas to address pressing concerns.  

The International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 is a multi-stakeholder partnership whose 143 members include 91 governments as well as intergovernmental organizations at global, regional or sub-regional levels, and UN agencies, international NGOs, civil society organizations, global teacher organizations, bilateral and multilateral international development agencies and global private sector organizations and foundations. It receives financial support from several members and partner organisations, including Germany (GIZ/BMZ), Indonesia, Norway, and the Hamdan Foundation. Its Secretariat is hosted by UNESCO.  

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