May, 2024

Digital School empowers 100,000 students in Iraqi Kurdistan

DUBAI (Esraa Ismail/ WAM) — The Digital School, an initiative by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has initiated a new phase of partnership with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.

The aim is to empower 100,000 students with advanced digital educational services and methodologies within three years, representing a significant step towards extending the school’s solutions to benefit students worldwide.

The new phase inauguration was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by Omar 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, and Alan Hama Saeed Saleh, Minister of Education in the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.

Ahmed Al Dhaheri, UAE Consul-General to the Kurdistan Region, Shailan Khalil Junaid, Director-General of Educational Planning at the Ministry of Education in the region, and Dr. Waleed Al Ali, Secretary-General of the Digital School, were also present.

Supported by Dubai Cares, the new phase aims to reach 100,000 students and beneficiaries. It includes initiatives to train 1,500 digital teachers, develop a digital education platform in the Kurdish language, enhance the region’s official educational curriculum by transforming it into interactive digital content, and establish 100 digital education spaces within 50 schools.

Additionally, the initiative aims to provide digital education tools, including more than 1,650 computers and projectors, to facilitate effective learning environments.

Al Olama emphasised the UAE leadership’s directives focusing on strengthening cooperation with global governments and intensifying efforts to provide the best educational options for students. This includes equipping them with digital skills and modern technologies, thereby enhancing their future opportunities.

He noted that the launch of the new phase of partnership between the Digital School and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government aims to build upon the successes of the first phase, initiated in January 2022. Al Olama stressed the keenness of both governments to expand partnership frameworks and explore new horizons.

Al Olama asserted that empowering students in Iraqi Kurdistan with advanced and future education opportunities is a fundamental goal of the partnership. Within comprehensive partnership projects, the Digital School seeks to strengthen support for disseminating digital education models and enhancing the quality and outcomes of education in the Iraqi Kurdistan region to keep pace with the rapid changes witnessed by the education sector globally.

Alan Hama Saeed Saleh, Minister of Education in the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, highlighted the focus on providing Kurdistan students with a comprehensive future education experience, prioritising skill development and continuous learning, which forms the core of the partnership with the UAE’s Digital School.

The goal is continuous collaboration to provide digital education solutions for approximately 100,000 students. Saleh expressed anticipation for further development and utilization of achievements to establish a future digital educational system in Kurdistan, equipping students with necessary skills to confront future challenges. He appreciated the positive role of the Digital School’s initiatives in developing the education sector in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and Vice Chairman of Dubai Cares, remarked, “The launch of the Digital School programme in Iraqi Kurdistan marks another significant milestone in our commitment to providing sound education and disseminating digital skills among children and youth.”

Al Gurg added, “By embracing technology in education, we are paving the way towards a brighter and more prosperous future, where children and youth are empowered to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. This programme also embodies our commitment to promoting an inclusive learning environment and creating opportunities for the next generation to unleash their full potential, with the aim of enabling them to achieve academic excellence, realize their aspirations, and contribute positively within and outside their communities.”

The first phase of the partnership between the Digital School and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government saw the implementation of several digital education programmes and teacher training initiatives, as well as the establishment of digital education centers. These efforts covered over 14 schools and approximately 4,400 students.

During this phase, electronic devices were distributed, and training courses for teachers were conducted by the Digital School in collaboration with the University of Arizona.

The Digital School, initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in November 2020, is the first integrated digital school of its kind. It aims to provide students with digital learning options in areas where the necessary conditions or resources for education are unavailable. Additionally, it offers a qualitative option for hybrid and remote learning in a smart and flexible manner, targeting underserved societal groups.

The Digital School continues to expand, serving over 160,000 beneficiary students in more than 13 countries. It has also trained over 2,500 digital teachers, with educational and training content provided in four languages: Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.

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