Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Education key focus of World Forum in UAE (gulfnews.com)

Dubai: Broadening the concept of education around the world to foster greater global understanding amongst nations and civilisation was the underlying message at the opening of Tuesday's educational World Forum.

The World Forum was held as part of the 10th annual Education Without Borders (EWB) conference in Dubai hosted by the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).

Dignitaries and global education leaders came together to discuss education in a global world and the necessity to adapt to the pace of change facing humanity in the 21st Century.

"We must concentrate on broadening the content of education around the world to nurture tolerance and peaceful co-existence between citizens of the world," said Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the HCTs.

"I believe the current state of disruption and misunderstanding in the world has a great deal to do with ignorance on all sides," he said.

Shaikh Nahyan added that education is an effective way to develop global understanding and build positive relationships to dispel stereotypical attitudes to nurture new attitudes.

"To resolve regional and global conflicts, the highest priority must be given to investing in human minds in order to modify human behaviour and attitudes," said Shaikh Nahyan.

In his keynote address, former British prime minister, Tony Blair added that for countries, companies and individuals to cope with the rapid process of global change underway; people must be prepared to adapt. Preparedness taught to them through education.

"There is now a premium on innovation and a willingness to change the way you work, the way you look at and do things," said Blair.

"In a real sense the foundations of success today are the abilities to develop innate human potential and capital….because at a basic level you have to learn to earn."

He added that increased technological advancements in the 21st Century pose opportunities for new ways of educating across cultures and geographical borders.

"The purpose of education has got to be broader in idea and concept than simply getting people through exams," said Blair. "In some profound way we've got to teach young people how to be global citizens."

He added that in order for this to be achieved academic institutions must be given the freedom through government policies to innovate and enhance students' creative thinking.

"We need to change the way we look at, do and think about education because then it changes the impact it has on teachers, students and individual people," said Blair.

"If schools or colleges want to do well in today's world they must think about partnerships they can create across borders; and with different types of people within their own borders


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