Dubai students should have work experience before graduation: officials
Officials in Dubai have stated that school students should be allowed access to universities and workplaces for advanced learning and work experience for Dubai students before graduating from high school.
These comments came during the launch of ‘Centres of Excellence’, a programme of GEMS Education, which will see GEMS school students earn qualifications and credentials from partner universities and employers, Gulf News reports.
Founded in 1959, today GEMS owns and operates 56 schools in the UAE and the Gulf region, and educates over 130,000 students.
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said there is a need to “reframe” educational systems.
“In the world in which we were born, education was framed around geographies and disciplines, but today the world operates at intersections, and I believe that’s where the power of education actually thrives,” she added.
Referring to the launch of the GEMS programme, Al Hashimy said that it was an example of “a really powerful reflection of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”
Current system needs improvement
Dr Imad Y. Hoballah, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at the American University in Dubai and a partner of the GEMS programme said that there is a need to “create spaces”, such as work experience, in which Dubai students in school and university can learn from each other “without being limited to the current regulatory environment.”
Hoballah added: “I believe that schools and universities have got to the point where, in many cases, they limit the creativity and learning ability of the students… Experiential learning is extremely important so they will be able to learn what’s going on, rather than just learn it in books.
“And we’re pushing towards a change in the curriculum, to integrate the K-12 curriculum with the university.”
Hoballah said that school students would visit a university to work on a project on earthquakes, which would draw cross curricular links between technology, geography and atmosphere.
Markus Strohmeier, Senior Executive Vice President, Siemens Middle East and UAE, said: “Our aim is to give students hands-on experience of the power of digitalisation, using smart building technologies to analyse energy consumption at GEMS FirstPoint School, and working together to identify sustainability measures. We’re proud to be strengthening the bond between academia and industry.”