ABU DHABI – Preparations are currently underway in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to host the second edition of Qudwa, the global forum for teachers, organised by the Education Affairs Office of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.
The forum articulates the priority of the UAE leadership under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to reinforce the role of teachers as key drivers in shaping a knowledge economy.
Set to run from 7 to 8 October 2017 at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, the forum is expected to draw the participation of more than 800 inspirational educators from over 65 countries around the world. The 2017 edition of Qudwa, which means ‘role model’ in Arabic, will tackle the challenges facing the education sector today and celebrate the vital role that teachers play in preparing students for the future.
This year’s theme, Teaching for Tomorrow, will focus on the educational trends that are being shaped by the global digital economy. With educators taking centre stage at the forum, Qudwa 2017 recognises the value of empowering teachers as leaders in their societies, tasked with guiding and inspiring young minds to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.
Technology in the classroom and creative approaches to teaching in a digital age are some of the core themes that will be addressed during the two-day forum that brings some of the biggest names in the education sphere to the UAE.
Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and current chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a multi-stakeholder partnership and funding platform that aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries in order to dramatically increase the number of children who are in school and learning, will be one of the speakers on 8 October.
In collaboration with global partners like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Varkey Foundation and Teach For All (a global non-profit organisation engaged in the education field) as well as local partners like the Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET), and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Qudwa aims to equip teachers with new tools, experiences and shared knowledge.
One of Qudwa’s core priorities is to underscore the intrinsic link between the socio-economic development of a country, and a strong educational system. Experts at the forum will also address the role that ethics and values play in this equation.
This year’s programme is organised along three core tracks – Ask, Share, and Advance. Designed to take participants on an educational journey, each of these streams is a critical component of a larger conversation on the future of education, and more specifically, Teaching for Tomorrow.
To generate ideas and find solutions for the challenges that lie ahead, participants will aim to identify the questions that preoccupy teachers today. Some of these include – what are the anxieties teachers shy away from, what are the breakthrough ideas that need some prodding and probing to make their way to the surface, among others.
The Ask track will feature plenary sessions hosting inspirational figures who have put forward new and disruptive approaches as alternatives to traditional classroom learning.
Participants will also have an opportunity to discuss top-of-mind questions on the future of education, in interactive panel and Q&A style mentor sessions that encourage open and spirited dialogue. Throughout the forum, questions that emerge from different sessions will be captured on a digital wall – encouraging participants to continue these conversations on social media.
Knowledge-sharing is an effective method to help teachers grow, gain inspiration, and develop new methods of teaching. By sharing the techniques and insights that teachers use in their classrooms, educators are empowered to help them implement new ideas and solutions for the benefit of their students. Through sharing knowledge and best practices and experiences, teachers can inspire one another, and build a sense of common purpose and community.
Sessions themed Inspirational Stories, will provide participants with invaluable guidelines from renowned educators. This track will also feature Coffeehouse Sessions, offering teachers a chance to shape the real-time agenda of Qudwa through selecting topics of greatest relevance and interest. Teachers can vote on topics via the Qudwa mobile application. Furthermore, this track will convene tailored networking sessions entitled Building Bridges, enabling individuals with common interests to connect with one another.
For its part, the Advance track aims to enable teachers to continue exploring new ways of improving their teaching methods to better empower their students. Teachers can interact with and learn from some of the brightest minds in the field and reinforce the culture of values in the classroom. Expert Masterclass sessions led by researchers and educators will feature interactive discussions on how the education landscape is changing, and how teachers must adapt effectively to stay relevant and impact the knowledge economy of the future. In addition, this track will include a Teacher Lab session, comprising workshops focused on disruptive innovations in the education space.