Strategic partnership between HBMSU and UNESCO IITE

date

04-Apr-2020

April 04, 2020 – In line with the UAE’s efforts to impart to the world its leading experiences in upgrading the capabilities of teaching professionals in less than 24 hours to enable them to provide quality education, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), in strategic cooperation with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE), has launched the electronic crash course ‘Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours’ and making it available in five international languages, English, Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic.

The cooperation looks towards enabling the teaching and training of academic professionals in the language of their own countries to efficiently help make a seamless shift in the distance learning model of teaching with full efficiency, taking advantage of the remarkable success achieved by the first session of the ‘Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours’ course, which is a one-of-a-kind initiative for both the Arab region and the rest of the world. The recent HBMSU online course was launched in a response to the urgent need to employ mechanisms using smart technology to provide education for all, especially in lieu of the current global crisis caused by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In recognition to its positive contributions to harnessing and adopting technology to serve education for all, UNESCO IITE has announced HBMSU as a new member of its global communications platform for its initiative, the ‘Combating COVID-19: Together We are On the Move’, joining global organizations such as Google, Facebook, Shanghai Open University, The Commonwealth of Learning and other major institutions in the fields of education, information and communication technology.

The launch of the training course in the Russian, French and Spanish languages was held through a teleconference that was participated in by H.E. Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the UAE Minister of Education; H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, Chairman of the Board of Governors of HBMSU; Professor Tao Zhan, Director of the UNESCO IITE; members of the Governing Board of UNESCO IITE; Dr. Fengchun Miao, Chief of Unit for UNESCO ICT in Education (UNESCO Headquarters); Dr. Venkataraman Balaji, Vice President of Commonwealth of Learning - representing Prof. Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of Commonwealth of Learning; representatives from UNESCO Associated Schools Project Unit (ASPnet) from UNESCO Headquarters and Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, who all had a virtual presence from their homes via the Internet.

His Excellency Hussain Bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, stated that the UAE has become a leading contributor to the growth and development of education, not only at the local level, but also at regional and international arena, given its pioneering educational institutions which possess strong academic, technological and teaching resources and capabilities. This the result of the unwavering support of the nation’s leaders in education as the path to hone human resources and enable them to lead a knowledge-based nation towards progress even at the global sphere.

HE explained that the UAE is moving steadily in its social and human development founded on high quality education and a network of high-performing educational institutions that enable the society to become globally competitive in education. He noted that the ‘Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours’ e-training course launched by HBMSU in five international languages is part of an educational approach that is based on a highly-efficient foundation, technical advancement, and cutting edge technological resources which have been rightly put into use to serve human development.

Al Hammadi said that the strategic cooperation with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technology in Education highlights the high status of the university and UNESCO’s trust in its unique role to go beyond education and influence social and cultural development. HBMSU’s focus on high-quality educational services is helping humanity and empowering societies through knowledge, especially enabling teachers from various languages to gain the skills that will facilitate their teaching role through distance learning.

HE Al Hammadi emphasized that the university’s continuing initiative plays a vital role in supporting UNESCO’s global efforts to sustain education especially in light of the current challenges faced by many countries due to the spread of coronavirus and its negative impact in the continuity of learning for students. This effort marks the UAE’s concern to take part in providing solutions to global issues that affect many societies and thereby enable them to move towards progress.

His Excellency further stated that the UAE’s leading role of developing a multi-faceted educational institution did not happen in an instant, but rather it is an extension of a long journey of support and successful initiatives of the country’s leaders who are genuinely serving people from around the world, using its advancement and capabilities to improve the humanity’s condition – a commitment that the country has expressed since the founding of its union.

His Excellency commended the University for its High Standards of education, its role in promoting smart learning, and the strategic technological and educational resources that it has employed to increase the capability of the education sector and deliver positive outcomes to the sector as a whole. He expressed his appreciation for the university’s efforts in developing the skills of tens of thousands of teachers in the UAE and around the world to make it possible for them to manage the current distance learning process and further hailed the university’s vision and philosophy which is guiding the sector towards a promising future.

Prof. Tao Zhan, Director of UNESCO IITE, said, “We are pleased to inform you that the Russian version of the HBMSU e-learning crash course ‘Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours’ has been produced in partnership with HBMSU within the UNESCO IITE initiative ‘Combating COVID-19: Together We are On the Move.’”

He added, “The course allows Russian-speaking teachers to master the most helpful technologies and tools to support distance teaching and learning in the digital age. The course was designed to respond to the rapid shifts in the educational technologies and should contribute to the development of online learning. It was also urged by the outbreak of COVID-19 and quarantine measures and can be used in other emergency situations.”

H.E Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Governors of HBMSU, pointed out that the launch of the e-training course “Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours” in 5 international languages represents a quality-focused leap towards the advancement of education to be more efficient and flexible, falling in line with the rapid global developments. H.E. Lt. Gen. Tamim pointed out that the new achievement adds to the march of the UAE to follow after the wise policy and insightful vision of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, which provided the world with a role model in investing in quality education, in the belief of the importance of education as a real wealth to build the future on solid scientific foundations.

H.E. added, “Today, the UAE is putting its unique experience in the service of the world through this HBMSU initiative, which is continuing through its fruitful cooperation with the UNESCO ITTE and its strong presence alongside the global elite to support the initiative, ‘Combating COVID-19: Together We are On the Move’ in playing a pivotal role as a force to influence the global education map. We look forward to the success of the free training course in the offered five languages, to prepare more qualified teaching professionals that will provide education for all at any time and under any circumstance, regardless of emergency.”

Dr. Mansoor Al-Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU said, “HBMSU’s participation to the global educational coalition led by the UNESCO IITE presents an important opportunity for us to bring to the forefront our accumulated experiences and advanced resources to meet the global efforts of ensuring high quality education for everyone, especially during this unprecedented challenge that the world is going through at present as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.”

He added, “HBMSU is honored to take the lead in making a positive and real difference to the region as well as to the global community by providing effective tools that will help the education sector meet key challenges in lieu of the current situation. This is part of our continuing role to support the UAE's goal of leading the march towards an advanced, equitable, and inclusive education in all societies and provide everyone with access to lifelong learning opportunities, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”

“In line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU, we look forward to developing unique programs and initiatives that support the aspirations of UNESCO IITE in enhancing efficiency for teachers and enable them to adopt the latest educational methods and best practices using ICT, with the end goal of improving the quality of education and ensuring its continuity in the world. The launch of ‘Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours’ in five languages reflects the increasing popularity of the online course globally. It is a new achievement which further raises the UAE’s reputation as a leader in employing distance learning, considering it as one of the most effective form of imparting knowledge and education that ensures the continuous development of the nation,” Al Awar concluded.

The ‘Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours’ course, available for free to all, is widely recognized as part of the proactive efforts of the UAE to promote distance learning as one of the most ideal platforms to ensure continuity in the learning process in light of rapid global changes.

The course has witnessed remarkable success, having registered more than 100,000 affiliates from different parts of the world. The e-course has helped pave the way for building global professionals armed with modern knowledge and basic skills to manage and operate classrooms via the internet, to ensure the continuity of education in the countries affected by COVID-19 and to overcome the obstacles faced by the global educational sector due to the crisis.

The course, in Russian, French and Spanish, was prepared following the productive partnership between HBMSU and UNESCO IITE. The free course, which lasts for four hours, provides the necessary training needed for the teaching staff and academics from various educational levels based on several modules, including ‘Online Learning Technology Landscape,’ ‘E-learning management tools,’ ‘Communication tools’ and ‘Creation Tools.’ Anyone interested can register for the course by visiting the link https://futureskills.hbmsu.ac.ae/ where they can create an account after providing the essential information needed. Registrants will receive an automatic email to confirm registration and begin the training online

 

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