UAE: ‘Education is about helping kids flourish in life’

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli

Last updated on May 11, 2021 at 12.31 am

Lifelong learning builds creativity and resilience, the two chief traits that can guide people and countries on the whole through the various challenges of the future. This was the underlying message at the fourth Majlis Mohamed Bin Zayed, the last discussion of the series that was held virtually throughout the holy month.

“As the country has managed to sail through challenging decades since its establishment, the next stage necessitates radical change in the way we work in the UAE and across the world,” said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, at the Ramadan series that discussed the importance of lifelong learning. “Professions will change at a quicker pace than ever before. This means that our method, approach, and the way we look at education should change,” said the minister.

The virtual meeting was moderated by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and featured professor John Sexton, President Emeritus of New York University; Omran Sharaf, director of the Emirates Mars Mission; and Saku Tuominen, founder and creative director of HundrED.

“There is no doubt that education nowadays is not only an essential requirement to finding a job, or gaining a certain skill, but it is essential to having a vibrant life that contributes to boosting our motivations,” said Sheikh Abdullah.

“The essence of education is to help every child flourish in life, no matter what happens,” said Tuominen, adding that we should be trying to create an education ecosystem where kids gain trust on their learning abilities.

On the UAE’s space programme, and whether it can act as a catalyst for growth for the country, professor Sexton said: “Sometimes the it’s important that we take on what seems to be unattainable and that’s the way in which the Emirates Mars Mission went.

“Now, with AI, the notion is by 2071 this tiny country will be the most admired country in the world.”