Abu Dhabi, UAE: Her Excellency Noura Bint Mohamed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, highlighted the important roles of the teacher, technology, art and culture in ensuring a flow of creative thinking and high-quality education in a Meet the Mentor Q&A session on Day 1 of the 2017 Qudwa Global Teachers’ Forum.
The session, moderated by Mohamed Khalifa Al Nuaimi, Director of the Education Office of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, also focused on the digital revolution and the amount of creative content available to students in the contemporary world.
Highlighting the important role of the teacher in an ever-changing backdrop of technological development, Her Excellency Al Kaabi said: “The role of the teacher is significant, these people are serving the country and creating the leaders of the future. We have heard a lot about technology and science, and about reaching a point where robots replace the teacher. The main question is: what is the function of the teacher?
“There is an emotional connection between teacher and student that robotics, or a screen or software, cannot achieve or allow. It is about how we use these tools (technology) to get the message across.”
Referring to the changing relationship between teacher and pupil in the modern world, she added: “Ten years ago things were simpler. Now pupils might argue with teachers, as there is lots more information out there. Teachers also need to bear in mind that students might know better than they do because of households allowing technology such as iPads at certain ages, for instance.”
Highlighting her own experience, she said: “The Atari was allowed in my household and I believe it helped me with many skills. Also, technology such as the smart watch will help you to compete with yourself on a daily basis – so competitiveness is becoming more important and we need to find a way of working with this.”
Discussing the importance of arts and culture in education, she said: “I remember the challenge of learning music and arts, back in a time when arts and culture was not encouraged by teachers, or considered in policies. Now children want to write and sing and be superstars at the ages of four, five or six, so using arts and culture to get messages across is very important. Culture, art and music help people become more humane.”
Talking about the reason for attending Qudwa, Her Excelleny Al Kaabi highlighted the importance of shared learning. She said: “We have reached a point where we are learning from anyone around us, anything could give us inspiration – even a five year old. I want to learn from you and also introduce my own humble experiences.”
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Qudwa 2017 runs from 7 to 8 October at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Under the theme ‘Teaching for Tomorrow’, the forum has convened more than 900 education professionals from more than 80 countries to discuss latest global trends in empowering teachers and inspiring students.Oct 2017