Dubai United Arab Emirates
His Excellency Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, Advisor to the Council of Arab Economic Unity and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Union for Digital Economy, during his participation in the Arab Innovations Conference, which is being held in the Emirate of Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University in The period between 25-27 February 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center in Dubai, that the world is witnessing innovations and technological developments at amazing levels, especially in the education sector, knowledge and educational systems, which are now seen as components and pillars of future societies, in light of the statistics that confirm the contribution of the education sector In raising productivity rates and levels of innovation, promoting technological progress, economic progress and improving income.
Al-Khouri indicated that there is a strong relationship between education and development, whether at the level of the individual, the organization or the state, and that education should be one of the most important national political priorities.
He added that education theories until 1934 revolved around preparing the younger generation to be responsible individuals in their societies. And that in 1948, education was seen as a tool for training in critical thinking and building individual personality. And over the next twenty years, the definition evolved to include concepts of morality. Creativity, production and the development of educated societies. Then in the early nineties, the purpose of education was seen as a means to enhance the concepts of humanity and the purpose of human existence.
And he added that in 2018, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the world is looking at the purpose of education in terms of its contribution to the development of sustainable societies and the promotion of individual well-being. And that educational systems must be designed to prepare human capital that can contribute positively to their societies, and that information technology Today, it can play a major role in improving learning environments.
He added that more than 600 million young people are not in the education, employment or training stages, and that the total of the unemployed today is estimated at about 200 million people.
He pointed out that approximately (one and a half billion) people will have non-permanent and stable jobs in 2019.
Al-Khouri showed that during the next decade, more than one billion young people will enter the labor market, and a large number of them will face an uncertain future in the labor market, and they will face irregular and informal working conditions.
The head of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy stressed that the biggest challenge is the opportunities and challenges that the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the technologies associated with it, which threaten the disappearance of millions of jobs, are likely to replace more than half of today’s jobs with smart devices and machines within a maximum of a decade or two, and that In the Arab countries alone, the region will need to create 100 million new jobs over the next 15 to 20 years.
He said: At the same time, technology will replace 50% of the current jobs, and the remaining 50% will need rehabilitation.
Al-Khouri added that the new global economy into which we are moving requires a completely different mindset, and the restructuring of education systems should be at the heart of any change plan, noting that among the most important challenges in the current education systems lie in traditional teaching methodologies.
He pointed out that developing countries are still using the same educational methods from the past 150 years, and as a result, the current education systems are seen as producing large numbers of learners, but without compatibility with the requirements of employment and the labor market, and that schools today are concerned with quantitative production and away from The concept of “quality of education”.
He added: The current educational curricula are not able to motivate students to develop mental skills, and to conclude or critical thinking. Rather, the current curricula, on the contrary, encourage memorization and indoctrination, and lack a cosmic outlook, and thus we find students with limited understanding of global issues.
His Excellency Dr. Ali Al-Khouri stressed that an Arab initiative may be launched to develop sustainable social and economic systems with the participation of international institutions such as Harvard University, Cairo University, the United Nations, the World Bank, and others. It is expected that the initiative will contribute to supporting economic and social growth in the Arab region. Creating new job opportunities, encouraging innovation, competition and social welfare, and this initiative will support several vital sectors, including the education sector.
He stressed that the programs and projects included in the initiative, will add about $3 trillion to the Arab GDP over 10 years.
He added that the educational programs proposed in the initiative will be stimulating and keep pace with the great developments in the field of digital education, and that the curriculum will depend on digital technology, as well as artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
He pointed out that among the features of the proposed educational platform, it is linked to the evaluation and grading system, which will be subject to an innovative mechanism in periodic evaluations and the submission of proposals and observations to all participants in the education process, including teachers and students.
And he added: The uses of the concept of “games in learning” will reach new levels with the development of the uses of artificial intelligence, which will make learning fun and an entertaining activity, and that electronic applications will contribute to providing educational content in the form of puzzles, games and other technologies to encourage formal and informal learning and raise the level of competition among students.
His Excellency Dr. Al-Khouri said that augmented and virtual reality technologies will support the concept of “learning by playing” where students are involved in interactive experiences with augmented reality using smartphones and tablets.
Al-Khouri confirmed that the time plan for implementing the platform is 6 years for the development and implementation of this new educational platform, and it will include various experimental applications.
He added that the details of this project will be announced at a later time, with our partners in the United Nations and the World Bank.
He concluded his speech by noting that it is not possible to address the global challenges facing us today or in the future, without restructuring the current education systems, with the growing impact of the applications of modern technologies on knowledge and learning practices. A good understanding of the reasons why developing countries are pumping billions to invest in emerging technologies and discover what will bring them progress and leadership, especially in sectors such as education and training.