Dubai Ruler launches free education platform

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The online platform will officially launch next year.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched on Monday a new challenge to help provide a free educational platform for 50 million students around the Arab world.

Through the translation challenge, scientists, researchers and professionals across the Arab world are welcome to contribute to Mohammed bin Rashid Arabic eLearning Project by translating 5,000 videos – 1,000 of video editing- and 11 million words of math and science material into Arabic in one year to be available online to students for free.

The translation challenge will help provide content of different subjects, including biology, chemistry, physics, general science and mathematics, to students from kindergarten to grade 12.

The online platform will officially launch next year in hopes to reboot civilization in the region and instill curiosity for knowledge in future generations.

Speaking during the launch ceremony to a crowd of delegates, ministers and officials at World Trade Center, Sheikh Mohammed said, “First priority is education, second priority is education and third priority is education.”

During the World Government Summit in February, Sheikh Mohammed made an address on ways to reignite Arab development. On Monday, he noted, “I’m proud to be part of the team of 50 million students who will work together towards reigniting the nation through education and knowledge.”

“Providing high quality education in science and math to all Arab students is integral to rebooting our civilizational development; E-Learning is the fastest way to bridge the educational gap in the Arab world,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

He noted that while the reality of the education system in the Arab world may be disappointing, Arab students have an unbound potential when given access to the necessary resources and tools.

How will it work?

Abdullah Al Nuaimi, project manager at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), said the 5,000 videos will be sourced from a library of materials developed by the Khan Academy, a non-profit educational institute that provides educational videos online in various curricula.

Ideal candidates – including teachers, professors, researchers, university students, technicians, designers, video editors – can register at www.almaktouminitiatives.org.

The candidates will help translate, design and edit 5,000 videos – 500 videos a month, 21 videos a day. In order to ensure translation’s accuracy, the UAE Ministry of Education will work with various educational institutions in the UAE to form a committee of experts to review the videos.

“We are sure we will achieve this number, just like our previous challenges – Arab Reading Challenge and Reading Nation- exceeded the target. When we work together, we always produce something better,” said Al Nuaimi.

A specialized team of educational experts will select the 5,000 videos of science and math content.

Another team will be dedicated to organizing the volunteers, while a different team will head the production of the videos. Ultimately all these teams will work together to upload the 5,000 tutorial videos free of charge, through the Mohammed bin Rashid Arabic eLearning project.

“In the past, Arabs were pioneers in math and science, and the key of the initiative is to reignite this civilization and become leaders in these subjects again,” said Al Nuaimi.

Phases of the initiative:

1) The first phase will transfer 5000 English educational videos into written text then translate 11 million words.

2) The second phase of the initiative will translate written text to Arabic, while the third stage will align translated text to the Arabic curriculum.

3) The fourth, and last, stage will produce 5000 educational videos in Arabic designed for students across different grades to be uploaded on the biggest free Arabic educational platform in math and science.

Source: Khaleej Times