Publishers’ role key to innovation in education - GulfToday

Publishers’ role key to innovation in education


Hugo Setzer addresses publishers in Sharjah on Monday. Kamal Kassim / Gulf Today

Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

The challenge before publishers today lies in “how to bring innovation to education and how they can create societies built on knowledge that will break barriers,” said International Publishers Association (IPA) President Hugo Setzer.

He made the observation while delivering the keynote address at the first Educational Publishing Seminar, which opened in Sharjah on Monday in the presence of IPA Vice President Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi. The seminar is organised by the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Education and the International Publishers Association (IPA).

Outlining the three essential foundations for a publisher to fully play their part in meeting these challenges, Setzer said that locally adapted solutions are key to supporting teachers in implementing local curriculum.

“The best content is locally produced, and tailor-made and will connect students with their everyday environment to resolve and better learning outcomes,” said Setzer.

He also stressed on collaboration between governments, teachers and publishers which is equally vital in enabling education to be more effective “Thirdly, teachers and schools must be empowered to choose from a range of products, formats and resources and to select the best learning resources suited to the needs of the classrooms.”

Setzer said that the brightest resource of any society are its citizens. “Through the educational programme designed by governments, they have the opportunity to create an environment that drives their country forward and act as an inspiration to others.”

However, for educational publishers to play their roles fully, he noted, “Two other key areas that underpin everything includes ensuring copyright. Secondly, restrictions on the freedom to publish must be challenged.”

The two-day seminar has brought together a host of Emirati publishers, officials from the UAE Ministry of Education, industry experts and teachers to hold significant discussions on ways to develop innovation led high-performance education systems in the UAE through a collaborative approach assumed by industry stakeholders. The forum seeks to develop a five-year roadmap that will upgrade the national educational system.

Earlier, EPA President Ali Bin Hatem said that this forum provides a unique platform to discuss how to develop a five-year roadmap that will upgrade the national educational system and curricula, and support UAE’s comprehensive development process that prioritises the protection of Emirati heritage and cultural identity.

These goals, he added, align with the UAE Vision 2021 and support the Ministry of Education’s vision for global knowledge, innovation and pioneering society. “The educational publishing sector is a key driving force for social development as well as for the development of the educational system,” said Ali Bin Hatem. “Utilising latest technologies will help in designing advanced curricula that contribute to enhancing students’ skills and motivate them to innovate and excel in all walks of life.”

He also noted that during the seven sessions held over the two-day event, participants will discuss educational publishers’ strategies to provide effective educational solutions and how teachers could apply these solutions in the classroom.

Speaking at the event, Sheikha Khulood Bint Saqer Al Qassimi, Assistant Undersecretary of Inspection Section at Ministry of Education, said that since educational publishers touch an important pillar of society, namely students, the scope of their role becomes increasingly important and pivotal.  “Building up an interactive system comprising of publishers, educators and students will yield positive and qualitative results as it leads to new standards of excellence and creativity amongst students,” she added.

“The Ministry of Education looks to the publishing community to play a prominent role in our efforts to achieve quality education, in keeping with best international standards,” said Al Qassimi. “Our vision is to develop an innovative education system for a knowledge-based and globally competitive society. This requires our students to keep up with the skills of the future.”

Related articles