A huge blessing for needy students - GulfToday

A huge blessing for needy students

Digital School

Through digital devices such as laptops and computers, students have been undergoing education by linking up online with their educational institutions and their faculty.

Perhaps no other situation has called for so much emphasis on online connectivity as the coronavirus pandemic. At a time when many, including students, are still forced to stay indoors due to strict regulations, the web or communication through the Internet has become all the more important.

And that includes the realm of education too. Through digital devices such as laptops and computers, students have been undergoing education by linking up online with their educational institutions and their faculty.

Online education has revolutionised the way of teaching. It enables teachers to reach out to students more effectively through chat groups, video meetings etc.

But there is an issue here. Those who are well-off, who can afford computers and laptops, should have no problems, but what about the poor and underprivileged students? Some students without reliable internet access and/or technology struggle to participate in digital learning. For example, whilst over 90 per cent of students in Switzerland, Norway, and Austria have a computer to use for their schoolwork, just over 30 per cent in Indonesia do.

It is for such underprivileged students that the UAE has emerged as a true saviour.

And how! Truly, the UAE does care for the less fortunate. The launch of the Digital School by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, is a landmark step in the right direction.

It is an initiative that aims to provide certified online education to students across the world, primarily those belonging to underserved communities.

It is a unique gesture, as it provides a personalised and flexible remote learning experience to students anywhere in the world.

And the students are veritably living in the depths of despair: they are the children of refugees, or living in war zones and utterly poor.

Launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the Digital School is created primarily to empower refugees and underserved students. Catering for young people irrespective of their social, economic and educational backgrounds, the school aims to reach a million students in its first five years.

Speaking about the new initiative, His Highness says: “We aim to provide students, especially those living in refugee camps, war zones and disadvantaged communities, with the highest quality of education in the best way possible. Digital education is the future. We need to adapt to the rapidly-changing educational sphere. Our contribution to developing educational platforms is our real investment in the future of young people.”

The Digital School will blend live and self-paced virtual classes in maths, science, Arabic, computer studies and English powered by interactive simulation, game-based learning, and AI-driven adaptive learning modules. Virtual classrooms will enable students to interact with their teachers and fellow learners from all over the world and help them attain a globally-recognised school certificate or credentials that will enable them to complete their university education or apply for jobs.

Using advanced learning technologies, the Digital School will introduce a new learning experience to needy students. The initiative seeks to provide students living in refugee camps and marginalised communities with a rich and dynamic digital education aligned with national and global school systems. Teachers will be selected based on their research, interpersonal, organisational and leadership skills, creativity, initiative and affinity for working with young people.

In its initial phase, the Digital School will operate from November 2020 to August 2021 with 20,000 participating students in four countries, featuring three virtual classes a week over three months. After adjustments are made to the system, the Digital School will officially receive its first batch of students in September 2021 for the academic year 2021-2022.

It is a foregone conclusion that the UAE is a shining example of caring and sharing. The world should follow this scintillating model of humaneness and kindness.

Related articles

Other Articles