Dubai: 28 February 2022 – The Digital School, a first-of-its-kind integrated digital school and part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, signed a set of strategic partnerships that were announced in conjunction with the inauguration by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The digital school has concluded several strategic partnership agreements, including the Emirates Red Crescent Authority becoming the strategic partner to establish 1,000 learning centers for the Digital School around the world, Dubai Cares as a strategic partner to offer support and advisory services, the Arizona State University also becoming the strategic partner for training and qualifying digital teachers, the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai as a main supporter by allocating a sustainable charitable endowment to support the digital school, and Microsoft as a strategic partner in developing future digital education technologies.
The partnerships aim to support the establishment and equipment of digital learning centers, the provision of training programs to prepare teachers in digital education disciplines, and providing sustainable endowment funds to support and expand the school’s activities.
The signing ceremony was on the sidelines of The Digital School’s inaugural ceremony in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the UAE pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. It was attended by His Excellency Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and
Chairman of The Digital School; His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority; His Excellency Dr. Tariq Mohammed Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, Member of the Board of Directors of the Digital School and Chairman of its Partnerships Committee; Maysa Jalbout, Special Adviser to the President of Arizona State University; His Excellency Ali Al Mutawa, Secretary-General of the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai; Sayed Hashish, General Manager of Microsoft UAE; and Dr. Walid Al Ali, Secretary-General of the Digital School; and several officials.
Equipping digital learning centers and providing logistical support
His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Ateeq Al-Falahi, Secretary-General of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, said: “The Digital School coordinated efforts and operations and prepared the various elements of operation in five countries across the globe. The logistical role of the authority in the countries targeted by The Digital School translates the directives of the wise leadership to extend a helping hand to all, consolidating the effective humanitarian role of the UAE regionally and globally and enhances its position as a major focus of global efforts aimed at achieving sustainable development based on education, combating poverty and ignorance and spreading knowledge.”
Developing digital education and digitally empowering teachers and learners
Maysa Jalbout, Special Adviser to the President of Arizona State University, stressed that the university is keen on a strategic partnership with the world-class Digital School initiative, with its humanitarian goals of bringing digital learning to students in remote and developing regions. She added that she hopes the partnership will help to engage students in camps and underprivileged communities towards exemplary and continuous digital learning paths, and said: “At Arizona State University, we are pleased to be a strategic partner for training and qualifying teachers collaborating with the Digital School.”
Under the cooperation between the two sides, the Digital School and Arizona State University will work to exchange experiences in the field of developing digital education and enable the widest segment of students and learners, especially in lower-income communities and refugee and displaced camps. The two parties will also cooperate on special joint programs to develop the capabilities of 1,500 teachers and digital education providers.
Dubai Cares has added 32 global entities as allies to the initiative, which enhances the Digital School’s partnerships portfolio. Dubai Cares also made a financial commitment of AED5 million to support the Digital School’s global standing.
His Excellency Dr. Tariq Mohammed Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, Member of the Board of Directors of the Digital School and Chairman of the Partnerships Committee, stressed that the initiative focuses on building partnerships, and has recently received the attention of a number of international institutions and organizations, as well as the most prominent global technology companies and education systems. Agreements and memoranda of cooperation have been concluded to design and deliver its services to support in achieving the fourth goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to ensure the provision of inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030.
A sustainable charity endowment for a humanitarian responsibility
His Excellency Ali Al Mutawa, Secretary-General of the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai, said: “We are pleased to participate in the opening of this unique educational monument, which reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in spreading knowledge and promoting education paths and solutions in the Arab region and the world. We, in the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation, affirm our commitment to these noble values that consolidate the position of the UAE as a supporter of cultural issues and a contributor to empowering societies and developing individuals.
The Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai is a main supporter of the Digital School by allocating a sustainable charity endowment to support the initiative, and cooperating in providing education to disadvantaged groups through digital media. Under the partnership, an education endowment will be allocated whose annual proceeds will support the Digital School and its efforts in spreading education through digital technologies.
Develop future digital learning technologies
Sayed Hashish, General Manager of Microsoft UAE: “There is no greater impact than providing vital learning experiences for a generation of future leaders and pioneers of the next transformation in the fields of technology. That is why we seek to improve teachers’ access to solutions and courses in underserved areas at the regional level. We are pleased to support the Digital School in its efforts to enhance its access to these areas with the benefit of Microsoft tools that bring about the desired change and ensure access to education for all.”
Microsoft is cooperating with the school as a strategic partner in developing future digital education technologies.
Partnerships to empower individuals and communities
Dr. Walid Al Ali, Secretary-General of the Digital School project, said: “The goal of concluding strategic partnerships with reputable international academic institutions, the most prominent technology and software developers around the world, as well as reputable bodies in the field of charity and humanitarian work, is to employ all available capabilities, expertise, capacities and solutions, and unify efforts to accelerate access to digital learning solutions to the largest number of benefiting students in the region and the world, especially in less fortunate areas.”
Dr. Al Ali added: “Education is the best way to improve the lives of individuals and societies, empower them and open up new horizons and future opportunities for them in various fields. The digital school initiative, by launching its first operational phase in five countries on three continents and in three languages, and by concluding superb strategic partnerships, enters a new phase in developing digital learning and achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with international cooperation in order to put education within the reach of all.”
The Digital School is the first comprehensive digital learning institution of its kind, providing distance education in a smart and flexible manner to enable students to join it wherever they may be, focusing primarily on the less fortunate, the deprived and refugees in Arab societies and the world. The Digital School provides digital study and enrichment materials that are compatible with the Arab and international curricula, and provides an opportunity to interact with a number of licensed teachers and their colleagues through virtual classrooms.