Statement by Dr Sonia Ben Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
Today the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education joins the world in celebration of the UN International Day of Education, with the theme of ‘recovering and revitalising education for the Covid-19 generation.
As we celebrate this day, we must address the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic on students around the world, forcing them to immediately adapt to online modes of learning, even when they did not have the means. This seismic shift in how students were accessing their education posed major threats to our progress as a society towards SDG 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Our mission is to elevate Arab youth’s livelihoods through quality education so that we may contribute to the region’s sustainable development. We are focused on ensuring more youth have access to quality education in the post-pandemic world. Recently, we partnered with the UAE Ministry of Education to form the University Consortium for Quality Online Learning (UCQOL), making online learning programmes more available to a larger pool of underserved students from the UAE and abroad. By bringing about institutional change at the university level through the UCQOL, key stakeholders in the online education realm will be equipped with the technological expertise to design, develop and deliver high-quality online programmes, ultimately benefiting the students, and helping them to excel throughout their learning.
Education is a key building block of society, and as we emerge from this pandemic with new tools, and new methods of providing online education to underserved communities, we must continue leveraging innovative technological solutions to fill learning gaps and establish a strong foundation for quality online learning to further progress in the region and beyond.