Teachers: influential changemakers

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi Urges Teachers to Become Mentors and Agents of Change at Qudwa 2017.

Abu Dhabi (UAE) October 8th, 2017: Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, highlighted the importance of teachers as mentors and ‘agents of change’ in a ‘Meet the Mentor’ session on the opening day of the Qudwa 2017 Global Teachers’ Forum.

The Q&A session, moderated by Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, founder of Barjeel Art Foundation, centred on the role of teachers in shaping education initiatives that enrich the scientific and cultural content of the UAE’s National Tolerance Programme, launched in June 2016.

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna said: “Every teacher spends more time with the children than families do, so their role exceeds parental influence. The curriculum is important but the most  important thing for teachers is their own character and personality. Teachers are the agents of change and this applies equally to individuals who have done this for years.”

Teachers and parents have an important role to play in our era of ‘fake news’ and online communication. Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna said: “We have today a prevalent rhetoric of hatred and fake news. Parents and teachers should always validate news when they hear it. This is a persistent challenge we need to combat across the globe.”

She also explained why it was important to have a Ministry of Tolerance and a National Tolerance Programme in the UAE, even though the country is already seen globally as the embodiment of tolerance. She said: “We live in an era of many changes. In the old days we would inherit our behaviours from our elders. We would learn from teachers, friends and family. Nowadays this does not happen the same way. Children are not only getting their information and values from family but from their living environment.”

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna said: “Every teacher spends more time with the children than families do, so their role exceeds parental influence. The curriculum is important but the most  important thing for teachers is their own character and personality. Teachers are the agents of change and this applies equally to individuals who have done this for years.”

Away from education, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna talked at length about her own experience – from studying abroad before starting out as a software engineer in 1981, to becoming the UAE’s first female minister. She explained the philosophy that helped her move from software to policy making and said: “When transitioning from software to policy making, the basic focus remained on developing, changing and improving efficiency and productivity. With my move into Cabinet, the main target of the UAE leadership was to achieve happiness. I am mandated to ensure government functions and services are sustainable and of a high quality.”

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Qudwa 2017 runs from 7 to 8 October at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Under the theme ‘Teaching for Tomorrow’, the forum has convened more than 900 education professionals from more than 80 countries to discuss the latest global trends in empowering teachers and inspiring students.

About Qudwa

Qudwa 2017 is a global forum with teachers at its heart. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the event runs from 7 to 8 October 2017 at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

With the aim of achieving greater recognition for the teaching profession, Qudwa convenes more than 900 local and international education professionals to share insights and best practices for empowering teachers and inspiring students. Participation is by invitation only.

Designed by teachers for teachers, the forum explores the topic of Teaching for Tomorrow through interactive sessions, discussions, and workshops with education experts, leaders, and trailblazers from around the world.

Qudwa 2017 is jointly organised by the Education Affairs Office of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, the UAE Ministry of Education, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) in cooperation with leading local and global organisations. Local partners include the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai. Among the forum’s international partners are the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Varkey Foundation, Teach For All, Google for Education, Edraak – an initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation (QRF), McKinsey & Company, Microsoft and Arc Skills.

 

 

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