Arab education summit concludes in Amman
Amman, May 19, 2013
Leading experts from around 15 Arab countries examined the latest issues in technology in education and vocational training at the 'Arab Education Summit' held recently in Amman.
The two-day summit was organised by ArabBrains of The Brains Network Ltd. — which seeks to connect innovative Arabs across the Arab world and beyond — in cooperation with the Integrated Technology Group (ITG), and with Hewlett-Packard as the Main Event Sponsor and Lenovo as the Knowledge Partner.
Held under the patronage of the Jordanian Ministry of Education, the regional gathering featured keynote ministerial presentations and panel discussions from thought leaders in education, ICT, science and technology.
In a session on “Education Technology, Tablets, Applications & Standards”, Dr Matt Harris — head of learning resources at the German European School in Singapore and board director of the International Society for Technology in Education — gave the opening presentation, which was followed by a panel discussion.
The discussions were chaired by Julian Pienaar, technical solutions advocate at Lenovo, and included high level members from some of the world’s technology giants, such as Intel, HP and Microsoft.
The participants examined the advances in tablet technology and which operating systems would potentially dominate in the future, in addition to the importance of educational content for these devices and how this content can be delivered effectively.
At the ministerial opening session of the summit’s last day, Luis Pinto, education business director at JP-Inspiring Knowledge, gave a presentation on how the demand for skills has changed over the past 40 years.
Pinto noted that the demand for routine manual skills has been constantly declining since the 1960s and well into the beginning of the last decade, while the demand for expert thinking and complex communications has been rising.
The demand for routine cognitive skills was high in the 1970s and 1980s, but has been declining ever since, said Pinto while speaking at a session attended by education ministers and directors from Libya, Tunisia, Iraq-Kurdistan and the Arab League.
The summit’s closing session, chaired by Orla Nichorcora, senior director for the Middle East and Africa from Oracle, focused on the “Vocational ‘Skills Gap’ & Reforming Higher Education”.
Nichorcora also gave the opening presentation at a discussion that included labour and information and communications technology officials from Jordan and academic specialists working in the Gulf.
The session was followed by the second day of roundtable meetings between companies, government ministries, educational institutions and civil society organisations from the participating countries on the opportunities and challenges facing the process of integrating ICT with education in the region.-TradeArabia News Service
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