The Holy Month of Ramadan marks the end of a successful first year for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program (MBRSLP) given the findings of its annual results since announcing the innovative, smart learning platform within the country’s national education system in 2012.
The number of participating public schools for the upcoming academic school year that will join the MBRSLP will grow from 123 to 147, an increase of 20% from last year.
The first half of 2014 has marked a significant milestone for the MBRSLP, with the completion of Phase I and its successful implementation in 123 schools, which saw 442 classrooms upgraded with new technology, 11,548 tablets distributed and 11,402 students in total involved from across the UAE. Upon the completion of Phase I which involved Grade 7 students, the effect on student teacher interaction is evident from the first year’s findings.
Student and teacher contributions to the online platform doubled between semesters 2 and 3 in class contribution, assignments, attendance, exams and efficiency in asking and answering questions. The smart learning curriculum has been well received by teachers for its ease in performing numerous tasks such as collecting data, adding and updating timetables, flexible online lesson plans that can be shared with students and parents, while reducing paper usage which is beneficial to environmental conservation.
Mohammed Ghayeth, Director General of Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program, commented, “What is remarkable is that in the span of one academic year, participating students reported higher grades after taking part in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program. As a result, our schools are receiving a higher number of requests from parents to reserve seats for their children well in advance of enrollment for the upcoming academic year. Furthermore, after witnessing the benefits of the Program, teachers are eager to be trained and take part in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program to teach in smart learning equipped classrooms, equipped with smart boards, laptops and internet access in addition to employing interactive teaching methodologies to enhance the delivery of curriculums and encourage students to become active participants in the learning process. Not only does the MRSLP facilitate accessibility of teachers to students, the Program also provides parents with a direct access to teachers with regular communications about their child’s academic and behavioral performance. With an online platform facilitating constant communications and free flow of information, the need to schedule monthly parent meetings every time the parent has a concern is unnecessary.”
Acting in line with the UAE’s national vision for educational reform in coordination with the Ministry of Education, the MBRSLP has gained both national and international recognition for the positive impact of introducing smart learning techniques in public schools for the first time in the UAE. In May of this year, the MBRSLP was recognized by the Dubai Government Excellence Programme Awards and won the “Best Team” award. A month later in June, the MBRSLP gained international validation with the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) Project Award for Capacity Building for making smart learning accessible in public schools, thus available to all segments of society, and for using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to drive positive social impact.
The MBRSLP will build up systematically until reaching all UAE public schools by 2017, allowing students to think freely, think creatively, cultivating them as innovative leaders and future Arab ambassadors in worldwide markets.