Dr Abdulla Al Karam: Spectrum of education should diversify as per future need

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Technology is embracing all aspects of the society and its interface is diversifying industry needs and skill sets at a major level, according to Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

In order to make it relevant for future jobs, Dr Abdulla feels there is need to make education futuristic.

Last year, while addressing a session at the World Education Summit, Dubai, organised by Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd, Dr Abdulla quoted the facts and the figures from a report called “Future of Jobs”- published by the World Economic Forum, he said, “By the year 2020, regular feature of our daily life would be self-driving cars, computers. Our devices would start communicating with each other. So your refrigerator will communicate with your phone and when you will be near the super market it will remind you to refill your groceries.”

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“Advanced robotics, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are not too far away from now and in fact a lot of decision making and analytical skill that we have learnt to develop at school will be done by machines for us,” he added.

Dr Abdulla said it opens up a “new opportunity in the job market and this is the most important part of the report that says 65 per cent of children who are going to primary schools today will end up working in jobs that don’t exist now”.

“65 out of 100 kids will be working in jobs that we have actually no idea about,” he added.

“This report identifies the top skills the schools need to implement and the top three of them are problem-solving, critical thinking and last but the most important creativity,” he explained.

Explaining the importance of human connect, he said, “In an age where we have computers and machines to manage almost all our aspects of life, the skill we would need the most is about connecting closely to each other to experience of  just being human,”

Mentioning about the motive of KHDA and the role of happiness in imparting education, he said, “When we are talking about education it is important to think about the happiness of kids. We do care about attainment and the numbers but building characters of our students is also pivotal for us.”

“Our recent survey shows 85 per cent of children in Dubai are happy. This includes students from all the curriculums across Dubai,” he added.

“Learning from an initiative being executed in Singapore, schools in Dubai are training their students to plant saplings in the school garden and grow their own vegetables. This is how we are establishing a relationship between them and the soil,” Dr Abdulla added.

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