Nayla Al Khaja with GEMS students
GEMS Education has partnered with Canon Middle East, a leader in imaging solutions to launch the first of its kind initiative – ‘Student Voice’, aimed at giving parents an insight into the life of today’s student.
The initiative was introduced to students at Al Khaleej National School in Dubai today, as a part of GEMS Education’s ongoing Parental Engagement campaign, which highlights the importance of parents supporting their child’s education at home. ‘Student Voice’ will see Canon Middle East and GEMS Education work together to offer students a unique opportunity to create short documentaries or films that capture their opinions and thoughts about student life, while using the latest Canon technologies. The initiative challenges senior students to produce a five to ten minute short film, which tells a story, to give parents and others greater insight into the modern student experience, and to educate the viewer on topics such as academic pressures, peer pressures, power struggles (students, parents, authority figures, etc.) and risk taking.
Nadia Petrossi, Manager of Parental Engagement for GEMS Education said: “Research suggests that parental engagement and consistent communication about school can make a significant impact on student progress. “Student Voice” is an opportunity to enhance communication and positive relationships with parents and other adults, especially through the adolescent years. Video is a highly effective and contemporary medium for self-expression, which helps build better understanding among people. The project allows GEMS students to share their perspectives and tell their stories of what it’s like to be a student in 2013.”
The initiative will be further supported by educational workshops that will give students an opportunity to learn from and interact with internationally acclaimed film makers and production experts from Dubai Film Academy and SAE Institute. The first of these workshops will be hosted by Nayla Al Khaja- the founder and director of D-SEVEN Motion Pictures and the UAE’s first female producer/director and Canon’s Brand Ambassador for the UAE.
Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East said: “At Canon, we believe in the power of image. An Image speaks more than thousand words; they make a key visual that help understand the most subtle expressions. This campaign, in partnership with GEMS, aims to encourage creativity and innovation among children as they use the power of image to communicate and express themselves through short films and aligns with our passion for bringing image to life. At Canon Middle East, we are working towards the creation of a unique education platform that encourages young minds and enhances the learning experience and process. We are proud of this special partnership with GEMS Education that takes a step towards helping ‘build the future’ for these children, giving them an opportunity to meet and learn from the best professionals in the industry.”
The ‘Student Voice’ initiative will be offered to interested GEMS students from Al Khaleej National School, Cambridge International School, and Winchester School, Jebel Ali. In April there will be an interschool competition of best short films and the films will be judged by a combination of industry experts and representatives from both Canon Middle East and GEMS Education.
Margaret Atack, Group Senior Director, Education, GEMS Education said: “GEMS is determined to offer our students opportunities that are deeply connected to real world learning skills and enterprise. The Student Voice is one such project that will enhance our young peoples' creative skills and help them identify and develop their talents. We hope the messages in the final productions strengthen relationships and have positive impact on student achievement.”
Canon Middle East is actively involved in reinforcing the growth of local talents across both the film making and photography arena by creating unique platforms that offer opportunities to meet and learn from renowned film makers and photographers. Canon is entering a phase of continuous innovation and aims to inspire creativity through its latest technologies and solutions. As part of its CSR initiatives, the organization is now investing in developing expertise and knowledge through strategic partnerships with educational authorities and institutions such as GEMS.