Under the patronage of Emir of Qatar HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, the fourth edition of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) was inaugurated at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha.
A host of their Excellencies Sheikhs and Ministers and pioneering experts interested in the areas of innovation in education and more than 1000 leaders from 100 countries including President of the Republic of Croatia HE Mr. Ivo Josipovic attended the event which aims at finding creative solutions for the current challenges in the educational sector.
In her opening speech, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser announced the establishment of a vital initiative for 61 million primary-school-age children who are currently denied a basic education, 28 million of whom are in conflict zones worldwide.
The initiative takes an innovative and multi-faceted approach that is consistent with WISE. It is already engaged in more than 20 projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where it is spearheading creative methods of delivering high-quality education in challenging contexts, including schooling for refugee and internally displaced children, encouraging learning for girls in societies where their education is not valued, promoting new solutions for children in nomadic or pastoralist communities whose itinerant lives can make school attendance difficult, and helping children in disaster-prone areas.
Meanwhile, HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, President of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University (TAGIUNI) tackled education as a human right thanking HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser for their support for the educational sector and the initiative which will allow millions of deprived children to have the proper education they deserve.
He also thanked HH Sheikh Abdulla Bin Ali Al Thani, Wise president for the important role played by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stressed on the need to prepare for "the Higher Education Tsunami" as the international level of quality education cannot be reached by students around the world due to the high cost and that is why "We have established Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University."
"Access to elite, world-class education, however, remains exclusive and unaffordable to the majority of students around the globe. For the first time in history we are in a position to do something about it. Access to world-class education is an inevitability whose time has come," he said.
"Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University is our endeavor to democratize education, promote global citizenship, and empower citizens who have been disenfranchised by the technological revolution. Our mission is to make accredited educational programs accessible to everyone, everywhere. Instead of competing with institutions, we are a global educational alliance – collaborating with elite universities to deliver their education, online, to achieve our mission," he added.
"I see world-class education as a human right and I want to put the power of choice and contribution into the hands of students. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University makes it possible for transformational societies to embrace new concepts from the ground up. We promote affordable, elite education for all, not simply “education for all,” he stated.
According to Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh, "Through this University, I want to change peoples’ attitude toward digital education – to show that it is the way of the future. Digital education stemming from international institutions compels individuals to understand their interdependence and the interconnected nature of the modern world. It allows for world-class higher education to reach across cultures to learners who are unable to afford the costs of travel."
"This Summit is an opportunity to consolidate our efforts together toward developing a more inclusive knowledge society and creating a prosperous future for our young people. We look forward to developing our role to facilitate comprehensive access to education and power the engine of innovation for the society as a whole," he concluded.