Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) and Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance have entered into a strategic partnership to cooperatively implement the ‘Diploma in Gifted and Talented Education’ program which aims to prepare Emirati teachers in public schools to identify and care for talented students and nurture their creative skills in line with the UAE’s ambitious development goals.
The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the Hamdan bin Rashed Award by Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, HBMSU Chancellor, and H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Muhairi, Secretary General of Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance. The signing took place in the presence of H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of the University’s Board of Governors and senior officers from both sides.
Under the terms of the strategic partnership, HBMSU will employ its scientific competencies, specialized academic expertise and sophisticated technological infrastructure to implement the ‘Diploma in Gifted and Talented Education’ program. The program aims to prepare and develop human potential and capabilities to build a scientific and practical system designed to be a reference and center of expertise in the field of gifted education. This is in line with efforts to make the UAE one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of creativity, innovation and knowledge.
The ‘Diploma in Gifted and Talented Education’ program complements the National Plan for Nurturing the Gifted, a joint venture between Hamdan Award and the Ministry of Education. This project requires the preparation of the local professionals who have the knowledge, capacity, educational and technical skills necessary to design, develop, implement, manage and evaluate educational and training programs for the talented learners. It also needs the building of advisory councils and scientific guidance for schools and other academic institutions to enable them to choose, develop, manage and evaluate systems, methods and programs designed to discover and nurture the gifted. Additionally, it serves as an alternative to in-service training for public teachers and teachers for special groups. As such it enables them to gain effective teaching skills by studying well-selected courses; benefitting from the theoretical and practical teaching frameworks designed for the gifted; and learning various forms of specialized creative teaching methods that will benefit secondary educational institutions, graduate schools, government and non-government organizations, and concerned local institutions. Moreover, the project will help in the preparation of human cadres that lead the educational development movement for the advancement of creative children in the public and private education in the UAE and the rest of the GCC region.
The agreement stipulates the implementation of the program for academic year 2016-2017 in Arabic under HBMSU’s School of e-learning. The program will comprise six courses with a total of 13 credited hours covering ‘Creativity and Creative Thinking,’ “Methods and Tools for Identifying the Gifted,’ ‘Differentiated Teaching,’ ‘Designing and Evaluating Gifted Care Programs,’ ‘Dynamic Direction and Guidance,’ and the final project and field training.
The leading quality and flexible program is based on a teaching methodology that combines e-learning technology, blended learning and flipped classrooms in order to ensure the preparation of specialized individuals armed with the knowledge, capacity and educational and technical skills necessary to design, develop, implement, manage and evaluate appropriate education and training programs for different kinds of learner talents. It will serve as a pillar for providing scientific and advisory reference to the systems of educational and training schools and institutions which will gain access to expertise and creative work models for the specialized teaching of special groups. The program will enable pre-university and university education institutions and governmental and non-governmental institutions to meet the growing need for academically and professionally qualified people in the field of optimal investment in the gifted.
H.E. Tamim, said: “This fruitful partnership with Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance is a part of HBMSU’s commitment to the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of HBMSU, to create a positive atmosphere and friendly environment to discover, nurture and tap the potentials of local talents to help boost the development agenda of Dubai and the UAE”.
H.E. Tamim added: “It is not surprising that HMBSU and Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance have joined forces to invest in human resources. Both sides have rich history of success and achievement in terms of supporting creativity, innovation, and academic and professional excellence. We are optimistic that our collaboration will undoubtedly achieve our desired objectives to meet the goals of Dubai Plan 2021 and make the emirate a home to creative, empowered and happy individuals.”
H.E. Al Muhairi said: “Our partnership is also our commitment to the vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, who is the patron of the award. H.H. believes in the role of talented individuals and innovators in the UAE's move towards sustainable development and their impact in the push for high levels of excellence and innovation. The agreement is also in line with the directives of His Highness to tap the local education and forge relevant partnerships for the benefit of all UAE learners. The Hamdan Award signed an agreement with HBMSU to fully support and assist all teachers involved in educating gifted youths.”
H.E. Al Muhairi added: “HBMSU is one of the prestigious educational institutions under the auspices and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and HBMSU President. In a short period of time, the university has made impressive academic achievements, especially in the field of smart learning. HBMSU, which now leads in the Arab World and the region, also offers quality initiatives that are attracting the interest of global academics.”
H.E. Al Muhairi stressed that Hamdan Award is confident that this joint program will support the directives of the wise leadership in terms of supporting education, nurturing local talents, and promoting innovation in accordance with the ongoing institutional efforts to support the country's talented learners.
For his part, Dr. Al Awar said: “We are pleased to establish a quality strategic partnership with the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance which has extensive experience in nurturing and developing talented people in the UAE. Our aim is to make the ‘Diploma in Gifted and Talented Education’ program a successful initiative through which we look forward to making a positive impact in developing UAE nationals in a creative way and providing human capital capable of establishing a knowledge-based society and a highly productive and competitive economy. This is in line with the vision of the country’s wise leadership for the future which relies on highly qualified national talents with the highest levels of innovativeness, creativity and ability to efficiently handle modern technologies for educational systems.”
Dr. Al Awar added: “The program is based on a methodology that takes advantage of global trends and unique experiences in the field of nurturing gifted, as well as the optimum use of smart technology to make the UAE educational model a modern model capable of facing future challenges with flexibility, creativity and excellence. This will achieve HBMSU’s vision and mission to develop UAE nationals and provide them with creative and innovative skills under the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and HBMSU President. We look forward to developing the current program to increase its regional and international competitiveness and make it a leading reference in the preparation of individuals capable of leading the educational development process for the advancement of creative minds in the areas of public and private education in the UAE and other Arab countries.”
The ‘Diploma in Gifted and Talented Education’ program adopts various modern training strategies that enhance interaction among the trainees, the content and the trainer. These include cognitive apprenticeship, cognitive training, participatory problem solving, dynamic interaction through learning groups, brainstorming, case studies, Socratic dialogue, e-debates, mind maps, real and virtual field visits, and practical projects, among many others.
Enrollment is open to special education and Emirati teachers from the UAE’s public and private sectors. Upon completion of the program, trainees will receive a diploma. Applicants should be UAE nationals with good moral conduct working as educators in public or private schools who have been nominated by the Ministry of Education or any other official authorities in the UAE. Nominees must have a Bachelor's Degree in any field of scientific and university study issued by recognized local universities. They should have obtained at least two degrees in GPA and can use computers and e-learning and distance learning software. Applicants must also pass a personal interview with a total score of 80 per cent, attend all classroom and field training sessions, and meet all the requirements for graduation.