Mansoor Al Awar Calls for Investing in Leadership and Professional Skills of Teachers Being the Cornerstone of Education in the Future
Representing higher education institutions in the Arab world, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has participated in the celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2020, themed this year, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”.
His Excellency Dr. Mansoor Al-Awar, Chancellor of the University, joined several leading personalities in global education in a virtual dialogue hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the weeklong event, and took part in mobilizing international efforts to improve the ability of educational cadres to keep pace and lead the march of change in the future.
Dr. Al Awar led a presentation on “Are Smart Learning Teachers Leading in Action?”, where he discussed new perspectives for higher education teachers and urged government leaders to invest in enhancing leadership and professional skills of teachers as they are the backbone that ensure the continuity of education when challenges emerge, especially currently with global spread of Covid-19.
H.E. Al Awar emphasized the importance of global partnerships for enhancing the role of teachers in building resilience and shaping the future of education. Dr. Al Awar also shared a success story by HBMSU when enabled teaching and academic staff in the UAE and the world to acquire the necessary skills and efficiently adapt to the distance learning model of teaching. He highlighted the online training course ‘Be an online tutor in 24 hours’, which was launched by the university in five international languages: Arabic, English, Russian, French, Spanish. The initiative was delivered in cooperation with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education.
The virtual session generated valuable inputs and points for discussions on ways to enhance teachers’ leadership capabilities, especially the recent challenges posed by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Al Awar said that the unprecedented phase the world is going through today necessitates making a radical change in the educational system, noting that this can be only achieved by providing teachers with basic leadership skills and capabilities using advanced technology, so that they will be able to manage and operate online classrooms in an effective and efficient manner. He further pointed out that smart learning and distance learning is the strongest bet and best guarantee for the continuity of education during crises.
“The Covid-19 pandemic imposes new obstacles and burdens educational systems worldwide in most countries that they are unable to continue providing the right to education for all, especially when extensive preventive and precautionary measures are in place to curb the spread of the virus. The global education system is in a critical phase that requires concerted efforts that strengthen teachers in their leading role. They need to become fully prepared and ready to provide distance learning as well as reopen schools, fill educational gaps and support vulnerable groups, and be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, focused on ensuring quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all,” Al Awar added.
Dr. Al Awar said: “Inspired by the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU, we at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University are committed to supporting UNESCO's endeavors to improve teachers’ efficiency and ability to adopt the latest educational methods and best practices using information and communications technology to improve the quality of education all over the world. Therefore, we accentuate our commitment to continuously share our leading experiences in transforming the role of educators from teachers and instructors to facilitators of learning and knowledge ambassadors. This is in the core of our strategic objective for engaging learners as partners in the educational process and not as usual recipients; we aim to create a new generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, decision-makers and future builders.”
“I am honored to participate in the celebrations of the World Teachers’ Day, in line with our commitment to support national and international efforts aimed at enhancing the teaching profession through advanced technology to provide quality and equitable education for all. We highly value the teacher's role in supporting human development, following the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who said: ‘Teachers are the pioneers of development and the true change makers’.
We look forward to putting upfront our accumulated experiences, technological capabilities, and knowledge and academic resources at the service of the global educational community. This will support endeavors for providing teachers with leadership capabilities, which will make them able to reshape the future of education and establish strong foundations for mitigating the impacts of crises and disasters,” Al Awar concluded.
The virtual session is part of the weeklong event, which UNESCO has organized to celebrate World Teachers’ Day, co-convened with UNICEF, the International Labour Organization and Education International. Since 1994, the World Teachers’ Day is marked annually on October 5 to commemorate the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, as well as highlighting the teachers’ achievements and discussing the challenges and opportunities related to strengthening the teaching profession to support the goals of the Education 2030 Agenda.
Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University
Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) Dubai is committed to instigate a culture of quality, innovation and research through smart learning, with emphasis on the academic disciplines of business, quality management, education, healthcare and environment.