Al Amal School for Deaf Students, part of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), becomes the latest school in the UAE to join the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program (MBRSLP), through a multi technology partner initiative.
The specialised school for deaf and hard of hearing students based in Sharjah, has now integrated state of the art smart technology in its Grade 8 and 9 classrooms. After a well-received test phase at the school, the MBRSLP partnered with technology heavyweights Hewlett-Packard (HP), Microsoft, Etisalat, ITWORX Education and Carawan Electrical Mechanical Works L.L.C, an electro-mechanic company, who provided the necessary soft and hard infrastructure as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to transform the classrooms into advanced learning environments.
“We are extremely grateful to all our dedicated technology partners for this wholly philanthropic gesture. Smart learning is about enriching the learning environment for our students through the use of innovative techniques and technologies. Our partners are helping create a dynamic and interactive environment in which our students can positively thrive,” said Mohammed Gheyath, Directed General of MBRSLP.
Commenting at a press conference held at the Al Amal School for Deaf Students, Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), commented: “We need to empower the youth, whether hearing impaired, disabled or otherwise and we believe that education holds the key. Although still in its early days, we have started to witness the positive effects that smart learning environments have had on our students in Al Amal School and look forward to expanding the Program in the future to more special needs facilities throughout the UAE.”
Together the technology partners played a crucial role in providing both the software and physical infrastructure needed to transform the classrooms; seen through HP, who have generously supplied the smart boards as well as tablets and lap tops for the students and teachers. Additionally, a HP trained adoption officer is present during school hours to address any student or teacher queries related to the provided tool. ITWORX Education provided the learning management system (LMS), which facilities communication and collaboration between the students, teachers, and parents. Similar to other MBRSLP schools, a partnership with Etisalat delivers a high speed network on the school premises, and Microsoft has customised their operating system to suit the learning needs of the students. Additionally, Carawan Electrical Mechanical Works L.L.C, provided the electromechanical support needed for the interior fit outs in order to better prepare the classrooms.
“I really enjoy the freedom that comes with along with this new mode of learning, I can now access the syllabus ahead of my classes and even at home. The classes are also far more interesting as we have smart screens where our teachers show videos, ask questions and we can also participate by writing on the boards,” commented a Grade 9 student.
Al Amal School joins over 24, 000 students from 146 schools across the UAE that have been integrated in the Program, an initiative aligned with UAE Vision 2021 to establish a knowledge-based economy through the integration of technology in education.
Supporting quotes from MBRSLP technology partners:
”Technology has the power to completely transform learning and teaching, and even more so for children with special needs. It provides them with the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills in ways, and at a pace, that they would not have enjoyed in a traditional classroom. We are very proud to be contributing to such a life-changing aspect of these children’s future,” commented Ahmed Saeed, Business Development Manager at ITWORX Education.
“At Microsoft, we believe education plays a fundamental role in empowering students to realize their full potential as future leaders. We are committed to supporting the vision of the UAE Ministry of Education and the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Program by working with schools and educators to expand the world of learning through technology, providing access for all students. Our partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Program empowers educators to use technology innovation to help students overcome any challenges , allowing them to acquire new skills to become independent learners, and prepare them for work and life beyond the classroom. The program takes advantage of the agility and scalability of the Microsoft platform where tools like Office Mix and OneNote Class Notebook Creator enable educators to easily communicate with students with special needs,” commented Samer Abu Ltaif, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf.
“We are delighted to share our expertise in the sector and together with Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program (MBRSLP), we have created a unique educational environment tailored specifically to the needs of students attending Al Amal School for Deaf Students. We have fully automated the Grade 8 and 9 classrooms, and through HP’s state of the art technologies such as SMART Boards, laptops and tablets, we have helped create a rich and interactive learning environment for the students. To ensure the smooth running of our technologies, we also have one HP specialist available and dedicated to the school at any one time, helping students and teachers with day to day queries,” commented Herbert Zierl, Managing Director, Hewlett-Packard.
“We are extremely proud to be part of this unique initiative which seeks to apply state-of-the-art engineering to integrate technology into all government schools in the UAE, including schools for students with special needs. On behalf of Carawan’s senior executives and staff, I would like to thank Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program and the leading technology companies with whom we collaborated with on this project,’ said Abdel Majed Al Khadrawi, CEO, Carawan Electrical Mechanical Works L.L.C.
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