Complex Made Simple

National Geographic Learning Educational Forum explores the gaps between education

International speakers include academic Prof. Donald Freeman and National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Dr Constance Adams

The private employment sector has changed beyond recognition during the past century and the skills and knowledge required of 21st Century graduates have changed with it. But are educational systems adequately preparing students with the skills they need to be successful and effective in today’s workforce? This 2-day Educational Forum has conducted discussions to tackle these questions with some of the key educational minds in the region.

The Educational Forum took place on 21st and 22nd November at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Hotel and the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, with over 70 guests from universities, colleges, and ministries of education from throughout the Gulf region.

Leading academics in the English Language Teaching world discussed the unique opportunities English classrooms can bring to graduates. This was concerned with learning about global cultures and perspectives as about grammar; as much about fostering 21st Century skills such as collaboration and problem solving as about vocabulary; as much about developing digital and visual literacies as it is about essay writing. The question was asked about whether this is being achieved across the region and how it is being tackled globally.

The event also took a deep look at the requirements of today’s employers and where they feel graduates are not arriving for work with the right skill set. Laura Luelsdorf (Principal of Boston Consultancy Group, Abu Dhabi) and Khalid Alkhudair (founder and CEO of Glowork, a Saudi-based company employment site for women) spoke about some of the unique challenges that face the regional job market.

The culmination of the event was the panel discussion where potential solutions and issues that were shared and aired to make the most of the collective experience of the delegates.

National Geographic Learning has a unique perspective on education through its unique partnership with the National Geographic Society and, most recently, TED Talks. As an educational materials provider, the organization is dedicated to developing 21st Century Skills that reflect the reality of the world they operate in.