Dubai: Hundreds of new graduates were inspired to apply themselves in the real world as they took their degrees during the fourth annual convocation of Amity University Dubai on Tuesday in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC).
The convocation for the graduate and postgraduate students was held on the sprawling lawns of the university’s new campus in DIAC.
The university handed out degrees to 239 undergraduate and 131 postgraduate students in Engineering, Business Administration, Nano Technology, Nuclear Science and Technology, Forensic Sciences, Tourism Administration and Hotel Management. On the occasion, gold medals were awarded to 12 students, silver medals to 10 and bronze to five.
The non-profit university conferred an honorary doctorate on Saeed Al Tayer, CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, for his contribution to the development of renewable energy and protection of the environment in the UAE. He thanked Amity University for the honour and urged the graduating students to make a positive contribution to the development of the country.
Dr Ashok K. Chauhan, founder president of Amity Education Group, presided over the convocation while Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, was the guest of honour. Other dignitaries at the event included Dr Raja Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Health Care City, and Abdullah Al Saleh, undersecretary of foreign trade and industry in the UAE.
Chauhan congratulated the graduating students, saying: “Learning is a lifelong process which does not stop after graduation. The graduating students should keep the fire of inquisitiveness and knowledge-seeking alight even after leaving the university.”
He added that he was very thankful to the leadership of the UAE for helping Amity realise its dream of setting up a state-of-the-art campus in Dubai.
Al Karam said that Amity University has emerged as a leading university within a record time of just five years. He urged the students to come out of their comfort zones and accept the challenges and opportunities opened by the developments in science and technology.
Indian graduate Nishad Sedique, 22, received his Bachelor of Business Administration. He said: “It was a really good programme. They gave us lots of real-life experiences. I’ll probably do my masters with Amity now. I’m the first one to graduate from among my siblings so it’s especially exciting for all of us.”
Hundreds of new graduates inspired to embrace challenges ahead
Dubai: Two UAE-based teachers have been included in the top 50 shortlist for the $1 million (Dh3.67m) Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017.
Now in its third year, the award is the largest prize of its kind and is awarded under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The two shortlisted UAE-based teachers are Shaikha Al Shehi, an English teacher from Al Dhait Girls Secondary School, Ras Al Khaimah; and Rohan Roberts, who teaches the GEMS Honours Progamme and Astronomy at GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis in Dubai.
The prize winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on March 19, 2017.
The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.
Roberts leads an honours programme designed for gifted students from 40 GEMS schools in Dubai. Using a scientific perspective, he keeps up with findings in pedagogy and neuroscience, while using his many interests as astronomer, painter, author and musician to identify and develop the multiple talents of his students.
Al Shehi began teaching as a child on her doorstep with her neighbours’ children, drawing and writing in chalk on the door of her home. As a teacher, she has taken a lead in educating her pupils in global citizenry, particularly in environmental matters, with her ‘Reducing Carbon Footprint’ initiative.
The top 50 have been shortlisted from over 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries.
Sunny Varkey, founder of Varkey Foundation, said: “We were overwhelmed by the huge support the Global Teacher Prize received this year. We intend to keep this momentum going as our journey continues to return teachers to their rightful position as one of the most respected professions in society.”
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said, “I applaud the launch of the Global Teacher Prize, which recognises their worth. The award is in line with my Global Education First Initiative, launched in 2012, which aims to give momentum to the worldwide movement to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning and foster global citizenship”.
1m award winner to be revealed in Dubai in March 2017
Sharjah: “Does rice come from a plant? Isn’t it something that we buy from the supermarket?”
Queries like these from school students in the UAE inspired Indian expatriate Sudheesh Guruvayoor, a passionate farmer, to grow paddy in the backyard of his villa in Sharjah.
It took him almost four months to turn the desert soil into a patch of rice paddy. Last week, he hosted groups of students from three schools in Sharjah to get hands-on experience of cultivating rice.
As they lined up barefoot in his backyard after leaving behind their shoes in the school bus, Sudheesh, an electrical engineer-turned-farm supervisor, explained to them the different stages of rice cultivation right from germinating the seeds and transplanting the seedlings in the real field to the stages of harvesting and threshing.
Some of the students from Emirates National School, who were in the first batch to take part in the cultivation, were excited to know the crop will be ready for harvesting in just 120 days. “That is cool,” one of the boys reacted.
Up next was their chance to experience the most exciting part of the cultivation — transplanting the seedlings, which had been kept ready for them, in the murky water-filled paddy.
“It’s OK. You will get used to it,” Vaishnav Nair, who was the first student to stride into the pool of muddy water, told his friends following him.
A bit of hesitance and confusion was evident on some faces while the rest seemed to be enjoying their date with nature. As per the instructions given by Sudheesh, the children plucked a few bunches of seedlings and started planting them in rows marked with the help of a rope tied across the field.
For the first time in their lives, they made small holes in the muddy field with their fingers and planted the seedlings. Once they got the hang of it, some kids were seen planting the seedlings effortlessly.
Students from Sharjah Indian School and India International School also got the chance to take part in the paddy cultivation process.
Speaking to Gulf News, the students said they learnt two great lessons from their experience — one about the value of the great efforts taken by farmers in helping to feed the world and another one about the need to stop food wastage.
“When we realised that we are going to plant rice seedlings, we were in total confusion,” said Zainab Khan, a grade eight student.
“We didn’t know exactly how we were going to do it. But it turned out to be a great experience and an excellent initiative to show how to grow [the crop] and how much effort is taken [by farmers]. We don’t realise this … We just take the food and whatever we don’t want, we just throw it like that,” she said, pledging with her friends not to waste food any more.
Susan Benoy, their biology teacher, said the children received first-hand experience of what they are learning in their text book. “I am very sure that they will not waste food any more because they have understood the efforts taken by agriculturalists.”
Sudheesh, who has five world records to his credit in the field of farming in the UAE, said it was an unforgettable day in his life. “I am very happy that I could teach the process of cultivation to the children. They are going back happy and they have promised to return to see the next stages of the cultivation and to join me for the harvest. Some have also promised to do farming in future,” he saidResident gives hands-on experience in transplanting rice seedlings to schoolchildren
I opened my email a little while ago to find that I am now an official IBDP Examiner for English A. So much has happened in the last three years that as I sit here on a lazy Saturday morning, coffee cup in hand, I cannot help but look back and reflect on my foray into teaching the IBDP.
As the year draws to a close I find myself thinking ‘we’re almost done!’. It’s the final stretch before my IB seniors go off and activate ‘studious beast’ mode, in a lead up to their examinations. Right now they’re finalizing their IA’s for submission, adding the spit and polish to their 4000 word long extended essays and certainly feeling the pressure as they refine their Theory of Knowledge presentations. They’ve had quite a year – to say the least.
Three years ago I was lurking around the edges of the IB classroom. Watching. Learning. Waiting. When the opportunity arose, I dipped my toes into the IBDP pool and there was no turning back. Diving into the IBDP and groping around to make sense of things had been an enormous learning experience. There’s so much value in what I now refer to as ‘purposeful floundering’ – learning by observing, by reading, by asking, by doing and by making errors.
So what was the outcome of year one? Well to be honest, it was pretty good with the entire class scoring in the 5, 6 and 7 range and making meaningful progress right through the year. The students and I enjoyed the units, conceptual understanding was achieved, and learning experiences were meaningful and deep. What more could I ask for?
In my additional role as Extended Essay Coordinator I was fortunate to meet people from all over the world with a wide range of IB experience. What makes any new learning experience more meaningful is the willingness and help on offer from people around you. There’s an incredible sense of community within the global IB faculty and meeting them and hearing their stories and ideas was an incredible insight into how passionate they are about the course content and how they transacted it.
Just look at my social media feed and you’ll see that I practically live online. On the internet I found that I wasn’t alone. There is an entire tribe of IB professionals making connections, sharing resources and just being there for each other. Twitter revolutionized the way I interacted with other educationists and gave me a network of professionals to connect with who are incredibly committed to nurturing an online community of learners who will impact their classrooms positively.
Teaching the IB curriculum has been more than just a change from a content to skill based curriculum and approach. It has been a paradigm shift in thinking and transacting new ideas. I must give a shout out to all the people I have met, spoken to, interacted with or tweeted over the last three years. While voices and faces are sometimes a blur, what remains clear is their incredible support, willingness to share and their genuine interest to learn.
Now, with my second batch nearing completion and a third making confident strides forward I am so much more confident as raring to go. The IB changed me as a learner first and then as a teacher. It made learning so much more stimulating. Knowing new things gives you more to think about and more to wonder about. How could you not be inspired by a course that is designed to make you ask questions about everything around you? One that sparks an interest even in areas of knowledge that you were pleased to ignore previously?
That being said when the deadlines are imminent and the paper work piles up, perhaps it’s not always easy to see the bright side of things. But, at the end of the day I believe most IB teachers will tell you how much fun it is and how the process enriches you professionally and personally too.
Sharjah business students : As many as 329 business administration students were honoured during the 26th graduation ceremony of Skyline University College (SUC) at University City Hall in Sharjah on Thursday.
The BBA and MBA students of more than 30 nationalities were honoured during the ceremony, which was attended by chief guest Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation and member of the Sharjah Executive Council.
Prominent guests at the event included diplomats, government officials, and media and corporate leaders.
Afra Al Teneiji, an MBA student who graduate with the highest honour (Summa Cum Laude), said in her speech: “We believe that in order for us to grow as well-groomed professionals, we need to constantly learn to dance to the sway of this changing world that we live in. SUC has taught us that innovation and creativity are two of our greatest weapons to stand out in the fiercely competitive industries of today … We pay tribute to our professors who have tirelessly taught, guided, and provided us with good education. We honour the inspiration we received from our parents and from the people in the government and corporates who have shared with us their stories and journeys through workshops and lectures at SUC.”
Following the conferral of degrees, Kamal Puri, founder-president of SUC, addressed the audience, saying: “Through innovation, good entrepreneurship, and multicultural environment, SUC has come a long way since the day of its inception. We have humbly merged 60 different nationalities in one institution and proved that races and culture differences are not a hindrance to acquiring a proper education. This is rather a secret ingredient to broaden the knowledge of the students and see things in ways that no one has ever seen …”
SUC dean Dr Amitabh Upadhya told the students to prove themselves in the workforce. Nitin Anand, SUC executive director and chair of the executive council, presented a memento to Shaikh Sultan as a gesture of appreciation for his presence.
Sharjah-based institution awards BBA and MBA degrees
Dubai innovators: Winning ideas from Dubai schoolchildren, who were honoured in the Young Innovators Competition award ceremony on Tuesday, will be presented to government departments, a senior official said.
The ideas cover a variety of topics from transport to renewable energy, and include students’ vision of a futuristic Dubai in 2050, said Marwan Al Sawaleh, undersecretary of the Ministry of Education.
Tuesday’s ceremony, held at Raffles Dubai hotel, comes as part of the second annual UAE Innovation Week (November 20-26) that is displaying projects by government departments, companies and students.
The honouring event was held in collaboration between the ministry and the Dubai Government Human Resources Department (DGHRD). The competition was launched a year ago to encourage creativity among students.
Al Sawaleh and Amal Bin Adi, director-general of DGHR department, toured an exhibition of the winning projects of the students, who came from 13 schools in Dubai.
Student winners of Young Innovators Competition honoured
Cultural Event Abu Dhabi: In celebration of translating 900 books into Arabic, will be holding a six-day cultural event in Abu Dhabi starting on Thursday to mark the milestone, with a number of reading activities planned, including seminars with authors and translators.
This was announced by its organisers on Sunday.
Launched by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) nine years ago, the Kalima Project was created to bring back the Arab tradition of translating books into Arabic. The project has been a major success so far with 900 titles from various languages and areas of knowledge translated into Arabic.
The six-day event which will take place in Yas Mall and under the theme of ‘A book is a man’s best companion’, will feature a book fair with many of Kalima’s translated publications on sale, giving young Arabic-speaking residents the opportunity to access books they might have been previously unable to because of the language barrier.
“This event, in accordance with the declaration of 2016 as the Year of Reading by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, highlights TCA Abu Dhabi’s important role in promoting cultural dialogue, raising the level of knowledge in our society by reviving Arabic translation and addressing the shortage of high-quality translated books into Arabic,” said Saif Saeed Gobash, director-general of TCA Abu Dhabi.
Six-day event to take place from November 24-29 on Abu Dhabi s Yas Mall with a series of reading activities
Graduate Dubai: The University of Manchester on Thursday held its 2016 MBA graduation ceremony for 87 students of Manchester Business School (MBS) Middle East Centre at The Meydan Hotel in Dubai.
The UAE ceremony is the only one conducted by the university outside the UK, reflecting the importance of the region. The 2016 ceremony coincides with the 10th anniversary of MBS Middle East Centre in Dubai — MBS’ largest and fastest growing international centre that will be rebranded as ‘The University of Manchester’ in the Middle East, from January 2017.
The Presiding Officer at the graduation ceremony was Professor Colin Bailey, Deputy President, University of Manchester.
The ceremony was conducted in the presence of Shaikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, who also addressed the congregation.
In addition, the MBS international awards for Best Individual Student, Best Individual Project and Best Group Project were presented to graduates from the Middle East.
2016 ceremony of institute s Middle East Centre drew families and VIPs
Abu Dhabi: Despite the recent political turmoil in the UK surrounding the future of foreign nationals, including a proposal to crack down on international students, a senior British Council official in the UAE said it is business as usual for students from the emirates who want to study in the UK.
“The referendum result has no immediate implications for international students wanting to study in the UK, including those already studying in the UK. There are no immediate changes to their immigration status, fee status and access to tuition fee loans,” said Gavin Anderson, Director, British Council UAE.
“The UK has always welcomed and will continue to welcome high quality international students,” added Anderson.
Anderson was speaking with Gulf News ahead of an exhibition organised by the British Council, Education UK Exhibition (Edukex), that helps students in the UAE find what they need to know about studying in the UK by putting them in touch with representatives from British universities at the fair as well as providing information on UK Visas and Immigration.
“After the EU referendum result, the #WeAreInternational campaign was shared via a number of online channels with students from our global database, the campaign was created many years ago by the University of Sheffield … But in light of the EU Referendum, it has garnered extra support from much of the UK education sector, including the British Council,” added Anderson.
Senior British Council official acknowledges contribution of international students to research base of UK universities
Plan your year by using our guides to upcoming public holidays in 2016 and 2017.
For winter break, students will receive a three-week holiday, and teachers two weeks. For spring break, students will have a two and a half week holiday and teachers a one and a half week holiday. Summer breaks will be the longest as usual, with students enjoying a seven-week break, with teachers receiving six weeks.
Plan your holidays Here is the confirmed school calendar for the next academic year