Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, has yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education covering a number of initiatives that achieve both organisation's objectives; to inspire students to pursue careers in medicine; encourage scientific innovation in schools; and promote inclusive education across schools in the UAE by educating the teachers of students with special needs.
The MoU was signed by His Excellency Marwan Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary, Ministry of Education, and Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, and attended by a number of officials from both organisations.
Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, commented: "The UAE's Vision 2021 seeks to create a competitive economy driven by knowledge and innovation, and education is paramount to this. We are thrilled to be partnering with the UAE's main educational body to achieve our shared vision for an inclusive education system that gives every child the necessary foundation for a bright future. With the support of the Ministry of Education, we look forward to expanding our Ta'alouf teachers training across the UAE."
Marwan Ahmad Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Education, said: "We are pleased to build a strategic partnership with Al Jalila Foundation, a national organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research. This agreement focuses on the development of student skills and creativity in scientific innovation and research – a core element of our education development plan. It provides us with the opportunity to build on the foundation's existing achievements and also benefit from its extensive experience in education and research initiatives, which are all compatible with our vision to develop the UAE's next generation of scientists".
He added: "This is the start of a long and fruitful relationship, which will benefit both students and teachers in the UAE."
The partnership will support initiatives like Ta'alouf, Al Jalila Foundation's flagship six-month training course which equips the teachers and principals with the skills needed to support their students with special needs, and is run in partnership with Zayed University. In June 2015 the foundation celebrated the graduation of the first 63 teachers and principals to successfully complete the course, with more courses set to run later in the year. The programme has played an important role in enhancing the education of children with disabilities and enabling them to become productive members in their community The Ministry of Education will also work with Al Jalila Foundation to inspire Emirati students to pursue careers in medicine through events like Destination Medicine, a student conference featuring talks from medical professionals and interactive workshops. This year the event was attended by more than 330 Emirati students aged 11-13 from 21 schools across the UAE who learnt about first aid, sports medicine, nursing, and medical robotics.
Both Al Jalila Foundation and the Ministry of Education will work together to support the UAE's aim to build a knowledge-based, highly productive and competitive economy, that is developed with accessible and high-quality education and healthcare. The partnership will play an important role in furthering both organisations' strategic objectives and enable them to work over the long-term to support each other.