Today’s young population has a potentially extremely exciting and empowering future ahead of them in our rapidly evolving digital world. However, in this digital world that is evolving at lightning speed, are the students of today being properly prepared for the job market of the future?  

I was happy to discover that the UAE is well-placed to meet this challenge when I learned about the new and exciting changes being taken by the UAE Ministry of Education. New ministers, approaches and organisations are being set out to work on better preparing young people for the world. Structural changes will be set up in our education system, focusing on improving state schools and mentoring between birth to Year 4. Ahmad Al Falasi, currently Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, is to be Minister of Education, and Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and head of the UAE’s space agency, will oversee public education and how young people are taught about technology.  

This says a lot about the future-focused direction we are heading towards and the emphasis we are placing on educating our youth for tomorrow’s jobs.  According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of today’s primary school going children will be employed in jobs that do not even exist today. Meanwhile, many jobs that exist today will become automated by AI and machine learning in the future. According to McKinsey Global, it is predicted that almost half of all workplace activities could be automated in the future. All of this changes so much of what the youth needs from today’s education system. Thankfully, we live in a country where our leadership has the foresight and the vision to take all of this into consideration. 

The UAE: A beacon for education 

The UAE, for its part, has laid emphasis on education as being a cornerstone to success, development and growth. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has always considered education as one of the key pillars of the country’s rapid advancements. He has said that “Investment in human development is the only investment that does not know loss. Our goal is to be the best in education globally. We want an educational system that does not depend on information-teaching but trains the mind on creativity and innovation in thinking.”  

From creating architectural marvels that define skylines to sending humans and probes to space and creating pioneering initiatives that have since been replicated by the rest of the world, the UAE is a beacon for upholding the value of education. So much so that the UAE was recently ranked first globally in three indexes related the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of Quality Education. The country was ranked first in the Primary Education Enrolment and Literacy Index in the Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum, as well as first in terms of the flow of the international students’ index published by IMD. 

HSDF Initiatives 

This all served as inspiration for us at the Hussain Sajwani-DAMAC Foundation to build upon the established progress and excellence mentioned above. We are pleased to announce our proactive collaboration with Dubai Schools Project to offer scholarships for UAE National children for a period of five years. This was an initiative very close to my heart because I believe no child should have to compromise on their education because of financial difficulties. 

HSDF is always looking for ways to help support local communities, and education is very integral to our ethos as a charitable foundation. Every child deserves to have a proper education, so they have all the tools they need to establish their careers, provide for their families and be the leaders of tomorrow. 

This new initiative follows the launch of the Fresh Slate Initiative which was announced at the start of Ramadan this year, to aid detainees in Dubai’s Punitive and Correctional Institutions who have been charged for petty offences. These initiatives form part of the Foundation’s pipeline of a trio of CSR activities for 2022.  

One Million Arab Coders Initiative 

In 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the One Million Arab Coders initiative to encourage Arab youth to learn the language of coding to better equip themselves for future disruption in technology and the job market. Today, the initiative, which has recently wrapped up, comprises a global community that includes students who are opting to redefine themselves, tutors that are dedicating their time to help students learn, and corporate institutions that are investing their knowledge and resources towards the cause. Promoting sustainable causes for the betterment of society is the founding principle of the Hussain Sajwani – DAMAC Foundation, and we are proud to have adopted this initiative, which offers a direct path to a prosperous future.  

What needs to be done? 

 It is upon us to ensure that the students of today have all the tools they need to take on the jobs of the future. Disruptive changes to business models will have a profound impact on the job market in the years ahead. Many of the major drivers of change currently being felt across global industries are expected to have a major impact on jobs as some will become irrelevant and new jobs will be created. We see the beginnings of this today, as some of the most in-demand occupations did not even exist 10 or even five years ago. However, these changes to the job market will only accelerate in the coming years.  

Overall, the goal is to create learning tools from the very earliest stages to prepare students for the modern job market. The UAE is investing heavily in digital industries of the future, which require expertise that is in high demand all over the world. That is why commitment to beneficial education initiatives such as the above will help prepare our children to become productive members of society in the years to come. 

 

Educating for Tomorrow 

Today’s young population has a potentially extremely exciting and empowering future ahead of them in our rapidly evolving digital…