The launch was held at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail in the presence of Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, who also delivered a keynote address. Over 100 business leaders joined the event, which largely focused on the evolution of the K-12 learning experience and how to prepare students for a rapidly changing world.
Attending guests included Dino Varkey, CEO, GEMS Education; Michael Gernon, Chief Education Innovation Officer, GEMS Education; Markus Strohmeier, Senior Executive Vice President, Siemens Middle East and UAE; Ivor McGettigan, Partner, Al Tamimi & Co; Faraz Khalid, CEO, noon; Dr Imad Y. Hoballah, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, American University in Dubai; and Dr Khalid Khawaja, VP Academic Affairs, RIT Dubai.
A first-of-its-kind initiative, the five Centres of Excellence include: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at GEMS Dubai American Academy; Digital Industries and Sustainability at GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa; Aviation and Space at GEMS International School – AL Khail; Performance and Theatre Technologies at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis; and Entrepreneurship and Youth Start-up at GEMS World Academy – Dubai.
The GEMS Xhibit event served as an opportunity to highlight the tech-innovation skills of students in front of industry experts, and underpinned the value that innovation brings to education and how it contributes to shaping the future of young people. Memorandums of Understanding in the fields of curriculum leadership and development support for AI, robotics, entrepreneurship, sustainability and e-commerce were signed between GEMS Education and key partners including noon, Siemens, RIT Dubai, Al Tamimi & Co, and American University in Dubai.
Dino Varkey, CEO, GEMS Education, said: “Our students have been at the forefront of developing innovative and creative ideas to solve complex problems. At GEMS Education, our goal is to offer experiential learning and promote the innovation and creative skills of our students. Our GEMS Centres of Excellence will not only benefit from the knowledge, expertise and projects of our key strategic partners, but they will also provide limitless opportunities to our students. Through these partnerships, GEMS Education students will gain exclusive insights into skills and jobs of the future through project-based internships. They will also learn through bespoke curricula on technology-oriented subjects like artificial intelligence, drones, space engineering and performance arts production.”
Michael Gernon, Chief Education Innovation Officer, GEMS Education, said: “This is what future-focused education should be about – bringing together the very latest thinking with technology applications and AI through a range of real-life challenges and partnerships with leading businesses and universities. It will add both unique and incredible value into the K-12 sector in a way that has not been possible before. The focus on innovation, research and development at GEMS Education is a significant one across the entire company, with the Centres of Excellence leading the way. We are aiming to blur the traditional boundaries of school, university and employment, and create a new learning ecology for GEMS students – one which will see them earn a range of credentials and qualifications from our partners from age 14 onwards and, through these unique experiences, be better prepared for the world of the future than any other students.”
Dr David A. Schmidt, President, American University in Dubai, said: “AUD is so pleased, proud and honoured to strengthen our long-running collaborative partnership with GEMS Education. This partnership is emblematic of both institutions’ commitment to education in the UAE and the immense benefits of collaboration.”
Markus Strohmeier, Senior Executive Vice President, Siemens Middle East and UAE, said: “Our aim is to give students hands-on experience of the power of digitalization, using smart building technologies to analyse energy consumption at GEMS FPS school, and working together to identify sustainability measures. We’re proud to be strengthening the bond between academia and industry, demonstrating the positive impact of digitalization and supporting students to develop skills they’ll need to embrace a digital economy.”
Seventeen school teams comprising GEMS Education students showcased their Global Innovation Challenge solutions and products during GEMS Xhibit. These projects included ‘SHERO’ and ‘Smart Bandages’, both of which were selected to showcase at the Singularity University Global Summit in California earlier in the year.
About GEMS Education
GEMS Education is one of the world’s oldest and largest K-12 private education providers. It is a highly regarded choice for quality private education in the Middle East and North Africa region. As a company founded in the UAE in 1959, it holds an unparalleled track-record of providing diverse curricula and educational choices to all socio-economic means. GEMS Education now owns and operates 56 schools and educates over 130,000 students in the MENA region; and through its growing network of schools as well as charitable contributions is fulfilling the founder’s vision of putting a quality education within the reach of every child.
For further information about GEMS Education, visit: www.gemseducation.com or contact:
Yasser Alvi | Stacy Fernandes
Tel: (+971) 4 4507 600
© Press Release 2019