GEMS Education recently hosted a conference with the aim of raising the quality of Arabic and Islamic Studies across its network of schools. Held at GEMS International School, the conference brought together more than 150 staff, including principals and heads of Arabic and Islamic studies departments, to discuss ways of further enhancing student outcomes.
The one-day conference offered staff a variety of workshops and opportunities to share best practices in the teaching of Arabic and Islamic Studies.
The workshops were run in partnership with Teacher Learning and Leadership for All (TELLAL) and the London Centre for Arabic Language Training (Sharek Centre), to strengthen GEMS Education’s commitment to the UAE’s vision to improve Arabic learning and Islamic studies.
TELLAL, the UAE’s first licensed teacher-training institute, provides support for Arabic, Islamic and social studies teachers, in the GEMS network, through training and professional development opportunities.
Dino Varkey, Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the education agenda of the UAE saying: “GEMS Education has always been committed to promoting the UAE’s national language and culture among its students and constantly strives to improve standards of learning and teaching in Arabic and Islamic education. We are seeing some remarkable academic progress by students across our network of schools.”
Akram Tarik, Principal, and CEO of GEMS Westminster School in Ras Al Khaimah, attended the conference and said: “We believe that every child should get a quality education, be a progressive learner, and become a global citizen. Therefore, we, at GEMS Westminster school are constantly looking to improve the quality of teaching provided for Arabic and Islamic studies, as the UAE places it high on its agenda.”
Delegates had the opportunity to hear from Max Stanton, the half English and half American traveler often referred to as ‘Max of Arabia’. Max, ‘who fell in love with the Middle East’, explained his connection to international schools and Arabic. He said: “My parents are both teachers in international schools and fuelled my love for travel. My passion for the Arabic language began when I was at a primary school in Yemen. Arabic is a noble endeavor and a key that can unlock many doors of opportunity.”
He reminded the GEMS teachers of the important role they play in teaching students these subjects and further added: “Students can either be very excited to learn the Arabic language or they can be dragged into a classroom. You have the power to light fires in the minds of children you teach. Knowledge is a gift – best share it.”