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UAE gives early education a tech boost

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Ritika Sharma / Emirates Business

Technological interventions have changed everything from the way to shop to how we play. It has not left the education industry untouched either. Pencils, notebooks and hand-written assignments have given way to tablets and emails, completely changing the way we looked at education just a decade ago.
Countries like UAE are leading the bandwagon to transform the industry and comply with the standards that the rapidly-changing technology has set for us.
Steadfast to meet the UAE’s vision to become a knowledge-based economy, the education industry is running that necessary extra mile. UAE education industry, which is pegged at over $7 billion, is breaking the stereotypes and introducing ‘innovative-technology’ from the beginning of learning process in schools.
Going beyond the conventional approach of introducing technology to students of high grades, educationists and academicians in UAE are advocating policies for introduction of technology in early learning institutions like nurseries or primary schools.
However educationists do not deny the fact that creative and innovative thinking is a prerequisite to make optimal use of technology in early-education.
Monica Valrani, CEO of Ladybird Nursery & Early Learning Centre, Dubai, told Emirates Business, “A young child’s mind is like a sponge, it is ready to absorb any information given. Nurturing their minds through technology and new media means has become an unsaid
necessity in the burgeoning education sector.”
“At pre-school, creative thinking among children can be developed through activities like role play, storytelling time, creative projects, drama, music and building blocks by using technology as a focal point,” she added.
“The use of technology in the educational sector has increased in the past few years. With the younger generation’s cumulative interest in the latest gadgets and working online, it is imperative that educational organisations should also introduce technology into teaching strategies right from the beginning,” Aarma Behan, who is teaching in one of the nurseries in Dubai since last five years, told Emirates Business.
Earlier, there have been concerns about the overuse of technology in children, but parents now understand that laptops and tablets are not just about games.
“A few years back there were apprehensions and a lot of debate about replacing the conventional classrooms teaching tools with that of technology, but we need to keep in mind how things are changing around us.
“Education in any country should be the most advanced industry and for us in UAE we are committed to become a world leader in innovative classrooms,” said Ramah Sahib, a pre-school teacher based in Sharjah, told Emirates Business.

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