GEMS Education and Siemens sign ground-breaking MoU to unite education and industry through KHDA’s Rahhal initiative

Sunday 23 June 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

GEMS Education and Siemens have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop new and innovative initiatives designed to increase collaboration and integration between the education sector and industry.

The new partnership with Siemens builds on ‘Rahhal’, an initiative of Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Rahhal encourages schools to think outside-the-box and develop innovative learning opportunities that benefit students.

The new agreement aims to add value to the transfer of knowledge and expertise to GEMS Education students, while also increasing and enhancing the sustainability aspects within GEMS Education, and promoting digitalisation.

The launch event was held at GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa (FPS), GEMS Education’s newly appointed Centre of Excellence for Digital Industries, on 23 June 2019. In attendance were a number of high-profile guests, including Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA; Dino Varkey, CEO of GEMS Education; and Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General at KHDA, said: “This is a first-step towards recognising industry-academia partnerships at the school-level and a reflection of Rahhal’s potential to truly disrupt education. We hope the move will encourage students and teachers to co-create cities of the future by working with real-world scientists and innovators. This partnership can potentially encourage many more schools to come forward and partner with Rahhal in an effort to extend learning opportunities outside the classroom.”

Through the GEMS Education-Siemens partnership, GEMS students will gain access to industry-level courses and qualifications, support from industry experts, and internships. They will also have the opportunity to be part of an energy efficiency programme that will be adapted into a case study specific to their school, while also partnering with universities for accreditation.

Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East, said: “A strong partnership between academia and industry is key to developing sustainable knowledge economies, and ensuring students have the tools and skills they need to succeed. We have a responsibility to invest in future generations so they may embrace the opportunities afforded by a digital economy, and this partnership will demonstrate the positive impact of technology and hands-on training in education.”

The new initiatives will be launched at FPS, with the school heavily involved in ensuring the programmes are suitable for students, embedding industry-level content into the curriculum, and hosting competitions and talks. Opportunities will initially be available to secondary and sixth form students, before being rolled out to all age groups and across the GEMS network bof schools.

Matthew Tompkins, Principal of FPS, said: “Schools of the future will evolve into hubs of learning, connecting young people with a personalised menu of opportunities linked to industry. Not all of these opportunities will be available at school, some will be in the workplace or in different learning institutions, while others will be accessed via cutting-edge technology from anywhere in the world. The future of education is being developed right now, and this calls for a pioneer to pull all the opportunities together. GEMS FirstPoint School is that pioneer.”

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