GULF MEDICAL UNIVERSITY’S ‘UAE SCHOOL COUNSELORS MEET’ EXCHANGES IDEAS ON THE CURRENT AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
It is important for students to be aware of future prospects and employability of what they study, say experts
27th April 2017, Ajman: Gulf Medical University – Ajman, the leading private medical University of the region owned and operated by Thumbay Group organized the first ‘UAE School Counselors Meet’ at its campus on Thursday, April 27, 2017, with the aim of introducing the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and to give the participants an insight into the academic activities of the institution. Participated by around 100 school counselors and senior teachers from all over UAE, the event also served as a platform to exchange opinions in the current and future directions of the educational system.
Addressing the gathering, Prof. Hossam Hamdy, the Chancellor of Gulf Medical University (GMU), explained Gulf Medical University had successfully integrated the strategies, mission and vision of its academic education and the healthcare facilities, emerging as the first academic health system in the private sector of the Middle East region.
Further, elaborating on GMU’s modern and futuristic outlook, Prof. Hossam Hamdy said, “In the future, classrooms will have a very minor role. A major part of teaching and learning will take place outside the classrooms.” He also explained how research was an integral part of GMU’s undergraduate and postgraduate studies, right from the student’s first year. “Our students experience interactive learning. During their studies, they get to interact even with real patients, gaining first-hand knowledge about various diseases,” he added.
An interactive session with the Deans, faculty members and alumni of GMU was also part of the meet. This helped the participants to understand the various programs that are offered by each college of GMU, and familiarized them with the admissions procedures, quality of academics and faculty of the University.
A panel discussion on the topic “Is the present education system preparing students to face the challenges of tomorrow?” was also held as part of the event, and the panelists included renowned educators like Prof. Gita Ashok Raj, Provost, Gulf Medical University, Dr. Mandy Ewen, Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology College of Education, Zayed University, Dubai Campus, Dr. Smitha Dev, Psychology Course Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Psychology AbuDhabi University, Mr. Srivalsan Murugan, Principal, Our Own English High School Sharjah and Mr. Saeed Nouri Salah, Inspector – Ajman Private School.
The panel discussion touched upon various aspects of present day education and explored solutions. Pointing out the gaps in the educational system, Mr. Saeed Nouri suggested fully trained teachers who are clear of their duties and responsibilities as a prerequisite to addressing shortcomings in the present education system. “Teachers should have a say in the modernization of academics. It is equally important for students to be aware of future prospects and employability of what they study,” he said. Dr. Smitha Dev opined that conducting aptitude tests is important for counselors in helping students choose careers according to their aptitude and interests. Stressing on the need for ‘inclusivity’ in classrooms, Dr. Mandy Ewen said that teachers should be trained to handle children with special needs, in an inclusive environment. Mr. Srivalsan Murugan explained the ‘identification-intervention-inclusion’ method followed at his school, to ensure inclusiveness. In her concluding remarks, Prof. Gita Ashok Raj said that abilities like soft skills and emotional quotient were some of the most sought-after qualities for employability in today’s competitive and fast-paced world.
Prominent school counselors were honored at an award ceremony held as part of the event. The awardees included: Ms. Priscilla Mathew, Ms. Tabassum Sheikh, Ms. Ghufran Abdul Khader, Mr. Saeed Nouri Salah and Ms. Sudha Valsan. The participants also toured the Gulf Medical University campus including its advanced research and innovation facilities.