iEARN International Conference, Doha-Qatar

I EARN Annual International Conference And Youth Summit

A cultural programme being presented during the opening ceremony. Right: Dr Dalia Khalil, a member of the executive board of iEARN. PICTURES: Nasser TK

By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter

Qatar’s initiative to provide world-class education in the Middle East is an inspiration for other countries in the region, said Dr Dalia Khalil, a member of the executive board of iEARN.

Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the 20th iEARN International Conference and 17th Youth Summit, organised by Reach Out To Asia (Rota), Dr Khalil said education is a major priority for Qatar. “Education is in the air, it can be easily spotted anywhere you go in the city. The small words written about education in various parts of the city are symbolic of the country’s priority for education,” she explained.

The official said that the ongoing conference would discuss the effective use of ICT as a major tool in educational development. “The expected outcomes of the conference are many as we have teachers and students taking part in the conference,” she added.

Dr Khalil said the objectives for teachers are more networking and sharing of learning practices in their areas and across countries. “The students are supposed to benefit from more cultural exchanges and connect with each other face to face,” she added.

Dr Khalil also pointed out that the Internet has brought about revolutionary changes in education and ICT is used in every sphere of the teaching and learning process. “iEARN is a network of students and teachers in more than 120 countries connected through the Internet on collaborative projects in different curriculum. Each teacher is free to choose the most suitable

programmes,” she said, highlighting that this collaboration has enabled teachers and students to get the best practices in education.

As for Qatar hosting the first ever iEARN conference in the Gulf, Dr Khalil was of the opinion that Rota had made a very organised bid for the conference. “The iEARN conference needs to be applied for. Rota made a successful bid for Qatar with a definite plan. The bid by Rota was well organised, which made us think of awarding the conference to Qatar,” she elaborated.

Dr Khalil said the conference would focus on topics such as environment, cultural diversity and the use of ICT in the classroom.

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