Project to educate 30m Arabs by 2030

[Jamal Bin Huwaireb, CEO of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) addressing the Knowledge Summit. – KT photo by Shihab]

‘Eradication of Illiteracy Challenge’ aims to fight ignorance and extremism.

The UAE announced yet another initiative to eradicate illiteracy from the Arab region by 2030, on the sidelines of the two-day Knowledge Summit, which began on Tuesday.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, launched the ‘Eradication of Illiteracy Challenge’ which will provide right to education for 30 million Arabs under the age of 18.

Currently, the illiteracy rate in the Arab countries stands at 27.1 per cent, or nearly 54 million people.

Jamal bin Huwaireb, the CEO of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), said: “We are delighted to be adding a new achievement to the foundation’s track record today, as we announce the launch of the ‘Eradication of Illiteracy Challenge’ project, in collaboration with Unesco, the United Nations Development Programme and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI),

“This project aims to combat illiteracy and eradicate it from our Arab region by 2030, by providing the right to education for the 30 million Arabs under the age of 18. Education is our best tool to fight ignorance and extremism, and the only way for the development and wellbeing of our people and societies.”

Several years ago the UAE had announced its aim to completely eradicate illiteracy from the emirates, and, today, the illiteracy rate is less than one per cent.

“The Knowledge Summit, which bears the theme ‘Knowledge and the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, synchronises its topics and activities with the UAE Government’s plans and strategies to capitalise on the opportunities brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the benefit of the society at large,” Huwaireb said.

“To that end, our government set up the Fourth Industrial Revolution Council, as well as the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes ambitious projects for the sustainability of our society.

“The Knowledge Summit provides a platform that brings together decision makers, thinkers, experts and pioneers in the knowledge industry, as well as scientists, academics and specialists from all around the world, to discuss the dimensions and components of this revolution, as well as its impact on decision-making.”

Journey has begun

Emirates News Agency (Wam) reported earlier this year that illiteracy rates in the Arab region were likely to increase because of the on-going crisis, with nearly 13.5 million children that do not attend school.

The UAE has already started its journey towards providing the right to education for Arabs. Sheikh Mohammed recently launched a free online education platform for 50 million students around the Arab world. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Arabic eLearning Project encourages researchers to translate 5,000 videos, 1,000 of video editing and 11 million words of math and science material into Arabic, which will be available online for free to Arab students. The MBRGI foundation also launched the One Million Arab Coders initiatives in October, which aims to equip Arab students with knowledge and training in the field.

Overall, MBRGI has launched more than 1,400 projects aimed towards providing knowledge and education to the Arab world.

Source: Khaleej Times