The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) unveiled the ‘Digital Knowledge Hub’ – a complete online platform to facilitate self-education and promote improvement – following the directives of MBRF Chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Launched on the occasion of the United Nations’ International Day of Education on January 24, at a seminar held at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation Hall at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) - Dubai Men’s College, the platform meets the wants of school and university students, as well as researchers and professionals in all disciplines. It provides a wealth of high-quality, reliable data that can be used in academic processes.
His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF, spoke at the seminar, together with Dr Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor of the Knowledge Project at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Dr Khaled Mohamed, Director of DDL & Digital Content.
“Education is the leading accelerator for sustainable solutions,” H.E. Bin Huwaireb asserted. “Providing comprehensive, high-quality, and fair access to education for everyone, coupled with integrating sustainability principles into curricula at educational institutions, permits us to more effectively address international challenges in a number of sectors.”
“Education is a crucial component in our Foundation’s strategies and plans, which, in turn, are in line with the vision of the UAE and its smart leadership to priorities education as a essential means to develop human capital and set up a strong expertise economy,” H.E. added, citing some of MBRF’s most distinguished projects to support education, namely, the Digital Knowledge Hub, the Literacy Challenge, and the Global Knowledge Index, among others.
Meanwhile, Dr Khaled Mohamed showcased the Digital Knowledge Hubplatform, explaining that it offers tremendous and numerous data resources, acting as a full-fledged and integrated platform for knowledge. Home to over 2.5 million items of digital content and a quarter of a million titles in several languages, the platform promotes reading with an intuitive interface and 15 specialized digital libraries providing material on space, history, and artificial intelligence, among different topics.
“The Digital Knowledge Hub offers access to all of MBRF’s publications, issued to unfold knowledge, fill the digital gap in the Arab world, and serve as an optimized platform for building custom digital repositories for organizations,” Dr Mohamed noted. “It is the first integrated Arabic programming platform, which serves to develop the programming and digital systems market in the Arab region, permitting establishments to build their digital repositories. This, in turn, adheres to global standards and helps support the knowledge and education sectors of the future all throughout the world.”
For his part, Dr Hany Torky mentioned the education sector and its connection to knowledge and the Global Knowledge Index. “The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) priorities best education for everyone,” he said. “They emphasize the significance of lifelong learning as a true accelerator transforming students from mere degree holders to experts with excellent qualifications and skills, applicable to the labour market.”
Dr Torky mentioned that data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) expose that there are 617 million children and teens across the world who can't read, write, or do simple mathematics. Furthermore, almost 50% of school-aged children in struggle zones do not attend schools; overall, there are 258 million children and youths who do not attend any formal schooling.
Dr Torky went on to showcase findings from the Global Knowledge Index, covering pre-university education, as well as technical and vocational education and training, and higher education. Switzerland, Finland, the United States of America, Singapore, and Luxembourg took the top five spots on the Index, he noted, including that the UAE came in 19th place in the higher education sector in the Global Knowledge Index.