Deutsche Bank supports ICDL’s training program for orphan children in Qatar.

In partnership with Qatar Charity, 25 orphans will be taught basic computing skills
UAE, 16 February, 2015 Deutsche Bank and ICDL Arabia, the governing body and certification authority for the ICDL certificate program in Egypt, GCC States and Iraq, have joined forces to provide 25 underprivileged and orphan children from Doha with the much needed and highly valuable digital skills.

The young beneficiaries will undergo comprehensive training in Doha’s Hi Tech Training Center and receive the ICDL certificate for Base Profile upon completion of the module. The candidates registered on December 28, 2014 and the 4-week training program will commence in February 2015.

ICDL’s training program will teach the children the fundamentals of computing, such as explaining the components of a computer and the basics of operating system to enable them to interact in the technology-reliant world. The Base Profile consists of four modules – Computer Essentials, Online Essentials, Word Processing, and Spreadsheets. The learning sessions will be conducted in a fun, safe and nurturing environment to make the experience more appealing and memorable, with gifts to be distributed to the participants. 
Deutsche Bank, who has been recognized for its various impactful Corporate Social Responsibility programs, will sponsor the training program for 25 boys and girls as ICDL Arabia’s partner. The collaboration also reflects the bank’s belief in the youth’s digital literacy and the urgent need to empower to use technology to gain a respectful position in the society.
Salah Jaidah, Chief Country Officer for Deutsche Bank AG in Qatar, stated: “It is with great pleasure that we partner with ICDL and support their training program for the less fortunate children in the State of Qatar. The program will provide these special kids with the necessary skills of the modern technology and it will enlighten their pass towards their future. At Deutsche Bank we are committed to bring our unparalleled global Corporate Responsibility engagement to the communities where we live and operate.”
Qatar Charity, one of the foundations in Qatar concerned with humanitarian work for relief and social developments, both locally and internationally, will be providing the kids group to enrol in IDCL’s training program.
Hind AL-Rayyashi, Program Specialist for orphan activities at the executive management of local development, Qatar Charity, said. “We would like to thank Deutsche Bank and ICDL Arabia for this excellent initiative for the orphans sponsored by Qatar Charity. We encourage community and international partnerships, where we seek to achieve the best for the orphans and their families in Qatar or abroad. We also seek to strengthen our ties with local, Arab and international bodies through programs, activities and several different services from different areas—aiming to build a generation that distinctly adheres to the customs and traditions of Islam and Arab culture, which in turn represents a significant step towards the achievement of the vision and mission of Qatar 2030.”
“On Behalf of the children, we are grateful for Deutsche Bank’s full support to this initiative and to our commitment making digital skills accessible to all youth regardless of their status in life. We aim to reinforce the digital proficiency, especially of young people because of our firm belief that safe proficient for computers are highly vital in today’s information age. Both Qatar Charity and ICDL Arabia extend their gratitude to Deutsche Bank for their contribution. We are looking forward to establishing more collaboration with prestigious organizations such as Deutsche Bank for us to continuously attain our goals,” concluded Jamil Ezzo, Director General, ICDL Arabia.   

GCC countries dominate top 5 Arab States recording in ICT development Index

Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, KSA, Oman rank in top 60 globally
UAE, December 24,  2014– ICDL Arabia, the governing body and certification authority for the ICDL certification program in Egypt, GCC States and Iraq, has expanded on the recent findings of the 2014 report published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations’ specialized agency for ICT,

pointing out the outstanding performance of the GCC countries in the report. The ITU’s flagship annual report ‘Measuring the Information Society Report’ has identified Gulf countries among the group of ‘most dynamic countries,’ having recorded above-average improvements in their ICT Development Index (IDI) rank over the past 12 months.

According to the UN report, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman are the top five among Arab States and within the top 60 globally in the IDI, a composite measure that ranks 166 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills. In the Arab States, Bahrain ranked number one with an IDI of 7.40 while the UAE jumped 14 places to earn second rank with an IDI of 7.03. Qatar was third with 7.01, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in fourth and Oman in fifth position with IDIs of 6.36 and 6.10, respectively.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General, ICDL Arabia, said: “These are exciting times for the ICT sector as the world is shifting towards a smarter society characterized by the integration of fresher technologies, the adoption of new standards and legislations on digital advancement, and the emergence of products and solutions for mobility, business and the likes. The recent UN study demonstrates the GCC countries leading role in the technology shift, with five GCC states joining the world’s top 60 countries in ÍCT development. The UAE in particular has made a significant improvement, jumping 14 positions to its current global ranking of 32.”
The IDI top 30 rankings include Australia, Bahrain (rank 27), Canada, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore, and the USA. Denmark was ranked first, followed by the Republic of Korea which ranked second. The UAE, Qatar, KSA and Oman are at 32, 34, 47, and 52, respectively. Almost all countries surveyed improved their IDI rankings, with the CIS and Arab States demonstrating the highest improvements in regional IDI averages.
The report further highlighted that Internet usage continued to grow steadily at 6.6 per cent globally in 2014. The number of Internet users in developing countries has doubled in the last five years (2009-2014), with two thirds of all people online now living in the developing countries the end of 2014, almost 44 per cent of households globally will have Internet access at home, up from 40 per cent last year and 30 per cent in 2010. In developed countries, , 78 per cent of households now have home Internet access, compared to 31 per cent in developing countries, with just 5 per cent in the 48 UN Least Developed Countries.

Doha College and Pearson Collaborate to Promote E-Learning in Qatar.

Event demonstrates potential of digital learning technology to transform education in Arab region.
Doha, Qatar, 18 November 2014: Leading educators from Qatar and around the Arab World have gathered in Doha to discuss how e-learning can be used to overcome key educational challenges facing the region.

Doha College’s Annual 2014 Conference, which took place recently, focused on how the latest available technology, such as iPads, can be exploited to promote cost effective, high quality teaching and learning environments in Qatar and further afield
Participants explored and discussed how education can be transformed to better suit the needs of learners in the 21stCentury, and the fundamental role technology will play in meeting this goal.
Organizers of the Conference hope that the event will encourage educators to harness the power of digital education in classrooms to help meet the Supreme Education Council’s goal of providing learners with exciting learning environments that increase motivation and creativity amongst learners.
Mark Leppard – Principal of Doha College said: “Digital technology has the potential to improve the learning outcomes of all learners. Emerging technologies afford highly personalised learning opportunities, allowing teachers to cater for the individual learning needs of each student. They can also be utilized to satisfy each learner’s distinct, preferred style of learning, providing extremely flexible, engaging and ultimately effective, teaching and learning for Qatar’s current generation of learners”.
Promoting e-learning in the country’s education institutions is an important goal of the Government of Qatar, who sees the utilization of digital technology as fundamental to the country being able to achieve the human development goals set out in the National 2030 Vision.
Sue Mainey of Pearson, a supporter of this year’s event, says that Conferences such as this are critical for ensuring educators are given the training they need to make the most of new educational technology, and being able to apply it in ways most useful to for learners. She says:
“A substantial body of international research shows that technology on its own cannot have the transformative, scalable effect on education that we need to make real, positive change in the lives of learners. The most effective learning technologies are those that improve on existing pedagogies, creating a more positive and successful learning experience, and which also embed broad-reaching 21stCentury skills in learners, helping them not only acquire academic knowledge, but also prepare them for success in a rapidly-changing, technology-driven workforce.
“It is very important, therefore, that educators are not only given the resources to make this happen, but also the right training so that they have the skills and knowledge needed to take advantage of technological developments, and ensure that their students are being given the opportunity to make the most of the technological revolution that is occurring in our classrooms”.
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Qatar International School endorses ICDL certification program.

Partnership to further boost the students and teachers’ digital literacy and expertise
UAE, May 26, 2014 – Qatar International School, one of the pioneering British schools in Qatar,  and ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the Gulf region and Iraq, have signed an annual accreditation agreement aimed at implementing the requirements and standards of the ICDL certification program at the academic institution. Under the terms of agreement, the Doha-based school will now be able to administer examinations to students and teachers who want to take up the ICDL Certification.


Robert Dunn, Head of ICT and Computer Science at the secondary school, Qatar International School, said: “The partnership will enable us to contribute to Qatar’s transformation into a genuine digital society. We fully support the empowerment of our students and teachers through a globally recognized certification, which will be useful in their current learning journey and future college lives. This also complements our school’s own mission of preparing our students to be highly productive members of society. ” 
“We strongly encourage our entire community to take advantage of this opportunity. To our students, having an ICDL certificate gives you unrivaled opportunities because you will learn more about the emerging markets, latest technologies and cyber threats. Our teachers will also benefit greatly from this program as an ICDL certificate means your knowledge and skills are up to date and at par with the rest of the world,” he added. 

Students and teachers from Qatar International School will benefit from the updated and flexible structure of international Information and Communications Technology (ICT) certification program of ICDL. Under the revised structure, three additional modules – IT Security, Project Planning, and Online Collaboration – have been added to the initial seven modules to further bolster the digital knowledge and efficiency of the students and teachers.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “Our collaboration with Qatar International School reflects our focus on academic institutions as ideal platforms for nurturing computer literacy from the formative years. We are happy to be working closely with the school and we look forward to this fruitful partnership as we hope to collaborate with more academic institutions in the future”.  
 “With the new ICDL profile, both students and teachers from the school can customize their own program to ensure that they gain the digital literacy and expertise they need, including dealing with potential cyber threat. They may combine any of the modules to create their own individual ICDL Profile. They will definitely gain up-to-date knowledge and skills which are validated by a test, from our 13 available modules,” Ezzo added.
In addition, the new ICDL Profile has three different levels of digital proficiency and certifications. The Base Profile offers four essential pre-set modules, while the Standard Profile contains all four Base modules plus three additional modules selected from a list of five modules. The Expert Profile, meanwhile, provides greater choice in the subject areas that can be certified through the ICDL program. ICDL’s more flexible structure was implemented in consultation with computer users, subject matter experts, and computer professionals from all over the world.

Final of the Arab Mobile App Challenge in Doha showcases region’s entrepreneurial talent.

Region’s Tech-Savvy Talent on Show in Qatar
Doha, Qatar, 4th February, 2014: The winners of the 2014 Arab Mobile Learning Challenge (AMAC) have been announced at an event in Doha. The winning team, “Loujie” from the UAE has won US$50,000. The second prize of US$30,000 went to the “Crowd Analyzer” team also from the UAE, and the third prize of US$20,000 has been won by Jordan’s “Markabaty” team.

The competition was open to young people from across five countries in the Middle East and North Africa – the UAE, Jordan, Tunisia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. One team from each of these countries has won an opportunity to compete at the World Mobile Congress, which will take place in Barcelona later this year. These teams included “iCaps” from the UAE, “The Pen” from Jordan, “Grandfit” from Tunisia, “Baharat” from Saudi Arabia and “Eductechno2” from Qatar.

150 teams entered the competition with 15 chosen to compete in the Doha Final. The final teams were judged on the creativity, presentation and innovation of their app, as well as the design of their accompanying business model. Apps needed to be relevant to the hospitality, education, entertainment or employment sectors, nurturing employability skills in entrants relevant to the region’s workplaces. The teams had undergone an intense mentoring programme, led by technical and business experts from across the region.
Pearson is a major sponsor of AMAC. The company’s regional Qualifications Director, Mark Andrews, who was also a judge at the Finals, says he was impressed by the calibre of the finalists, and that many of the apps entered had the potential to go onto to become viable business start-ups.
“Pearson is constantly seeking out the latest, most effective technology that will help our leaners realise their potential, so it is safe to say that we regularly see some of the world’s most dynamic digital innovations. Some of the apps that we have been lucky enough to see through this competition meet an international standard, and we are thrilled to have worked with this group of ambitious, talented and hard-working students”.
AMAC was developed to help address the challenges the Arab World faces in relation to high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment. Entrepreneurship rates of the region’s youth are low by international standards – something that those involved in AMAC hope the Competition will balance out. Mr Andrews says:

“Promoting an entrepreneurial spirit among the region’s burgeoning youth population will have an impact on unemployment rates in MENA, as increased entrepreneurial activity is linked to economic growth and job creation. There is a high degree of digital and technological talent amongst the Arab World’s school leavers and graduates – what is needed are opportunities where this capability can be effectively channelled. The AMAC Competition has provided an excellent forum for ambitious, tech-savvy Arab youth to demonstrate their skill, and we are excited to see what lies ahead for the Competition’s finalists”.

Qatari Students to Benefit from New Learning Resources

Pearson and ScorePlus to provide programmes that will help overcome learning challenges in Qatar
Doha, Qatar, 1st September 2013: Pearson, the world’s largest education company, and StudyPlus, a subsidiary of ScorePlus Middle East, have announced a partnership which will see thousands of school children in Qatar provided with state-of-the-art learning programmes at their newly established Centre at Al Saad Doha.

The programmes cover key areas in Qatar’s mathematics, literacy and English language curricula and have been specially developed to overcome the learning challenges commonly faced by students in these areas.
The programmes include Mathematics Navigator, a highly flexible learning tool designed to overcome misconceptions and fill critical gaps in students’ mathematics knowledge by building students’ conceptual understanding and problem solving skills. Students’ algebra skills will also benefit through the use of Onramp to Algebra, a programme designed to ensure students are adequately prepared for advanced algebra instruction. 
Literacy Navigator will also be implemented under the project to develop Qatari students’ skills in comprehending informational text and to help students navigate the texts found in their content area classes, such as science and social studies.
English language development will be assisted through the implementation of the Language Centralprogramme in schools, targeting a student’s conceptual understanding, academic vocabulary, written and oral language and comprehension skills.
Nigel Kelly, Head of Middle East publishing at Pearson, is convinced that the availability of these programmes in Qatar will help the country’s students achieve their learning potential, and play a key role in realising the Qatari Government’s goal of creating a competitive, knowledge based economy.
“Under the Qatari National Vision 2030, the Qatari Government is seeking to create a diversified economy reliant on a number of sectors other than just the oil and gas industries. In order to achieve this goal, the Government understands that it needs an advanced educational system, and increased participation in the workforce by nationals. The provision of programmes such as the Math and Numeracy Navigator will contribute in a small but significant way to the fulfilment of this ambitious vision”.
Mr HukumatKalwani, Chairman and Managing Director at ScorePlus Middle East believes the two companies are well placed to deliver the new initiative:
“ScorePlushas branches in Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE and has been established in the Middle East for a number of years. We have worked with students and schools across the region, providing internationally acclaimed programmes. These include theEnglish language programme,Inlingua, andthe world famous Princeton Review Test Preparation courses for SAT, TOEFL and IELTS. This experience has given us an insight into the unique learning needs of students in Qatar and the local knowledge necessary to deliver educational programmes that make a real difference to those that undertake them.”
Pearson and ScorePlus hope their partnership will raise the standard of literacy and mathematics in classrooms across Qatar, benefitting those students who are most at risk of falling behind their peers. Mr Kelly says:

“In almost every classroom in the world there are students who struggle to keep pace. By partnering with ScorePlus to deliver these internationally acclaimed educational resources, we can help all students, including those with learning difficulties, to overcome the challenges they face and achieve their best possible results. Pearson firmly believes that every child has the potential to succeed in their education, and the introduction of these programmes into Qatari schools is another way we are making our vision a reality.”

Dr. Finn Kydland, Nobel Laureate – Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

Policy Consistency and the Growth of Nations
Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, will host Dr. Finn Kydland in Doha as part of the Richard M. Cyert Distinguished Lecture Series in Business Management. Dr. Kydland holds the Richard P. Simmons Distinguished Professorship at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned his Ph.D. He is also the Henley Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Carnegie Mellon alumnus Dr. Kydland was the joint recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, together with Edward C. Prescott. The pair was recognized “for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles.”