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.”

In Doha, Director-General discusses Emergency Education Initiative with HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser

They expressed hope that this emergency initiative  will be supported
also by other donors and will be implemented in 2012 – 2015 in order to contribute to the realization of UNESCO’s main strategic objectives. The emergency initiative will support the programme and budget adopted by the 36th General Conference, in particular the reinforcement of leadership for Education for All, through advocacy, partnership and monitoring, with a special emphasis on girls and women. Concerted attention will be placed on the least developed countries, which are furthest away from reaching the Education for All goals.

 It will be further complemented by other global initiatives developed to translate the commitment made by the Heads of States at the 2010 MDG Summit, such as Her Highness’ “Educate-A-Child Initiative.”
 It will have three strategic priorities:
 1) Accelerate progress towards the EFA goals and MDG 2 in selected least developed countries (LDSs) and post conflict and post-disaster countries;
 2) advocate for education as key to sustainable developmennt at the global level; and
3) respond to the current financial shortfall in resources for education, including as regards, official development assistance (ODA), national educational budgets and UNESCO’s core educational budget.
 
The Initiative will focus on improving equitable access to quality basic education and learning opportunities and particular attention will be given to among others improving access to education, especially for marginalized groups, while making it relevant to the labour market.
The Director General Irina Bokova and HH Sheikha Mozah expressed the intention to finalise the programme of work for the implementation of this initiative by the end of February 2012.
The Director General thanked HH for her unwavering support for UNESCO’s core mandate in leading the Global agenda on education.
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Three Secrets of Learning Arabic

Arabic, the Middle East’s most widespread language has a unfamiliar alphabet, a fiendishly complex grammar, and a vocabulary enriched by 1400 years of literary culture. According to the U.S. State Department, only Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and Cantonese are as hard for native English speakers to learn.

Still, maybe you’re undaunted. Maybe you need to learn Arabic for your career. Or maybe you’re one of those travelers who long to step off the tourist trails and immerse themselves in a fascinating new culture.

If you’ve had some experience with foreign languages, you already have an idea of what it takes — above all, an appetite for hard work. But Arabic has special features that make it a different challenge from, say, Spanish or French. Here are few tips to make your journey easier.

Practice your ‘ayns. Unfortunately, Arabic has several consonants that don’t exist in English or any other Western language. The king of these is the ‘ayn (Arabic ?)—a perfectly ordinary sound for native speakers, but a major challenge for most novice learners, since it’s pronounced with muscles English speakers rarely use in speech. With diligent practice, though, even the ‘ayn can become second nature. If you put in the time and effort to master it and other difficult sounds at the outset, you’ll spare yourself a lot of trouble in the future (and perhaps impress new friends abroad with your accent).

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Get to the root of the problem.One reason why consonants are so key is that the majority of Arabic words are based on a so-called triliteral root — that is, a cluster of three specific consonants. A single root can be manipulated to produce many different words, all related in meaning. For instance, the root k-t-b is related to writing. The verb kataba means “to write”, the noun kit?b means “book”, a k?tib is a writer, and so on. As long as you know a word’s root, it’s often possible to guess its meaning, even if you’ve never seen it before. Learn as many roots and their meanings as you can, and you will be on your way to cracking Arabic’s immense vocabulary.

Learn a dialect — or two, or three. In a way, it’s misleading to say that “Arabic” is just one language. There’s classical Arabic, the language of the Qur’an. There’s its cousin, Modern Standard Arabic: the language of books, magazines and TV news. And then there are the numerous dialects that people actually speak at home, at work, and almost everywhere else outside of school. With Modern Standard, you can read poetry, surf the internet or debate politics — but in order to socialize or otherwise function in everyday life, you must learn the dialect of the area where you are living or traveling.

Unfortunately, few Arabic language programs teach dialects in any depth, so you may need a tutor to teach you the basics. Of course, the single best way to learn a dialect, and Arabic in general, is to live in an Arab country for a while. Your grasp of the language is bound to improve, and you just might come away with a new perspective on the world.

Acclaro is a global translation and localization firm that helps the world’s leading brands succeed across cultures. Acclaro offers a full range of services for creating and maintaining multilingual marketing campaigns, websites, documents, software and much more. From Asia to Europe and the Americas, Acclaro gives clients a local voice in global markets.

Article from articlesbase.com

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