Schools in the Gulf region are missing link in equipping young people with employable skills

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Ashwin Assomull, Partner in the International Education Practice, Parthenon.
Ashwin Assomull, Partner in the International Education Practice, Parthenon. Photo-supplied

Job preparation needs to start earlier than university for students to have adequate skills for the workplace

School systems in the Gulf region need to start equipping students with employable skills at grade 8, much earlier than thought, in order for them to have better chances of entering and succeeding in the workplace.

This was one of the highlights of a presentation made Ashwin Assomull, Partner in the International Education Practice, Parthenon, acknowledged global experts on education, at the ongoing Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) exhibition, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

According to Assomull, the earlier preparation will enable the students to develop the expertise of the skills desired by today’s employers. Among these employable skills are appropriate subject knowledge, being able to work with teams, strong communication skills especially in English, understanding of technology and its uses, and the ability to adapt in a cross-cultural working environment.

In a survey that Parthenon conducted among 100 employers in the UAE, many think students have insufficient employable skills. “This can be addressed by advancing the job preparation stage earlier towards the school system. At the age of 16, students need to be given a broader range of choices on what careers they would like to pursue because this will affect their choice of which courses to take at the university level,” Assomull added.

On its second day, GESS 2013 continues to impress delegates and participants from across the GCC with a wide range of exhibits showcasing the latest smart learning tools and technological advances in education.

Through various presentations and panel discussions, educators and school administrators are discovering the appropriate smart learning technologies that can be adopted in the classroom to promote a better and more efficient learning environment.

“There has been a massive interest in the smart learning tools that are on showcase at the exhibition, a testament to how technology is influencing educational development in the Gulf region. We are delighted to have provided a platform in which schools can select the best technology solutions that they feel will have an impact on how teachers become more effective and how students can learn more with the aid of smart learning tools,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F&E Group, organisers of the biggest educational exhibition in the Gulf.

The last day of GESS 2013 and the Global Education Forum (GEF) will feature a special panel discussion on the “Global Challenges in the Education Sector” and a presentation on how educational technology has become an educational imperative. Live updates on proceedings will be made via social media, follow @GESSeducation on Twitter.

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