Dina’s Dubai Partnership: Key developments

Image top: Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith and Ghadeer Abu Shamat

Dina is delighted to announce that her engagement with GEMS Education https://www.gemseducation.com/organisation/about-us/, which started last year during her stay in Dubai, is developing at an exciting pace. Dina’s report: Insights Into Engagements Of Host And Migrant Stakeholders In Education With The Positioning Of Arabic In Dubai, 2021, based on consultations with school leaders, inspectors, teachers, parents and children in Dubai, carried in the period January – May 2021, using interviews and focus discussion groups, provided new insights into serious concerns about the provision, positioning and future of Arabic in education and everyday life in the UAE. These concerns have been already identified in research studies not only in the UAE, but also in other Arabic speaking countries in the region. The report made a number of recommendations. One of them was to: create a Centre of Excellence for Arabic in the UAE, which would have  a team of relevant: researchers, school improvement partners and professional development specialists, who would work on developing: initial teacher training programmes, early and continues professional development, biliteracy across the curriculum and active involvement of all stakeholders with the aim to improve the positioning of Arabic in the education system.

GEMS Steering Committee Team led by Mrs Ghadeer Abu Shamat, Vice President Education, and Superintendent –  CEO of GEMS Al Khaleej International School – US curriculum school in Dubai (gemsakns.com) has been working since November 2021 on making this vision a reality. Dina is delighted to announce that she is now a member of the Expert Advisory Board for GEMS Centre of Excellence for Arabic focusing on bilingual/multilingual aspects of its work and mission.

As Burj al Arab in Dubai is one of the leading lights of the modern architecture, this initiative is focused on developing a leading light of the modern Arabic education.

The main aim is to develop excellent practice focused on creating innovative and engaging ways to improve skills in Arabic  and implement it across all GEMS schools in Dubai. The physical hub for this Centre will be based in GEMS Al Barsha School, https://www.gemsnationalschool-barsha.com/en, led by Mr Karim Murcia. GEMS as the biggest independent education organisation in the region is investing substantial funds and efforts in the development of facilities, resources and ways of working which will make this Centre a beacon of excellent practice for all international schools looking to make Arabic more integral to their student experience. The official opening of the Centre is timetabled for the first week in May 2022. Dina is very much looking forward to joining the team in Dubai in person for that special occasion and a line-up of activities for all stakeholders being planned during that week.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

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