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UAE moves closer to being a global leader in Smart Learning by 2017

Dubai is on track to become an internationally-competitive leader in Smart and Contemporary Learning by 2017, with more schools getting electronic tablets, high speed internet access and other 21st century learning tools as part of UAE Vision 2021. This transformation is part of the AED1 Billion Smart Learning initiative launched by His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. By 2017, all K-12 government school classes will be boosted by the program -- benefiting not only students and teachers but also universities and employers, creating a new generation of technologically skilled and creative thinkers who become job seekers and job creators in diverse sectors. To ’export’ the lessons of the UAE’s successful model and share the empowerment with ambitious youths across the region, Connec ME Education -- a pioneer in youth and employment development -- is expanding itsprograms from the UAE to the wider MENA region, including Saudi Arabia, Oman and other markets. This will be achieved in collaboration with internationally recognized partners from the UK, Sweden and France among others. Mohammad Mahfouz Shadid: CEO of Connec ME Education explained: "Over half of the MENA region’s population is aged under 25 years, so by empowering youths we are actually uplifting the entire region. When you train a youth, you are developing an entire generation. These are not just the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders of today, because we are seeing very young achievers changing the world in business, technology, media, social activism, education and other fields." Considering that the Middle East has a high rate of youth unemployment compared to other regions, the advances in Smart Learning are expected to make graduates more self-dependent and more employable. The UAE’s Smart Learning program is strongly supported by entities such as the TRA, which contributed AED53 million for the implementation of the first phase of the program. Elaborating on the expected benefits from the regional expansion of their operations footprint, Ms Mariam Omran Al Hallami, Chief Operation Officer of Connec ME Education said: "We don’t just train youths to be job seekers, we also empower them to be job creators and creative thinkers. We partner with the very best organizations in the world because our region must learn from the best to be the best. Our youths have the advantage of being highly tech-savvy, creatively-minded, very comfortable with using apps, very active on social media and they have their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends worldwide. When you add the region’s high internet, mobile and social media penetration rates, there is no reason why our youths can’t take the lead globally by learning smarter, faster and easier. We are looking at a much brighter and better generation." Connec ME Education’s regional expansion is designed to make the region’s youthsglobally competitive by providing technology-driven solutions for education and vocational training, and will also have a positive chain reaction in areas like entrepreneurship, technology and culture.

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