DUBAI: More than 70 students with hearing challenges have completed their tertiary education at Al Ain University after an innovative course equipped them with the educational skills and boosted their self-esteem, attendees at a session on People of Determination on day two of the Knowledge Summit 2019 learned.
During a discussion titled ‘Empowering People of Determination to Be Key Players in Sustainable Development’, Dr Noor Aldeen Atatreh, Chancellor at Al Ain University, said the BA course entailed detailed planning, research and implementation. Students initially faced abundant challenges, from equipment, devices and books to lack of social awareness.
Classrooms were equipped with technologies, an interpreter was used for signalling interpretation, and a supervisor was employed for follow-ups, while professors tailored their presentations accordingly.
“The first batch has graduated and this initiative was a success,” said Dr Atatreh; he highlighted a ‘solidarity of efforts’ involving management, trustees, staff and professors, but warned more could be done to help the estimated 14,000 students of determination in the UAE.
“If there isn’t enough collaboration, we will never succeed in making them part of the sustainable development plan and they will be excluded. Media can raise awareness and change the stereotype and mindset,” he noted.
Dr Atatreh said he hopes to see more such initiatives and policies, which could lead to more institutions mandated to supporting them. “The initiative was a reflection of the wise leadership in the UAE, which was, and will remain, a champion for issues of concern to all People of Determination. Only when we collaborate will we achieve sustainable development.” Organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of MBRF’s Chairman H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Summit is taking place November 19-20 at the Dubai World Trade Centre under the theme ‘Knowledge for Sustainable Development’. The event is set to showcase relevant experiences and best practices that have helped countries on their development journey in various sectors.