Quarterly Newsletter                                                       Supporting Research, Developing Minds                                                      June 2014 
لقراءة هذه النشرة باللغة العربية، يرجى النقر هنا
In This Issue
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Profile Corner

Full Video Profile
Hands on Learning: An Australian Expedition 

A delegation of leaders and educators from Ras Al Khaimah visited Frankston, Australlia this spring to explore a program designed to reduce the secondary school drop out rate. Take a look at what UAE's participants have to say about the trip and its relevance to Ras Al Khaimah.
New Publications
Education and the Reverse Gender Divide in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: Embracing the Global, Ignoring the Local

This book presents a comprehensive, nuanced view of gender and education in the context of resource-rich monarchies of the Arabian Gulf, namely, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait. In particular, it focuses on the gap between male and female school enrollment and educational achievement, which continues to widen in favor of girls in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. More Information


The urban and rural landscape of Ras Al Khaimah reflects the major investments in manufacturing and trade that have been made in recent years. As the emirate continues to grow, planning is underway to define how the city's diverse industrial, tourism, business, and other sectors can work in harmony to create a functional city, one that generates income, provides an agreeable home for its residents, and constitutes an attractive destination for tourists. Full Publication
Sustainable Desert Development: A Case Study of Al Jazeera Al Hamra

With a rich history, Al Jazeera Al Hamra is one of the only full standing abandoned villages in the Gulf region. This paper profiles the village as a prototype for coastal developments in arid regions while considering the traditional practices of the area's inhabitants, water usage, Gulf aesthetics, and residents' contemporary lifestyles. Full Publication
Intern Profiles: Meet Aaesha & Maitha

The Foundation is pleased to share the stories of Ms. Maitha Al Mansoori and Ms. Aaesha Al Ahmed, two 2014 interns. Maitha developed her abilities as an Education & Research Intern while Aaesha has been lending her skills to the Foundation as a Media Intern.
Press
Members of the press who are interested in covering or learning more about the Al Qasimi Foundation's research, events, or other initiatives may contact Ms. Caitrin Mullan, Program Manager for Outreach.
Our Mission
 
To aid in the social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates through high-quality policy research, strategic capacity development, and purposeful community engagement.


Welcome to the June edition of the Al Qasimi Foundation's quarterly newsletter. It's hard to believe that we're already half way through the year! It is my pleasure to share with you what our team has been involved with in recent months. The Capacity Development team has completed another successful semester of teacher professional development courses, in which we had a number of new and innovative courses including the application of brain research to education and inclusive education. The Sheikh Saqr Student Enrichment Program has also been busy with English classes for close to 150 grade ten students. Our Outreach team has been active providing an array of events including archery and Thai cooking classes, to name a few. In Research, we have seen the publication of a new book on education in the GCC, which incorporates research that the Foundation's team has been conducting for several years and thus provides the academic community with a single comprehensive resource on education in the Gulf. Finally, as we enter the holy month of Ramadan, we invite our local community to take part in our Iftar celebration this July.

Warm regards,

Dr. Natasha Ridge
Executive Director
Feature Articles
Whether hiking deserted dunes, scaling skyscrapers, working the red carpet, or leading interactive workshops, Emirates Falcons Photography is one team of artists who understand their calling and unique context. Recently, the group has pursued its goal of honoring Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE by collaborating with the Al Qasimi Foundation on two events. First, they donated their time and energy to capturing moments from the Second Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival. They later hosted a distinctive Community Gatherings event, Photography for Everyone. Full Story 

 

Capacity Development

Hands on Learning: A Solution to Student Disengagement? 

  

This April, a group of ten educators, policymakers, and researchers boarded a plane from Ras Al Khaimah to Australia in search of a possible solution to the issue of male student disengagement, a common challenge in public schools across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Al Qasimi Foundation looked at many initiatives designed to revive male students' interest in their schools and their studies, and found that the Hands on Learning (HOL) program, based in Australia, could be a potential fit for boys in the UAE because it supports students within their local school contextsFull Story   

 

In the Headlines

Three-quarters of Dubai's private schools have been given permission to raise fees for the coming academic year. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the emirate's private school regulator, has approved applications by 118 schools, including 20 non-profit. The Al Qasimi Foundation's Executive Director, Dr. Natasha Ridge, brings insight and a creative suggestion to the discussion. Full Story 

Leader Community Newspapers  (May 12, 2014)

This spring, the Al Qasimi Foundation took educators and officials from the Ministry of Education in Ras Al Khaimah to Frankston, Australia to learn about a program, Hands-on Learning, that is designed to prevent school drop outs while supporting students to build their confidence and raise their achievement levels through hands-on learning projects. Full Story 


Teachers know that discipline issues vanish when students are interested. So to support their quest for creative solutions for classroom learning, the Al Qasimi Foundation offers a wide range of courses taught for and by teachers. These professional development courses are free to any educator in Ras Al Khaimah. Covering everything from classroom technologies to mind-brain research on multiple intelligences, the Foundation courses help teachers set up blogs, develop podcasts, and use collaborative platforms like Google docs. Full Story 


Does privatizing education for the poor make sense? Probably not much, said education experts assembled for the final day of the Gulf Comparative Education Society symposium in Dubai this spring. Speakers presented evidence suggesting that in many developing nations around the world, private education perpetuated a divide between rich and poor. These arguments on education apply in some forms to the UAE, said Dr. Natasha Ridge, executive director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research. Full Story
The National (April 9, 2014)
Experts Warn of Trouble if Gulf Boys are Not Properly Educated

When it comes to boys' education in the GCC, the time has come to make a concerted effort to keep them in school or risk dire consequences, say educators. "Unless some effort is made to educate males in meaningful ways, there are, in my mind, certainly many social problems looming in the GCC," says Dr. Natasha Ridge, executive director of the Al Qasimi Foundation. Girls continue to perform better than boys across the region in all subjects, in international and national standardized tests. Meanwhile, boys are more likely to repeat a grade, drop out of school, and are less likely to continue on to higher education, according to studies. Full Story

Upcoming Events & Deadlines
Research
July 15: Private Education Teachers Research Initiative 

Private school teachers, we would like to hear from you! As part of a research initiative focusing on private education in the UAE and Qatar, the Al Qasimi Foundation would like to learn about the perspectives of educators in private schools in these counties. The Foundation invites private school teachers to share their experiences by taking this brief survey on or before July 15, 2014.
Community Gathering
July 16: Ramadan Iftar for Everyone

Join the Al Qasimi Foundation for a traditional Iftar dinner in an Emirati home. Guests will gather in a local majlis to enjoy Emirati fare and festive oud. This is a great opportunity to learn about the customs associated with Ramadan and how it is celebrated in the Gulf. Participants are encouraged to fast on the day of the Iftar gathering in order to best appreciate the Ramadan tradition. Participants will break fast together after sunset. More Information
Capacity Development
August 15: Application Deadline for Sheikh Saqr Overseas Scholarship Program
 
The Sheikh Saqr Overseas Scholarship Program provides funding for academically talented Emirati youth and promising young Emirati professionals to pursue studies overseas at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Scholarships are awarded through a competitive application process. The Overseas Scholarship Program is complemented by the Sheikh Saqr Student Enrichment Program
Capacity Development
August 17-21: My Film, My Story
 

As part of the Sheikh Saqr Student Enrichment Program (SSSEP), the Al Qasimi Foundation has partnered with Katarat Ebda'a for Art Production (KEAP) to conduct a five-day workshop for this year SSSEP's gifted grade ten students to develop their media skills this summer. The course will cover topics such as the team production process, camera skills, story development, and more. Participants will even have the opportunity to produce their own short films. More Information 

Capacity Development
August 28: Applications Open for Professional Development Courses

The Foundation's professional development courses will open for registration at the end of August. All workshops are bilingual (Arabic/English) and are free for teachers and education professionals working in Ras Al Khaimah. Participants are accepted into each course based on their commitment to attend all workshops, complete all in-class and homework assignments, and play an active role on the Ras Al Khaimah Teachers Network. More Information   

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research
 www.alqasimifoundation.com | info@alqasimifoundation.rak.ae | (P) +971 7 233 8060 | (F) +971 7 233 8070


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