The seventh edition of the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) will be held on March 4-6, 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of the region's leading education exhibition and conference announced.
Now on its seventh year, GESS features leading suppliers and solutions providers aimed at enhancing the quality of education in the Gulf region. Happening alongside the exhibition is the Global Education Forum (GEF) which this year has adopted the theme "Education and the 21st Century: Skills, Opportunities and Challenges" aimed at providing local and international insights and best practices that will help the region further boost education standards, meet the demands of the workplace, equip young people with the right skills to find employment and contribute to the long-term development of the region through world-class education.
This year's theme could not have come at a better time. Youth unemployment levels in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have raised concerns throughout the region, with the World Economic Forum estimating that 75 million jobs need to be created by 2020 just to keep employment at current levels.
While the expected rise in the population of the youth sector is believed to account for the feared increase in unemployment levels, experts also believe that the education sector is not producing enough graduates with employable skills.
Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, UAE Minister of Education, will deliver the opening address, which will be followed by the Education Ministers Session, to be participated in by the heads of ministries of education from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
Educators can look forward to a variety of CPD sessions, one where they can earn certificates for attending workshops and presentations featuring leading education, technology, leaderships and linguistics experts from around the world. These sessions will tackle emerging and current issues affecting the quality of teaching and learning in classrooms throughout the Gulf, including Outstanding Strategies for the Teaching of Gifted and Talented Pupils, Senior Leadership in a 21st Century School, and Sector-Leading Practice in the use of data within schools.
Technology will again be a significant highlight in this year's exhibition, with mobile learning products and applications as well as the latest in robotics technologies presented by leading educational suppliers.
In addition, cutting-edge research on technology issues will be presented at the conference, such as developing 21st century skills and how ICT can be effectively integrated into classrooms. The widespread use of smartphones and tablets among students and teachers has led to a growing debate on whether schools should allow the Bring-Your-Own-Device phenomenon in schools.
This year's edition of GESS will also witness the launch of Research for Learning (RfL) sessions, which will explore how evidence-based research can be transformed into realistic classroom practice.
"Over three days, visitors will have access to presentations and discussions featuring leading global experts and thought leaders. At the same, education decision makers throughout the region will be able to preview some of the latest educational supplies and solutions that are helping educators enhance the teaching and learning experience in classrooms throughout the world," said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F'&'E Group, organisers of GESS.