(QNA) - HE Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al-Hammadi said the Education Conference under the title "Pioneering and Creativity" holds in its name the reality of education in Qatar, noting the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who recognized the vital role education plays in a society's development.
Education will remain a main tool to build a knowledge-based society which is the main idea behind Qatar National Vision 2030, he added. During his speech at the conference, Dr. Al-Hammadi said Qatar leaped to build an education system for the future and works in line with the highest standards through adopting modern techniques and applying educational and research projects in the curricula, evaluation and training. He noted that the education system contributes to the talent development of the national students, explores and strengthens their creative and innovative abilities, works on directing these abilities to solve problems and take decisions, enables them of basics and skills needed for scientific research and teaches them constructive discussion and respecting others.
HE Dr. Al-Hammadi added organizing the conference annually with the participation of professors and education specialists is a good opportunity to exchange experiences and researches to improve education quality and prosper the role of teachers and principals.
The minister considered the conference to be a solid platform to exchange global and national experiences and establish sustainable network that provides valuable research cooperation in the future between education specialists.
He highlighted the efforts of Qatar National Research Fund in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in enhancing scientific research skills for students and teachers, motivating them and offering the required support to execute their research projects through events and workshops.
HE Dr. Al-Hammadi expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation for HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani for backing and attending the conference, hoping that it will culminate in achieving its objectives that aim to support and promote education quality and coping with the country's developmental needs in light of its national vision and strategic plans.
HE the minister also opened the national week of scientific research and examined the student research at the accompanying exhibition in several sectors. He also launched the "Education" application, which was designed by the ministry's department of information technology to provide a set of basic services for schools and ministry staff.
President of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) Faisal Mohammed Al-Suwaidi praised the cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Higher education and Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) in order to spread the culture of scientific research and survey within students and teachers.
QF Executive Vice President of Research and Development Dr. Hamad Al Ibrahim, speaking on behalf of Al-Suwaidi, said that the entity works on achieving the strategic goals of Qatar to ensure the country's position in excellence and innovation in the field of research and development. The research and development department was able, in the past year to develop a research infrastructure that achieves its goals and keep up with Qatar's path to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy, he added.
He added that in its second round, the National Priorities Research Program's (NPRP) goal is to encourage partnerships between academics and final users of researches and to focus on research projects that focus on the development of the society and economy in Qatar. He confirmed the commitment of the research and development sector to support subjects that are highly promising in terms of commercial and technological potential, encourage a more cross-cutting interdisciplinary approach to projects, promote a public-private partnership culture in Qatar in order to develop local production and export it globally. He expressed hope that cooperation between both sectors will increase the number of industrial students which will result in diverse skills hence a diverse income, he added.
He said the cooperation between the department and the private sector is vital due to the role the private sector plays in building a knowledge-based economy, adding that QNRF aims to foster original, competitively selected research energy and environment, engineering and technology, health, physical and life sciences, social sciences, and the arts in order to adopt Qatar's research strategy.
He added the program embodies the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and QF Chairperson HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser to spread the culture of scientific research in early stages and in all educational stages in the country, which contributes to building prosperous society based on knowledge.
Harvard Children's Initiative founder and curricula specialist, Dr. Katherine Merseth, touched on the ideal leadership in education to ensure a better education. In the opening session she focused on driving change and innovation in education societies.
Several questions were fielded on the issue of innovation in learning societies and the extent to which students can succeed in that regard.
Dr. Merseth explained the features of successful schools, and educational content and its relation to academic achievement. She reviewed the options of scientific curriculum assessment and the importance of critical thinking and the requirements of improving student performance while creating a mutual teaching language between teachers and administrators.
She stressed the importance of clear communication with all parties of the educational process such as students, parents and teachers as well as administrators and community members. Although children account for a small portion of population, she said, they constitute 100 percent of the future.
Among topics on the agenda of the conference were educational and research issues such as change, innovation, increasing learning societies, and scientific research. The national week of scientific research features the ninth national exhibition of students' and teachers' research as well as the national scientific research competition, which is a joint initiative between QNRF and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and aims to instill the skills of scientific research in middle and higher school students and enable them to be ready for representing Qatar in international platforms.
In addition, the week features FameLab competition, a joint initiative between QNRF and the British Council in cooperation with other partners including the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. It aims to build the skills of presenting sciences, technology and engineering to the public in an easy language and attractive ways so as to bring sciences closer to students and young researchers and establish a wide base of sciences.
The initiative also aims to prepare contestants to represent Qatar in the international FameLab competition in the United Kingdom, in which Qatar came second last year.