The third edition of Sharjah International Summit on Improvement in Education kicked off today under the theme “Pioneering Future Education” at the campus of the Sharjah Education Academy (SEA). The Summit is held under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Organised by the Sharjah Education Academy in collaboration with Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Summit explores four pillars that address the dynamics of successful educational systems, the foresight of AI’s influence on future education, the methods of evaluation and innovation in the age of technology, and the quality of life in the educational environment.

Dr. Muhadithah Al Hashemi, President of the Sharjah Education Academy and Chairperson of the Sharjah Private Education Authority, delivered her welcoming remarks, in which she shared the evaluation results of private schools in Sharjah from 2018 to 2023. The Sharjah Private Education Authority received the evaluation results of the quality of private school performance in 2018, which presented an unprecedented challenge. Only 8 percent of private sector schools in Sharjah were rated as good or above, and 4 percent of schools scored well in the Arabic language for native speakers. Moreover, only 15 percent of students in Sharjah private schools receive a good education or above, and similarly, only 15 percent of teachers and school leaders are trained and qualified, and zero percent of the national teachers in Sharjah private schools.

“From that defining moment in private education in the Emirate of Sharjah, the school improvement and development journey began. A Journey that was inspired by the vision of the Ruler of Sharjah and illuminated by his directives in shaping Sharjah’s approach to developing education. The approach is based on five scientific pillars, including government support, a culture of continuous improvement, governance, building abilities, and partnering with the community,” said Al Hashimi.

“Sharjah has taken an innovative approach to education development, with five scientific pillars that form the basis of research focused on improvement. The results of the ‘Itqan’ programme evaluation for private schools in Sharjah in 2023, as well as the performance indicators of the Sharjah Private Education Authority, have shown a significant boost in the quality of education in the emirate. Private schools in the Emirate of Sharjah have achieved a 70 percent improvement in the Itqan programme compared to the 2018 school evaluation,” she added.

“The schools have shown a remarkable improvement in all subjects, especially in the Arabic language subject for native speakers. The percentage of students performing well in this subject has increased from 4 percent to 59 percent, making the Arabic language evaluation 100 percent acceptable or above. Also, the number of students receiving education in high-quality schools has increased from 15 percent to 61 percent. Moreover, the satisfaction level of parents regarding the quality of teaching and learning has reached 84 percent.”

According to the President of Sharjah Education Academy, the confidence index among parents of students in the emirate has reached 90 percent regarding the quality of education. Additionally, the quality of students’ lives index has achieved a rate of 86 percent. Furthermore, there has been a significant improvement in the index for training and developing teachers’ capabilities, which has increased from 15 percent to 70 percent.

In her speech, Dr. Al Hashimi highlighted that the private sector’s investment in education in the emirate has increased by 25 percent. This increase signifies a strengthening of investors’ confidence in the sector. She also emphasised that the “Sharjah Approach to Educational Development” has made significant achievements. One of the most prominent achievements is the presence of 78 qualified national teachers who are members of the “Proud to be a Teacher” programme. These teachers are practising the mission of education in private sector schools in the emirate.

Dr. Al Hashimi then launched the “Rise for the Teacher” initiative. The community-driven initiative aims to support and appreciate teachers in tangible ways that positively impact their quality of life, growth, and professional development. It invites all members of society to enhance the status of teachers and improve their quality of life.

The two-day summit brings together teachers, principals, decision-makers, academia, researchers, policymakers, and educational curriculum developers to discuss and review the latest research and successful journeys of school improvements and the transformative influence of education technology, especially artificial intelligence. This edition features 60 speakers from 17 countries, including more than 32 physical and online discussion and training sessions.

The Summit aims to share research-based best practices in developing schools, enhancing quality of life, and deriving insights for an implementable comprehensive educational framework. Additionally, it delves into the transformative potential of AIs in modern education.