Dubai parents believe AI, VR, metaverse will have biggest impact on kid’s future

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Dubai parents believe artificial intelligence, the metaverse, and virtual reality will have a significant impact on their children's futures, a new study finds.

It also revealed that creative thinking, mental wellbeing, and confidence were among the top skills parents believed were essential for their child's future success.

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The study, conducted by the Citizens School titled ‘The Future of Learning’, found that 87 percent of parents believe digital literacy is critical, while resilience and entrepreneurship rank at 84 percent.

Resilience, inclusivity, and entrepreneurship are identified as areas for schools to focus on to better prepare future-ready children.

Around 69 percent of parents believe AI and VR will have the largest impact on their children’s future, followed by cryptocurrency and the metaverse (54 percent).

At a time when Dubai is evolving in a direction led by rapid technologies and multi-faceted job roles, the white paper touches upon the importance of helping children develop skills and competencies that make them more adaptable to the realities of tomorrow.

“As the sum of human learning expands, the means of imparting this knowledge requires educators to re-imagine the traditional and challenge the conventional by giving children choices to explore themes, expand interests and discover new technologies to determine the routes they want to take to reach their full potential,” Dr. Adil Al Zarooni, Founder, Citizens School Dubai, said.

The study also suggests that schools should focus on resilience, inclusivity, and entrepreneurship to better prepare children for the future.

“The current education system focuses on one pathway, the examination which is essentially a transfer of information from teacher to student. This model needs to evolve when considering that data suggest 40 percent of nursery-aged children today will have to be either self-employed or entrepreneurs to generate any income,” said Hisham Hodroge, Chief Executive Officer, Citizens School Dubai.

“This requires a different learning philosophy aimed at enhancing quality of life by building future-ready mindsets that are ready to seize opportunities, lead change and understand that success and failure are necessary for personal growth.”

The study analyzed how children in Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates as a whole, are in a unique position given the naturally diverse classrooms, future-forward government policies, and access to emerging technologies.

It highlights that today’s education needs to adapt and evolve to outcomes that are not summed up in a report card but by better equipping children with the skills they will need to thrive and succeed in an uncertain future.

“We must encourage our students to take ownership of their learning, empower them to explore their passions and to experience success and to deal with failure, seeing failure as a meaningful step to subsequent success,” said Kephren Sherry, Head of Primary, Citizens School Dubai.

The teacher today is not the only source of knowledge, and the role of the teacher must be to guide, facilitate, and support the student in accessing knowledge from a myriad of sources, extracting key information, and making sense of it.”

The Future of Learning white paper explores the history and evolution of education, global education trends, the leading role of the UAE’s future-focused government, and survey results of over 1,200 UAE parents on how they perceived the quality of education.

The white paper outlines the need for all education stakeholders to collectively re-imagine a more future-relevant learning experience.

“We believe that today’s learners need essential entrepreneurial life skills to survive. Today’s learning experience needs to be curated to re-imagine learning, contributing towards a globally recognized future learning framework enabling learners to thrive and enjoy a better quality of life in the future,” wrote Dr. Zarooni in his foreword to the study.

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