Sara Al Nuaimi, Director of Mohammed Bin Rashid Arab e-Learning Project, revealed to “Al Bayan” that more than 1,000 educational courses have been translated into Arabic within seven weeks, in addition to the completion of linguistic and scientific review, terminology auditing and harmonization between translated educational materials and curricula in Arab countries. Moreover, 5,000 courses are intended to be translated during the term of the initiative of ” Arabic Translation Challenge” launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, last September.
She added that at the beginning of the next semester, 30 educational videos will be selected from the videos produced to be evaluated, as a first step, through sharing the same with more than 1000 students from different Arab countries in different educational stages ranging between kindergarten and grade 12, to make use of their remarks and develop videos produced to meet students’ needs and expectations for the project.
“Arabic Translation Challenge”, one of international initiatives launched by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will select 30 videos per week, i.e 120 videos per month, to be evaluated. The evaluation process includes a range of different aspects, including easy understanding of content, amount of information provided by the video, clarity of writing, sound and colors, explanation of concepts, terminology and so on.
Educational videos are provided by the prestigious Khan Academy, a non-profit educational institution established in 2006 to provide educational videos, on various curricula and teaching materials, on the Academy’s website and on YouTube for millions of students around the world.
Al Nuaimi said that Mohammed Bin Rashid Arab e-Learning project, which includes “Arabic Translation Challenge” as the biggest challenge in the Arab world, seeks to translate 5,000 videos on various aspects of science and mathematics of more than 11 million words in one year. This content will be localized and produced according to the highest standards in international curricula and will be available free of charge to more than 50 million Arab students. Educational videos will cover stages from kindergarten to grade 12, based on distinctive curricula adopting the latest and highest standards of education in terms of style and content.
Al Nuaimi also said that Mohammed Bin Rashid Arab e-Learning project aims at building a new knowledge base that strengthens the status of science and math among Arab students. It translates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to improve the reality of Arab education by providing a strong scientific material in mathematics and science for all Arab students and to raise the content of Arab education to high levels that cross the Arab borders and be available to millions of Arab students free of charge, as translation is a foundation for renaissance that opens doors to accommodate all kinds of knowledge and science.
The first phase of the project has attracted thousands of volunteers from different parts of the Arab world. They are teachers, professors, researchers, technicians, professionals and other interested parties who have expertise and skills and are invited to contribute to “Translation Challenge” through the translation and localization of scientific materials or the production of or commentary on educational videos, in addition to graphic design and other visual and technical aids.
Al Nuaimi pointed out that since the opening of volunteering to participate in the initiative, the number of volunteers reached 51,251 people from 55 countries around the world. Volunteer applicants were evaluated in parallel with the application phase, and those who were eligible to participate were contacted to join the Challenge Team. After completing the initial evaluation phase, 30 thousand volunteers qualified and underwent additional tests, each according to their specialization, to assess their abilities and techniques that enable them to move on to the next stage of the Challenge. The final Arabic translation team were selected and underwent training courses prior to the commencement of the first stage of translation to ensure the quality of translation and final production of videos.
She explained that the “Arabic Translation Challenge”, as an integrated project, includes several stages, beginning with the formation of a specialized team of educational experts to select 5,000 videos of a global educational content in science and mathematics, in order to meet the main needs of Arab students at various levels.
Volunteers applications, submitted on the site of “Arabic Translation Challenge” by translators, commentators, designers and professionals specialized in editing, were compiled and sorted through stages of evaluation and selection. Then, volunteers were divided according to their specializations to teams working according to a specific time schedule, starting with writing texts of educational videos, then reviewing and verifying the information and language of such texts, and then producing the audio text and placing it on the visual material through a precise editing process including all the drawings and supporting visual aids. Finally, 5,000 educational videos on mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and general sciences are uploaded and provided free of charge to millions of Arab students through the largest Arab educational platform within Mohammed bin Rashid e-Learning Project.
She also said that Mohammed Bin Rashid e-Learning project strengthens the UAE’s quest to be a scientific incubator for millions of Arab students and to prepare generations of Arab scientists, researchers and inventors through providing an advanced e-learning platform whose output will serve as a building block for the Arab region and take part in giving momentum to a renewed renaissance in the region.
Al Nuaimi pointed out that the most important objectives of “Arabic Translation Challenge”, which comes within Mohammed bin Rashid Arab e-Learning project, is to contribute to the advancement of education in the Arab world, the development of the educational system and to improve the educational capabilities of millions of Arab students starting from the early stages up to grade 12, in addition to trying to bridge the gap between Arab curricula in some countries and global curricula and raising the level of Arab students to compete with their peers in foreign countries. The project meets an urgent need at a time when science, scientists, innovation, invention and the educational system as a whole witness significant recess. Simultaneously, a global study confirms that the number of Arab scientists does not exceed 230 scientists per million people compared to 5,000 scientists per million people in Japan and the United States.
Nakheel Supports the First Phase of Project
The private sector in the UAE is aware of social responsibility and plays a prominent role in supporting many initiatives and projects that serve the local and Arab communities, as social responsibility is a shared responsibility. Therefore, Nakheel supports the first phase of “Arabic Translation Challenge” which aims to translate about 5,000 videos on science and mathematics over a year as a pioneering step in the Arabization of global curricula in order to provide a comprehensive and integrated educational content in the fields of science and mathematics as they are some of the most important streams of civilizational development.
Nakheel Real Estate has started to provide support for “Arabic Translation Challenge”, which aims to provide excellent scientific material for grades from kindergarten to grade 12 in a professional and simplified way that takes into account the educational abilities of students according to the highest international standards in this field.
Such support comes as a gesture of belief in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to spread knowledge, science, and culture, and to support translation movement. Further, it is part of Nakheel’s role in the society, which is at the heart of its policies to invest in the future of the region, as translation is a window to the world through which cultures, science and knowledge are shared. The project contributes to the establishment of knowledge and the dissemination of science in society, in addition to the establishment of a distinct and sophisticated Arab library for Arab students in the fields of science and mathematics, fulfilling their aspirations by providing them with a distinctive education that enhances their knowledge and culture.