Sheikha Moza Advocates for Education Protection at the 11th WISE Summit

Sheikha Moza

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  • Sheikha Moza emphasizes innovation as essential to addressing global education challenges at the 11th WISE Summit.
  • The crisis in Palestine underscores the need to protect education from attacks and destruction.
  • Technology’s role in education and the impending “Intelligence Revolution” are key themes discussed at the summit.

H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), delivered a compelling message at the 11th edition of the WISE Summit, emphasizing the critical need to safeguard education from attacks and destruction. The summit, held over two days, brought together over 2000 education industry stakeholders under the theme ‘Creative Fluency: Human Flourishing in the Age of AI.’ In her opening remarks, Sheikha Moza highlighted the role of innovation in addressing the evolving challenges faced by education worldwide.

Dignitaries and recognition

The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of prominent figures, including Minister of Finance H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health H E Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, and Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, H E Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani. A significant moment of recognition occurred when H E Sheikha Hind awarded the WISE Prize for Education to Safeena Husain, Founder and Board Member of Educate Girls, acknowledging her substantial contributions to advancing education for girls through the power of AI.

Innovation in the face of challenges

Addressing an audience keen on addressing the transformative power of education, Sheikha Moza stressed the importance of innovation, especially in the face of challenges affecting education systems in various countries. She noted, “There is no alternative but to innovate if we are to find solutions to intractable problems.”

Sheikha Moza’s speech also drew attention to the ongoing crisis in Palestine, highlighting the significant impact of violence on education. She lamented that since the beginning of the Israeli aggression in October, 36 schools and universities supported by the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation’s Al Fakhoora program had been partially or entirely destroyed. Each educational institution’s demise represents a lost pillar in the foundation of the future, robbing children of their educational opportunities.

A plea for education

The Chairperson of Qatar Foundation emphasized the gravity of targeting education, underlining that every time education is attacked, it pushes the international community backward. She called for policies that prioritize education beyond political calculations, recognizing that the future of young people is built upon education.

Sheikha Moza poignantly presented a photograph of a Palestinian girl named Suhaila, holding papers in a picture taken in 2014. She drew attention to Suhaila’s plight, a child well-acquainted with the bitterness of being denied an education. Sheikha Moza remarked, “It is as if time has been suspended as the moment of destruction is repeated, once again.”

The challenge post-ceasefire

Highlighting the broader impact of war on education, Sheikha Moza pointed out that conflict disrupts educational institutions, drains healthcare resources, and hinders development. The aftermath of a ceasefire often marks the most significant threat to a society’s progress. The victims, left with their old lives buried under the rubble, must rebuild their futures from the ashes of destruction.

The opening plenary session featured two keynote speakers who explored the role of technology in education. Aidan White, founder of the Ethical Journalism Network, emphasized that technological innovation alone does not guarantee progress. For technology to benefit humanity, it must be guided by human values, ethics, and respect for all.

The intelligence revolution

Nina Schick, founder of Tamang Ventures Limited, discussed advancements in AI technology and their implications for education. She highlighted the impending “Intelligence Revolution,” noting that we stand at the precipice of the most significant tech-led change in history. She posed a crucial question, “How are we going to adapt?”

One of the highlights of the opening plenary was a moving performance by 15-year-old Palestinian rapper Abdulrahman AlShanti, known as MC Abdul. He emphasized the resilience of the people of Gaza and the importance of education, earning a standing ovation from the audience.

Thematic zones and Summit Focus

The first day of the summit was organized into distinct thematic zones, including sessions covering core discussion topics such as “Classrooms of the Future,” “AI and Digital Sovereignty,” and “Building Ethical AI.”

H H Sheikha Moza’s impassioned speech at the 11th WISE Summit underscored the importance of protecting education, even in the face of adversity. As the global community grapples with the challenges posed by conflicts and technological advancements, education remains a beacon of hope for future generations. The summit’s focus on innovation and adapting to change reinforces the commitment to providing quality education worldwide. It is a call to action for all stakeholders to prioritize and safeguard education, recognizing its pivotal role in shaping a brighter future.

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Glory Kaburu

Glory is an extremely knowledgeable journalist proficient with AI tools and research. She is passionate about AI and has authored several articles on the subject. She keeps herself abreast of the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and writes about them regularly.

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