Motorola supports Zayed University

The telecoms leader provides a major boost to the ‘Science and Maths in English’ Program at the region’s premier higher education institution.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  March 15, 2005

Reinforcing its commitment to the betterment of the region’s educational community, the global communications leader, Motorola, is awarding Zayed University a US$17,000 grant to fund the school’s ‘Science and Maths in English’ (SAMIE) program. Project SAMIE, which is a partnership between the Abu Dhabi Educational Zone and Zayed University, encourages grade one-science and maths teachers in national public schools to instruct in the English language. The Motorola Foundation grant will enable up to 30 bilingual teachers of first grade in four Abu Dhabi schools to receive training in English twice a month on the science and mathematics content of the syllabus being taught including procedures, skills, concepts and assessment. Along with a series of developmental workshops, this training is designed to make the teachers more comfortable with instructing in English. The grant will also enable the participating teachers to pay for the relevant English educational materials. Motorola places significant importance on developing intellectual human capital and encouraging scientific innovation. “Our partnership with Zayed University on Project SAMIE supports these two goals,” says Hassan Tavakoli, vice president and director of Motorola Middle East and Africa. “By augmenting the level of math and science education for students in the UAE and encouraging the use of English in the classroom, we are helping the teachers and students broaden their horizons,” Tavakoli says. Currently, most students attending Zayed University must take a two-year readiness course to enter the regular baccalaureate program. With the success of Project SAMIE, today’s grade one students will be better prepared in science, math, and English to enter the university directly. “To receive this grant is an endorsement of our pioneering efforts in the field of education and we hope that Motorola’s generous contribution provides an impetus to other businesses in the region to become involved with local schools and invest in the country’s future with similar projects,” said Robin Dada, associate dean of Zayed University. This program has the potential to fundamentally change the approach to teaching and learning in the region for K-12 and after one year it is hoped that students will be able to write simple ideas using English. “There should be a marked improvement in their English vocabulary and sentence development. We are not promising fluency in English but as the program develops, we are certain that in four to five years, it will produce science and maths whiz-kids who speak impeccable English,” Dada adds.

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