Former Premier of Ontario, Canada Meets UAE Education Leaders in Dubai
On a mission to discuss the future of education in the UAE, former Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty met with leaders in the UAE's education sector to discuss how the industry can find new ways to reach every learner. McGuinty — who was known as “the Education Premier” — served as Ontario, Canada's 24th Premier from 2003 to 2013 and is currently a special advisor to John Baker, President and CEO of D2L.
McGuinty strengthened Ontario's public education system by dramatically improving test scores and graduation rates. Under his leadership, test scores increased from 54 to 71 percent of students achieving the Ontario standard and graduation rates rose from 68 to 84 percent. He also introduced North America's first full-day kindergarten program, reduced class sizes, hired more teachers and provided them with access to new technology and better training.
“In the UAE — and everywhere in our world right now — students are preparing to compete in the global knowledge economy,” said McGuinty, at the meeting in Dubai's Capitol Club. “The UAE is well-positioned to compete in that economy as a regional beacon — one that has attracted new waves of international students to its higher education institutions.”
The discussions were driven by the UAE's renewed push to further develop its education sector for the future by building a smart, knowledge-based economy. McGuinty's experience in improving Ontario's education landscape was of great interest to the UAE's academic community, where many parallels were drawn between the two regions.
“McGuinty answered many questions and provided his insights into the resources and approaches required to move education forward,” said Hanny Alshazly, Regional Director, MEA, D2L. “D2L's cloud solution aligns with the UAE's objective of enhancing the quality of education and reaching every learner across the Emirates.”
Ontario has roughly 5,000 schools, 120,000 teachers and over 2 million students with an operating budget of over AED65 billion. The McGuinty administration invested AED11 billion in new classrooms and facilities. Thanks to his leadership, Ontario now has the highest postsecondary attainment rate among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.