DUBAI — The UAE’s Ministry of Education and Canon Middle East, a provider of imaging technologies and services, signed a memorandum of understanding, making Canon the country’s official strategic partner in the area of digital skills development.
The partnership will help achieve the goal of the UAE Vision 2021 to support talented Emirati youth, by empowering them to engage in new-age digital innovations and teaching skills required for future education and employment opportunities.
Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, the assistant undersecretary for the care and activities sector, stated that through all its partnerships, the ministry aims to enhance the skills of students across various creative fields.
The MoU is a result of long-standing cooperation, as Canon had organized many programs for improving skills in photography and digital production, she added, noting that the ministry aims to promote cooperation with specialized parties, in line with its visual arts initiatives.
As part of the agreement, Canon hosted a visual photography summer camp this year for 87 students from various schools, to further develop their imaging skills and understanding of visual arts. The students’ works will be showcased in a virtual exhibition in October.
In 2021, Canon will also become the ministry’s official partner in launching the National Clubs Program, which is an after-school digital hub that aims to empower and educate students on various topics, including arts and culture, health, and fitness, STEM, life skills, and linguistics.
Visual and creative arts, with an emphasis on photography and videography, are also a key component of the program, and Canon will conduct imaging workshops for 100 students aged between 10 and 18 who are interested in photography and filmmaking.
Canon’s imaging workshops are part of its Aktashif program, which is a community-oriented initiative designed to equip young people aged between 14 to 24 with the tools and techniques to unleash their creative careers.
Anurag Agrawal, the managing director of Canon Middle East and Canon Turkey, said: “Our collaboration with the ministry spans many years, and this agreement will build on the work we have done together in sparking innovation and inspiring students. The youth today are at a major crossroads, as their educational and self-development journey is rapidly unraveling and evolving, but they are also increasingly adaptable, eager to overcome hurdles, and are innovative in their approach to learning new skills.”
“The partnership also underlines our commitment to our corporate philosophy, ‘Kyosei,’ meaning living and working together for the common good, and education is one of our key focus areas as an innovation-led technology company, where we feel we can make a positive difference,” Agrawal added.
The ministry and Canon have collaborated on a series of successful initiatives, which led to the signing of the partnership agreement this year.
Last year, Canon launched a competition on Women’s Day in the country’s public schools, with four female students winning pink Selfy printers and a photography master class with a Canon ambassador. Canon also sponsored the National Science and Technology and Innovation Fair hosted by the ministry. — WAM