Dubai is changing fast and the winds of change have invaded the city’s educational infrastructure as well. ebooks and tablets are set to make a mark on Dubai’s educational landscape, which should go well with its intended makeover as a “smart” city.
Not everyone is pleased with the development, however, given the extra money that parents have to pay to procure tablets for their students. While the Education Ministry is financing the tablet devices and accessories to ensure a smooth digital transition, private schools are left to fend for themselves. (The tablet in question is an Intel device that is priced anywhere between Dh1,800 and Dh2,000.) While parents are complaining that they can get a better device like the iPad for the same amount, school authorities insist on the Intel device since those have been optimized to function in sync with the software and hardware that the schools have put in place.
“These tablets are specially customised to the school’s teaching and learning strategies and methodologies. With the special software and probes on the tablet, every classroom can turn into a language lab and/or science lab and digital content of the books will also be loaded on them, leading to lighter schoolbags,” said Dr. Ashok Kumar, CEO of the India International School located in Silicon Oasis in Dubai.
The tablets offered by the schools come loaded with special software that will enable the students to plug in seamlessly with the programs and applications that the schools are using. Parents have voiced concerns with the safety of the devices.
The students remain unfazed by all the controversy surrounding the tablet adoption as part of their curriculum. Rather, they are excited at the prospect of getting a brand new tablet.