Sam, John and Keira headed to GESS Dubai for our third year attending the conference. Here are the trends, takeaways and talking points that stuck with them.
1. Rising demand for Arabic and English resources
As ever, it was great to see a big cohort of UK education organisations exhibiting alongside publishers based in the region. The appetite for exchange is high – we spent equal time talking to Middle East-based publishers looking to publish or adapt content (in Arabic or English) and to global publishers and edtechs looking to bring their products to schools in the Middle East.
2. Teachers are back!
It was great to see teachers and teaching leaders starting to come back to international education events. That meant there were more sessions around teaching and learning and more attendees at those sessions able to contribute to a good quality debate.
We enjoyed hearing from ex-headteacher Gavin McCormack, co-founder of Upschool, about how implementing purposeful education programmes in his school inspired him to take his mission to learners around the world.
3. A focus on early years
Early years were a key focus of the conference sessions. We heard from experts at international schools from China to the Middle East about the positive changes they’ve seen in early years settings since the pandemic, and how those changes have driven demand for provision.
Well-being for staff and students remained at the top of the agenda, with a focus on tools that enable strong parent-school partnerships.
4. Understanding the specific needs of each education system
As we’ve written about previously, there isn’t one size that fits all for the MENA region and publishing related to it. The opportunity to meet and work with experts in each country in the region to hear about specific needs for their education systems is always a huge privilege. We look forward to following up on those conversations.
Our high level of publishing and education expertise, and our ability to work in multiple languages, enable us to deliver excellence in publishing projects in the UK and worldwide. We love going to GESS Dubai so we can stay up to date with local market trends and policy developments, and increase our knowledge of the needs of teachers and schools in the region.
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