Policy-makers, researchers, teachers, and representatives from local educational organizations came together recently at a Research Outcome Seminar (ROS) hosted by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) under the theme ‘Education for the Future of Qatar’.
More than 80 participants discussed and shared knowledge on advances made by researchers funded through QNRF, part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), in the field of education.
Dr. Michael Reksulak, Pillar Director, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, QNRF, emphasized the importance of the discipline to the realization of Qatar’s goals, saying: “This seminar is part of our continuing conversation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education about how to incorporate lessons from research into Qatar’s classrooms. The ultimate gold-standard by which successful researchers often want to be measured is the positive impact they have on society.”
The event began with presentations on four completed QNRF-funded projects, as Dr. Hayat Heji of the Al-Noor Institute for the Blind discussed tools for helping Arabic-speaking pre-school students who are blind or visually impaired; followed by Dr. Zohreh Eslami, of Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university, who highlighted techniques for improving reading skills among middle-school science students.
The second part of the seminar was dedicated to an engaging panel discussion among stakeholders in Qatar on the theme of ‘Bridging the gap between researchers and educational policy makers: translating research evidences into practice’, moderated by Professor Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Director of National Center for Educator Development, Qatar University. Panelists included Dr. Aziza Ahmed Al-Saadi, Director of Policy and Educational Research, Ministry of Education and Higher Education; Professor Rupert Maclean, CNA-Q; and Dr. Faryal Khan, UNESCO Doha Education Program Specialist.
The panel session provided an opportunity for education researchers and policy-makers to share a platform and discuss ways in which the gap between research theory and practice can be bridged. Developing homegrown research studies, rather than importing solutions, was one of the suggestions made as panelists underscored the need for closer collaboration and dialogue between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Qatar’s research community.
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