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School Wellbeing in the Gulf Region

School Wellbeing in the Gulf Region

The wellbeing of and pupils and teachers is also a major theme in the Gulf area. The School Day team spent the last week of February in the Dubai heat at the Finnish Education Expo and GESS Dubai. The outcome of the trip produced many interesting discussions, promising partner negotiations and lots of feedback and ideas for developing wellbeing.

Finnish Education Expo – Learning cannot happen without wellbeing

The day before the fair began, Education House Finland organized its own Finnish Education Expo event for Finnish companies. In addition to invited guests, several people interested in Finnish education and training technology visited the event.

In addition to the companies, Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of the Finnish National Board of Education, and Mrs Riitta Swan, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, were present. Olli-Pekka Heinonen's opening message to the audience was how wellbeing is a prerequisite for all learning – Learning doesn't happen without wellbeing.

Mishal Hamed Kanoo, Chairman of the Board of The Kanoo Group, also expressed great interest. Kanoo is passionate about teaching, developing teaching, and people's life-long learning and the well-being of young people. In Kanoo's speech, the same key themes that we are currently discussing in Finland were repeated – engagement, the inspiration for learning and life-long learning. If we teach too rigorously, we will end up with robots that can only repeat the tasks learned and given. "Instead of robots, we should strive to awaken the natural desire of children and young people to question and explore things," Kanoo said.

Finland united at the GESS fair

School Day was privileged to join the Finnish pavilion with 14 other Finnish educational and training technology companies. The Finnish model attracted tremendous interest at the fair. I would dare say that the department was one of the most visited in the fair. Several guests said that they wanted to direct the Finnish department first. The secret of Finland's good educational success was repeated in almost all our fair's discussions.

There is a huge amount of investment in the wellbeing of schools in the Gulf area. Small differences in nuances were noticeable depending on the home country of the guest and the trend of the school he represented. However, it was common for all to understand the need for pupils' well-being when learning future skills.

We also spoke on the Innovation Stage at the fair, entitled "Holistic School Wellbeing – How to Transform Student and Teacher Wellbeing". We told about our own approach to school wellbeing, the latest research among wellbeing, and our wellbeing service. After our performance, we got many questions and more listeners came to visit our stand to discuss further on the topic.

GESS Awards

In our news section, you would be aware that School Day was the finalist in two different GESS Awards categories: "Best Product to Promote Health, Fitness and Sports in the Classroom" and "Innovation Product Awards – Digital / Coding / Software". However, this time we had to settle for only a nomination as the Finnish companies, Isku and Claned both won these categories. Congratulations to both for their great work!

Thank you to all Finnish companies, partners and visitors. Special thanks to Katia Al-Kaisi and her local team. Thanks to them, Finland appeared throughout the week as one of the great team Education Finland.

We had the pleasure to spend the week with these great companies, thank you all! – Mazhr, Qridi, Educluster Finland, Edutat, Otava, Mightifier, Kide Science, Kindie Days, Into School, New Nordic School, Eduten, Moov Kids, Yeti Tablet, Thinglink, TinyApp, LessonApp ja Seppo.io!

Juha Engman

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