College of the North Atlantic - Qatar (CNA-Q) wrapped up a successful two-day teaching and learning event under the theme of World Teachers’ Day. The event was in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science (QNCECS).
The focus for the event was on development and promotion of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Qatar, and specifically at the College. Renowned post-secondary scholar, Dr. Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair for Regional Innovation, visited Doha to present a series of plenary speeches over the two days, focused on higher education in the TVET sector and 21st century skills development.
“Qatar thinks very openly about the next economy; Qatar is an innovator and a leader. When we go forward to the next economy, who builds it, who makes it? It is the students and graduates of CNA-Q and the technical schools who build the infrastructure, who run the labs, and who maintain the plants - it is the skilled people, they are crucial,” said Dr. Ken Coates.
One of big take-always from Dr. Coates' series of lectures was the crucial integration between education and industry, noting that a successful workforce is one where the training and academics reflect the needs of the employers. CNA-Q is well advanced in this regard, as all of its over 30 programs are specifically designed with employability and industry standards in mind. Each of the programs work in partnership with industry to ensure the competencies students are learning match the employers' needs, industry needs and Qatar's needs.
“Industry partners are a vital part of the educational continuum. Business and industry have a key role to play," said Ms Samah Gamar, Vice President - Academic. "We have these partnership already and now need to take it to the next level, to greater integration."
In addition to a focus on TVET, all of the College's 500 faculty members had two days of professional development aligned with their area of speciality at the applied College. Workshops included themes such as student engagement, tech-assisted learning, online platforms and experiential classroom techniques.
As a national college, CNA-Q prides itself on applied education and industry-experienced instructors. The College feels strongly that each faculty member should avail of professional development that engages their teaching and brings the curriculum to a higher level. The two days were packed with valuable information about teaching and learning that will help build the capacity of instructors, so they can offer ever more highly technical and relevant education to the College's 2500 students.
Sinec 2002, CNA-Q has been offering technical, career-focused Canadian curriculum to graduate thousands of students who have gone on to pursue higher education or are making an impact in Qatar's knowledge-based economy.