Canon Middle East has announced the launch of first-of-its-kind AKTASHIF programme in the GCC to encourage youth to ‘Discover Your Passion’ and create the next generation of storytellers and content creators in the region. Launched to coincide with World Youth Skills Day on July 15, AKTASHIF complements the global initiative to empower youth and highlight the significance of their contributions in overcoming economic and social challenges. World Youth Skills Day is a joint initiative by UNESCO-UNEVOC, which aims to recognise the importance of training and upskilling opportunities, as well as work and entrepreneurial prospects.
AKTASHIF will offer youth in the region the chance to get ahead and face modern-day challenges through relevant training and mentorship. The programme will primarily target 14 to 24-year-olds in the Middle East and provide a focal point for ‘Generation Z’ to develop their interests, strengthen their creativity and inculcate in them the spirit of entrepreneurship. The community-oriented initiative is designed to equip young people with the tools and techniques to unleash creative careers.
As part of AKTASHIF, Canon Middle East is launching an annual competition where students can submit their business ideas online until December 2020. The best three entries will be highlighted and receive prizes. The Grand Prize winner will receive AED 15,000 cash prize, AED 15,000-worth of Canon products and annual membership of a local entrepreneurship incubator to get their creative business idea off the ground. The ideas can be promoted on Instagram, using hashtag #FreeYourStory and #CanonME
Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications and Marketing Services Director, Canon Middle East and Central and North Africa, said, “AKTASHIF means ‘discover’ and with this initiative, we are enabling young people in our region to identify their passion and unlock their true potential. This defines a key element of our organisational purpose with nurturing ‘ambitions,’ being a key pillar of our corporate responsibility programme. With AKTASHIF, we are directly reaching out to the youth of today – the business leaders of tomorrow.”
She added, “Canon’s support for entrepreneurship and incubation extends beyond countries and timelines, it is written into our DNA. We also see AKTASHIF as an integral piece in addressing the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4, which stipulates the importance of quality education and learning opportunities for all.”
The programme is designed to boost young adults’ skills, as research shows most youth are looking to change careers every three years and 60 per cent are not truly engaged in their current jobs and would consider different careers; AKTASHIF helps sharpen their focus in young people to develop skillsets and career choices that most resonate to them.
AKTASHIF has four modules (Discover Your Creative Voice, Start Your Creative Journey, Pursue Your Creative Passion, and Unleash your Creative Career). Collectively, these will lead the participants through the process of designing and launching a successful creative business. The first module challenges participants to find their artistic voices whereas the second and third modules will guide them through the process of developing a business concept and portfolio, and the fourth module will help them to launch their own enterprise and build a website.
With digital media being central in engaging the youth in the region, each module will include video episodes, providing insights for content creators and creative entrepreneurs. The aim of each module is to elevate participants to the next level allowing them to discover their ambition and pursue their career. AKTASHIF will also feature esteemed mentors from the region, including storyteller Clinton Lubbe, Canon’s UAE-based ambassador, photographer and film maker, who will guide participants with techniques to master their craft.
Participants looking to develop specific skills in photography and printing can take part in ‘deep dive’ virtual masterclasses designed specifically for their age group, while those wanting to pursue other interests can explore a range of opportunities. For details, log on to https://en.canon-me.com/aktashif-programme/
Canon Partners with the Ministry of Education for Digital Skills Development
Canon Middle East (CME) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education as the official strategic partner for skills development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The partnership delivers on the ambitions of the UAE’s Vision 2021 to develop the talent of youth in the UAE by empowering them to engage new-age digital innovations and prepare them with the skills required for education and employment opportunities of the future.
Her Excellency Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Care and Activities Sector emphasised that through all of its partnerships, the Ministry of Education seeks to enhance students’ skills across various creative fields, positively impacting their journey in future. To this end, the Ministry focuses to uplift students’ skills and meet their different interests in-line with its goals, academic and skill enhancement plans for the students of the UAE.
Her Excellency also highlighted that the MoU is a result of a long-standing cooperation, as Canon had organised many programmes aiming to enhance students’ skills in photography and digital production and improving their various talents, as the Ministry seeks to promote cooperation with specialised parties in-line with its initiatives for visual arts.
As part of the agreement, Canon hosted a visual photography summer camp this year for 87 students from various schools to further develop their imaging skills and understanding of visual arts. The camp consisted of eight sessions and included video instruction and assignments for each student. The students’ work will be demonstrated through a virtual exhibition in October.
In 2021, Canon will also become the Ministry’s official partner for the National Clubs programme, which is an afterschool digital hub to empower and educate students on various topics including art and culture, health and fitness, STEM, life skills, and linguistics. Visual and creative arts, with an emphasis on photography and videography, are also a key component of the programme, and
Canon will conduct imaging workshops for 100 students aged between 10 and 18 who are interested in photography and filmmaking. The eight-week long course will be delivered online through virtual instruction and training videos and will run across three different levels to cater to the various age groups within the National Clubs programme.
Canon’s imaging workshops fall within Canon’s AKTASHIF programme which is a community-oriented initiative designed to equip young people aged 14 to 24 with the tools and techniques to unleash creative careers. The initiative provides training, mentorship and provides a focal point for “YOUTH” to develop their interests, strengthen their creativity and inculcate in them the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Canon Turkey, said, “Our collaboration with the Ministry spans a number of years and this agreement will build on the work we have done together to spark innovation and inspire students. Youth today are at a major crossroads as their educational and self-development journey is rapidly unravelling and evolving; but they are also increasingly adaptable, eager to get past hurdles, and are innovative in their approach to learning new skills. Through our workshops students will be mentored and trained using new digital technology that is essential for their education today and will prepare them for their professional careers in the future.”
“The partnership also underlines our commitment to our corporate philosophy, ‘Kyosei,’ meaning living and working together for the common good, and education is one of our key focus areas as an innovation-led, technology company, where we feel we can make a positive difference,” added Agrawal.
The Ministry of Education and Canon have collaborated on a series of successful initiatives which led to the signing of the partnership agreement this year. The initiatives included supporting the Ministry’s Masterpieces programme by providing photography courses, equipment and giveaways for the programme’s winners, and printing the winning imagery to be displayed at the La Perle show.
Last year, Canon launched a competition on Women’s Day within UAE public schools where four female students won pink Selfy printers and a photography master class with a Canon Ambassador. Canon also sponsored the National Science and Technology and Innovation Fair hosted by the Ministry.
SPL Launches ‘Smart Locker’ Service to Give Members Round-the-Clock Access to Books
The Sharjah Public Library (SPL), an affiliate of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has launched the ‘Smart Locker’ service that facilitates the 24/7 borrowing of books via the SPL website. The books ordered through the Smart Locker will be reserved for three days and can be collected any time during this period.
This new system is part of the integrated smart services launched by SPL and caters especially to the needs of members who are unable to visit during the opening hours of the library.
The Smart Locker service uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that allows members to use their Emirates ID or SPL’s membership cards to collect and return books. SPL’s Smart Locker consists of 38 lockers equipped with a touch screen that are connected to SPL’s digital network and CCTVs.
Commenting on the launch of the new service, Eman Bushulaibi, Director of SPL, said: “The Sharjah Public Library is a keen adopter of innovative technologies, which enables us to continually improve its patrons’ user experience. Our Smart Locker service will offer its users an advanced personalised service, allowing members to engage with SPL’s array of offerings in new and improved ways.”
She added: “Globally, cultural entities are devising inventive ways to keep the public engaged with the written word, especially during the ongoing pandemic. With the Smart Locker service, our members can order and pick up books at their convenience in a contactless manner. This new feature furthers the library’s efforts to implement precautionary measures that will keep all our valued customers safe.”
New ADEK Activity Platform Launched to Allow Kids to Explore, Learn, and Innovate
With schools out for summer, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is urging students to #NeverStopLearning with a new Activity Platform. Serving as the go-to resource for entertainment and extra-curricular activities in the Emirate, the platform has been developed as a new digital playground as parents seek innovative ways to keep their children entertained this summer and beyond.
Taking into account the needs of children of all ages, ADEK has teamed up with some of the UAE’s leading edutainment vendors to create a platform packed full of enrichment programs, competitions, edutainment exercises, academic support, and physical and wellbeing challenges across four learning pillars: STEM and Innovation; Enrichment; Arts, Culture & Languages; and Physical Education and Wellbeing.
“Student wellbeing and engagement are at the core of our efforts at ADEK. With the current situation fuelling our commitment to ensure there are constant avenues of engagement for everybody within the Abu Dhabi education community, the Activity Platform has been designed as a one-stop resource for students to continue learning, innovating and staying active,” said H.E. Amer Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of Undersecretary of the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).
“The options available are fun and engaging, taking students away from pure academics and filling their time with meaningful activities. There are also ample opportunities for students to connect with their peers in a number of the challenges requiring team collaboration.”
SPOTLIGHT ON STEM
In line with ADEK’s mission to help shape a future-ready workforce through education, the STEM & Innovation stream on the Activity Platform is full of experiences for 21st century learners. Whether embarking on a journey through coding by learning the basics, taking their interest in robotics to the next level through a series of challenges, or seeking safe and fun science and engineering experiments at home, the STEM & Innovation pillar encourages critical thinking in fun ways.
AN EYE FOR ARTS AND CULTURE
Arts, Language and Culture are embraced with access to some of the capital’s most iconic attractions. Experiences are augmented with hands-on creative activities which add three-dimensional learning to a digital discovery. Children can take time-out to read, reflect and explore ideas in more depth, with access to extensive digital libraries and storytelling experiences. Additionally, language skills can be honed with a range of courses for native and non-native English and Arabic speakers. The Arts, Language and Culture stream also includes music tutorials and poetry.
ENRICHING EDUCATION JOURNEYS
The platform also caters to students plotting their first steps towards higher education, with a range of webinars and university prep talks ensuring they are ready for the big leap into university. There is also a generous offering of admission preparation courses, including IELTS to SATS revisions, specialist subject tutoring and couching sessions for candidate interviews. Younger students can revise or refresh core subjects ensuring they are prepped for the coming academic year.
KEEP ON MOVING
For energetic students eager to keep moving, the platform’s Physical Education and Wellbeing stream features a whole host of challenges, from sports contests, to cooking competitions and physical activities children can do around the home or garden.
To register for the Activity Platform, visit activityplatform.ae
Review: Huawei MatePad 11-inch PaperMatte Edition
Huawei has long been a prominent player in the tech industry, consistently pushing the boundaries of innovation. The Huawei MatePad...
Review: Lexar Jumpdrive Fingerprint F35
In the fast-paced world of data storage, security is paramount. Lexar, a well-known player in the storage solutions market, has...
Review: Corsair MP700 Pro PCIe Gen5 X4 NVMe M.2 SSD with Cooler
Corsair has launched the new MP700 Pro PCIe Gen5 X4 NVMe M.2 SSD with a Cooler that stands out as...
Review: Razer Kishi V2 Pro
Many companies make mobile game controllers designed for both Android phones and iPhones, with Razer being one of the top...
Review: Linksys Velop Pro 6E
In today’s fast-paced world, a speedy internet connection is non-negotiable. However, the harsh reality is that many of us find...