Hundreds Turn Out for Qatar’s First Experiential Learning Festival
Doha Learning Days concludes after engaging everyone in a collaborative programme
Doha Learning Days (DLD), Qatar’s first experiential learning festival, has drawn to a close, after hundreds took part in its packed programme held from 14 to 19 November, and which drew participation from across a wide spectrum of the community – including students and teachers, artists and musicians, educators and entrepreneurs – who all took part in the successful celebration of learning.
Organised by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of Qatar Foundation, the festival opened with a spectacular musical story performance, a collaboration between WISE, Qatar Reads, ACTory, and Qatar Music Academy. The delightfully original narrative story, developed by Qatar Reads, reflected the relationship between local culture and today’s modern, technology-driven world.
Over 50 local and international partners co-curated a varied programme over the six-day festival with experiential activities around several themes: science and technology, wellness, sustainability, empowerment, and special needs and accessibility. Offshoot activities included practitioner workshops and sessions with WISE Summit speakers.
The festival’s focus on innovative experiential learning for different abilities and aptitudes formed part of DLD’s aim to be a catalyst for education focused on re-centering learning human values, de-constructing existing learning frameworks, and a process of re-learning to build thriving societies. Strategic partner organisations supporting DLD included the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, ExxonMobil Qatar, and Qatar Rail.
According to WISE CEO Stavros N Yiannouka, Doha Learning Days has been an incredible opportunity to show why innovation in education is at the core of their efforts at WISE.
The tremendous support from the community highlights the importance of this kind of event, to give everyone the opportunity to learn skills in an environment that encourages interactive, hands-on learning. We are also very grateful to our partner organisations whose efforts and commitments have made the event a resounding success. We look forward to seeing what the next edition will offer.’
Doha Learning Days
The full range of sessions at DLD included ‘Learning Labs’ – for school students to join STEM-related sessions with partners such as ibTECHar; a ‘Networking Majlis’, where high school students were introduced to university life through speed mentoring and STEM speaker sessions with event sponsor ExxonMobil Qatar and QF partner universities.
Torba Market also presented a Sustainability Series exploring ways to be more sustainable in Qatar. Qatar Rail engaged the community through an art project reflecting the themes of sustainability and local culture. Selected artworks created by participating students are to be featured along Qatar Rail’s Green Line stations.
DLD worked closely with Qatar Foundation to develop the festival programme, which included working with the Accessibility Football team to raise awareness around special needs and inclusivity. In addition, DLD included informative consultations and workshops around inclusive learning, care and accessibility.
The programme also offered innovative ways for members of the wider community in Qatar to enhance their mental and physical well-being. ‘Wellbeing and Community Activities’ included fitness and mindfulness activities with Brain Education Middle East; ‘Unlearning Football’ with Generation Amazing; and a crossfit competition with Live Life. The Library of Wonders by Qatar Reads, successfully celebrated reading in a mystical maze of books. Intensive workshops for teachers were offered with KidZania and Aspire Academy.
The lively conversations initiated at DLD around innovative approaches to education will continue at the 2019 WISE Summit, which also kicked off this week at Qatar National Convention Centre. More than 2,000 educators, decision makers and experts in the public and private sectors from over 100 countries across the globe will gather for engaging plenaries, dialogues, debates, and tailored networking sessions to reimagine and build the future of education around the theme UnLearn, ReLearn: What it means to be Human.
To learn more about Doha Learning Days, visit wise-qatar.org.