Archive for July, 2012

Response to Mentoring needed to retain new Emirati teachers

Posted on: July 29th, 2012 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Teaching is not an academic profession. It is a practical, pragmatic, skills based activity, within an environment of empathy, enthusiasm and trust. Teachers of today, and certainly tomorrow, will find (must find) teaching methods that are both more individualized and in-line with the needs and wishes of education’s stakeholders. Those stakeholders and their basic requirements include: The UAE: Arabic instruction and fluency, cultural and religious training and awareness; Parents: happy, enthusiastic, motivated and successful chlldren who are treated with respect, and challenged by superb teachers “effectively” using the latest technological aids and teaching pedagogy; Colleges and University: academically prepared high school graduates with English fluency: reading, writing and speaking at 100% not some arbitrary minimum “number”. When there is a gap between expectation and reality, the ISO professionals will tell you that you either lower your expectations or raise the “reality” (in this teachers’ abilities). While reaching that goal, mitigating activities are put in place. I hope this makes sense, because it is a way to transition from the “what are we going to do” to actually doing something. This discussion (I have followed it for six years), reminds me of an iceberg. Everyone screams about what they can see (10%) rather than the 90% beneath the water. Address the 90%.

Mentoring needed to retain new Emirati teachers
Afshan Ahmed
Jul 30, 2012 
DUBAI // Lack of an induction programme for new Emirati teachers is causing many to quit the
Dr Ali S Ibrahim, of UAE University, found newly employed teachers suffered from stress, work overload and low self-esteem, which contributed to attrition rates.
“The prevalent view has been that new graduates from teacher education programmes are ready to fulfil their duties as teachers without support from schools or school districts,” said Dr Ibrahim, who surveyed 100 teachers.  “Young teachers feel like they are thrown into the water without a life jacket.”
The Ministry of Education could not provide official figures for the new Emirati teacher attrition rate.
But international studies confirm that those with no formal induction are twice as likely to leave within the first three years of teaching.
Dr Ibrahim said that some of the most important learning needs of the novice teachers he interviewed included tips on managing a classroom, discipline and using different strategies to teach.
Amnah Al Kindi, 24, joined a Government high school in Fujairah last year. She has been struggling with the paperwork required and other tasks she was unprepared for.
“You do not know what their expectations are from you and the school is not always clear,” said Ms Al Kindi, who plans to quit her job when she finishes her master’s degree in education at HCT.
She said new teachers needed to be guided in tasks that they were not taught about at university.
“My principal is very supportive and new teachers have workshops,” she said. “But we also need a mentor to tell us what is right and wrong and give us courage to continue.”
Sameirah Abdouli, who graduated from HCT in Fujairah and teaches at a boys’ school, said the regular practical training at university gave her a good idea of what was to come.
“This is not the case with other federal universities where there is very little training inside schools,” said Ms Abdouli. “Some of the teachers I know are not motivated to stay on because they did not expect the work they are given.”
Dr Ibrahim said a strong practical course had to be brought in at university level, but an induction programme could also help.
“All novice teachers should be assigned qualified mentors,” he said.
An induction programme was tested in Abu Dhabi in 2004 but was shut down in 2008 because of several shortcomings.
Dr Ibrahim said his survey found that new teachers wanted experienced colleagues of the same sex to be their mentors, and for not more than a year.
Mentors and novices should also have reduced teaching loads to provide time for co-planning, and they must also receive money for counselling, the study suggests.
The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research also piloted a mentor programme this year. Twelve experienced teachers were selected to undergo courses to support new teachers in March.
“Nine of those teachers will team up with a new teacher and spend at least an hour a week with them,” said Charlotte Lamptey, project manager for teaching and learning at the foundation.
Dr Steven Bossert, dean of the College of Education at UAEU, said they were working with Adec and other education officials to develop an induction programme, too.

Congratulations to Mona Al Ali: Response to “Student aims to attract more Emiratis to the UAE’s museums.”

Posted on: July 29th, 2012 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Congratulations to Mrs. Al Ali. Her research is a vital part of determining the best methods to market Museums UAE citizens young and “old”, high school student field trips, tourists and Meetings and Convention planners. In 2010 I visited each of the Sharjah Museums and was greatly impressed by each one. The only thing more impressive was the calibre and interest of those working for the Sharjah Museums Department at all levels. I had the honor to work with SMD trainers – a more intelligent and enthusiastic class would be impossible for me to remember from the over 25,000 participants I worked with over my 30 year career. Well done Mona, and well done Sharjah Museums Department.

Student aims to attract more Emiratis to the UAE’s museums
Melanie Swan
Jul 29, 2012 

SHARJAH //SHARJAH //Attracting Emiratis to museums and galleries in the UAE has not been an easy task – but a doctoral student is trying to find a way.
Mona Al Ali, 30, an Emirati, worked at Sharjah’s museums for four years before going to the UK to pursue her PhD, funded by the Emirates Foundation, more than 18 months ago.
After earning a Master’s in education, Ms Al Ali began to wonder what kept her compatriots away from galleries.
“I wanted to understand UAE society better and there wasn’t much written about this,” she said.
While on sabbatical from the museums to study, she conducted in-depth interviews with 25 of the museums’ visitors and will hold more over the coming months.
She hopes to learn more about their interests, cultural backgrounds and what draws them to the facilities.
Of the 25 questioned, six were Emiratis. Most admitted it was their first visit to a museum in Sharjah, despite going to them while travelling abroad or at school.
“They all believed museums were important,” said Ms Al Ali. “But we must make people realise it’s for them to visit, too, not just tourists.”
One woman told Ms Ali of her surprise when she went to the maritime museum and learned about her own family’s history.
“When she saw her family’s names, it finally meant something to her,” Ms Al Ali said. “She really engaged with the stories, which is what people need to get them to go to these places. People always want something personal in order to care about it.
“People don’t even know what is in the museums and don’t realise there are things like natural history, the aquarium – things everyone can find interest in.”
Nina Trojanovic, the associate director at Traffic, an art and creative space in Dubai that also holds exhibitions, screenings and fashion shows, said that while Emiratis have accounted for about 10 per cent of visitors since the space opened in 2007, events involving UAE nationals were always better attended.
“When the Emirati artists have shows, that attracts their friends and family, so they are always well attended, as are bigger events such as Art Dubai,” Ms Trojanovic said.
Ms Al Ali said museums must look closely at the needs of visitors to attract greater numbers.
“I want to be able to give a more detailed understanding of the UAE community and the reasons they do and don’t go to museums,” she said.
Ms Al Ali admitted that the concept of museums in the Emirates was new but that interest must be encouraged.
“It’s not just about preserving history, objects, but understanding where we’ve come from, who we are now and where we are going in the future,” she said.
At a recent Emirati heritage festival organised at Fujairah fort and museum, 80 per cent of attendees were Emirati. Khameis Al Hefaiti, 31, head of public relations at the Fujairah Antiquities Authority, said this type of event appeals to the local community.
“We have to educate people, especially our children, to teach them about our heritage,” he added.
Ms Trojanovic said the galleries and museums may lack ways to connect with an Emirati audience.
“I do question if we’re getting the message out there,” she said. She suggested that a lot of information was spread through social media to expatriates, and that locals were not always as well informed.
Jane Bristol-Rhys, head of the upcoming Master’s in museum studies at Zayed University, said people such as Ms Al Ali can inspire other Emiratis to enter the field.
“Her research topic is very important as we all consider ways to encourage museum-going in the UAE and the Gulf,” he said.

Questions I would like answered!

Posted on: July 17th, 2012 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

1. Who made the decision to hire the London Olympics Games security company that is completely incompetent? How was the decision made? Was it open bidding process, with tenders, criteria, and rational decision-making? Were there reporting requirements, check points for performance? This is the Olympics not some shopping centre opening, what happened? It seems that “sorry” is just hardly sufficient as a way out of this fiasco.

2. Why does anyone at any level think that Assad is going to change his behavior? He is not going to. I wrote about this a number of months ago. Have world leaders now descended so low that they allow thousands of deaths to occur with no other excuse than “Well, he told us he wouldn’t do that anymore.” Annan must be just about the most naive statesman since Chamberlain and his “Peace in Our Time.”

3. There are still people who adamantly refuse to believe that “Climate Change” is the result of human beings. I know there are people who still think the earth is flat, but frankly we just feel sorry for them, and then forget them. But senior government and political leaders refusing to accept the facts and the persuasive evidence is ludicrous. I listened to a “respected” American business leader give a presentation at a Higher Colleges of Technology conference in Dubai in September 2006. His final message was to the effect that he did not believe in Global Warming, but that if true it would be a bonanza for business that would be tasked to provide the technology, materials, and equipment to address the effects.

4. Why does my country Canada blindly go about solving crime by building more prisons and make penalties higher? It is insane. Really, insane. Investing money at that level is liken to the old adage about “closing the barn door after the horse has escaped”. All research shows that children (from before birth through infancy, adolescence and their teenage years who are not provided both emotional and physical safety and sustenance have far greater chance of becoming delinquents. “Far greater chance” is the key. There will always personalities that will err on the side of criminal behavior. Our goal as a civilization is do whatever is within our power to create conditions that are conducive to positive, humane experiences for as many, or in this case, all our citizens. Isn’t it? While taking my MBA at the University of Western Ontario (last century (1976)) I was firmly in the capitalist “camp”. I was a libertarian. Every person has the opportunity to become a titan of business, the Prime Minister of Canada (always sounds better in the American phrase, “Anyone can become President.”), or whatever. Then I grew up. I was able, for whatever reason, to take off my “capitalism-is-the-only-way” blinders and see that in one of the richest countries in the world (yes, Canada!) there was endemic property, hopelessness, and greed. Whether in public or private spheres, turning a blind eye, and using the “should” excuse, was considered an erudite and appropriate response to the disparities between “rich and poor”. I reflect on the “entitlement” title “pejoratively” assigned to this generation. If one takes just a wee bit of time to think about the meaning of “entitlement” and then look at the “baby boom” generation, you will see a culture of entitlement that far exceeds any other example. The baby boom generation thinks they are “entitled” to their money, their bonuses, and their retirement packages . . . everything that is above what the “average” person will have. “Entitled” because everything they earned above the money they needed to live, was their right, they were entitled to “save” for their retirement, to have money to get medical service outside of Canada, or put their “savings” in offshore accounts to minimize their tax exposure. (The New Brunswick Irvings took their money to Bermuda, build palatial homes, enjoyed “legal” and wonderful tax breaks, AND then came home to Canada to receive free medical service.) Canada has (or did have) the best Public Health Care in the World, including health care nurses, systems, and on and on. Then Canada began to compare itself to the United States. Our leaders, enamored by the “Americans” policy, reduced our Public Health system (envied by the rest of the world) to “nothing” in many areas. This could be a 50,000-word “essay”. However, given no one will read this missive, taking the time to write a 50,000 essay seems a bit silly if not self-indulgent.

5. Canada’s aboriginal “situation”. This has been a farce for so long that surely it is time to actually do something logical to address and solve it. My feeling is that you either “solve a problem or manage a problem.” Bureaucrats and those within organizations where success is based on personal salary, vacations, cars, and homes, rather than change, improvement or objective results: they MANAGE the problem to their benefit. Why solve the Aboriginal housing crisis? If solved, bureaucracies cut, reduced, removed and REDUNDANT. Now there’s a goal every bureaucrat dreams of . . . working themselves out of a job. As for the Aboriginal perspective, please do a bit of research on the impact of a tribal, nomadic, religious, and a “rentier” mentality on the thinking and behaviors of Aboriginal Groups. My five years in the United Arab Emirates was an amazing eye-opener about these four areas. The more I studied the Arab culture, the more it paralleled the Aboriginal Culture in Canada. And yes, I have some experience with the Aboriginal society as I facilitated a nation wide Aboriginal Financial symposium in 1995. Please know that I don’t think the aboriginal population or leaders are to blame. They are complicit in the bureaucrats desire to “manage” the problem rather solve it, and they enabled to measure their success in media exposure and pleas to the United Nations. The whole idea of Aboriginal people being able to learn, live, control, and manage their money, lands, and entitlements is an anathema to the majority of bureaucrats and ALL the consultants who prosper by convincing the Aboriginal people that using them (the consultants) is the only way to succeed.

7. Why do “religions” have to create ideological issues that are nothing more than self-serving myths designed to create “us-them” cohesiveness and prejudice. Millions of hours of time: pro-life or pro-choice, gays allowed to marry within the church (or be leaders within a church), evolution versus “creationism”, or in the “Jewish problem” in Germany in the 1930’s and 1940″. Defining someone, or a group, as different is the beginning of racism. If “they” dress different from us . . . that is wrong, that is bad, that is DANGEROUS, that must be or “should be” illegal.

Okay, enough for now? Add to this with your “questions”.

Response to: Smart Learning Program set to revolutionise UAE education, Khaleej Times July 8, 2012

Posted on: July 8th, 2012 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

As a personal advocate for the young people of the UAE, I am appalled at this announcement. Once again a project is is promoted beyond any kind of rational basis. Once again the leadership lines up to support and praise a unique  “initiative”. Once again the teachers, the students, their parents and the general population is subjected to the ego boosting tirade of a monomaniac on a mission. (I leave you to fill in the name.)
Let’s look at the results of the “crap-o-meter” evaluation of the announcement. The following words and phrases are so much bullshit, that professional writers and Grade 6 students are prohibited from using them. (Hold your noses folks, this will get a bit smelly!):
Embarked; share its vision; unique new educational environment; entails; in line with global scientific renaissance; in-depth understanding; implement this unique; ultimately boost; enable the nation to stay in touch. The paragraph beginning with the words ““The process of education” is one of THE WORST paragraphs of ONE SENTENCE I have ever read. The paragraph beginning with “Dr. Issa Bastaki . . . ” is complete and utter boilerplate nonsense with the depth of . . . well to have depth there would have to be substance, there is not one whit of substance here.
Some more high points on the crap-o-meter: strive to ensure; enrich the curriculum; a new trend globally; transition to a more market-relevant; output of; connecting deeply with students; pursuit; empowering; strives to instill; Furthermore; enhance. And much, much more.
That UAE leaders let them names be attached to this “initiative” must keep the purveyors of this rip-off laughing uproariously every time they see the automatic deposit into their account.
Suggestions: check the effectiveness of the successful launch. Candid comments from teachers, principals, students, parents, and students going into subsequent grades or entering the work world. Take a long cynical and skeptical look at the promoters. How much  money are they making? And how pray tell at they being evaluated.
Is this, and I expect it is, just one more project that starts with a photo-op, and ends with a whimper and blame spread on the teachers, the principals, the students and their parents . . . I would bet that within less than two years this program will be forgotten, at least two more initiatives will have be announced and “implemented” and the nation and its media will continue to complain about the poor educational systems, high unemployment of Emirati college and university graduates, and the need for Emiriatization to take place in private industry.
I will save this, and send it back to you at some point in those two years. And knowing this will never be printed, it is going to be frustrating that I can’t say “I told you so!”

The article

Smart Learning Program set to revolutionise UAE education

(WAM) / 8 July 2012

Following the successful launch of the Mohammed bin Rashid’s Smart Learning Program by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai ,the program has embarked on a workshop to share its vision with teachers.

The program aims to create a unique new educational environment in schools, and this entails the distribution of tablet PCs for all students, and providing all state schools with 4G high-speed networks. These plans will improve the quality of education in line with the global scientific renaissance.

The program organised a workshop to give teachers an in-depth understanding of the program’s goals, and explain how they can implement this unique experience in the region.

The workshop was attended by Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qattami, Minister of Education. The workshop highlighted the importance of the program in the Ministry of Education’s goal to upgrade educational standards in the UAE. This will ultimately boost the UAE’s productivity, and enable the nation to stay in touch with developments in the international education field.

“The process of education demands teamwork and investing in the best human resources and expertise as well as support from all national bodies so as to keep up with the overall progress achieved in the UAE under the leadership of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of Emirates,” Al Qattami said in a speech at the meeting.

Dr Issa Bastaki, CEO of the Etisalat Fund Support and Information Systems, stated: “The program extends over a period of five years and consists of three phases, including the introduction, implementation, follow up and maintenance. We aim to achieve the highest rate of success, by putting special emphasis on a gradual transition to smart concepts of education. We have already set up the appropriate mechanisms, so that each phase can shift successfully to the next phase.”

The program’s organizers strive to ensure the smooth operation of the educational system at schools across the country, and to enrich the curriculum. This is particularly relevant because there is a new trend globally which has seen a transition to a more market-relevant form of education. Therefore it is vital to ensure that the output of the education sector matches the needs of the employment market.

During the workshop, attendees discussed the program’s goals of improving education standards. This will be achieved by connecting deeply with students, encouraging their pursuit of knowledge and empowering them to learn, by giving them modern educational tools. The program also strives to instill the concept of global competitiveness, so that UAE students aim to be the best in the world. Furthermore, the program aims to enhance the education system at all levels: from the school administration, teachers and students. These levels will then be linked with external stakeholders such as parents and policy makers.

Response to Seth Godin’s July 7, 2012 Blog: “Thinking about your shoes”

Posted on: July 7th, 2012 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Response to “Thinking about your shoes”

Hi Seth:

One of my most important precepts: At the end of a speech, program, or course, the participants, when asked about the course, should not say Tom. Rather they should be enthusiastically thinking about what they have learned and, more importantly, how they will use and benefit from the “learning.”

I have watched too many trainers, lecturers, professors, and teachers, going out for breaks and lunches with their students. Rather than listening to and enjoying the students’ experiences, the instructor spends the whole time regaling his/her students with stories reflecting how unbelievable he/she (THE INSTRUCTOR), is. Every student’s story is topped; every student’s “attempt” is denigrated.

Of course, the program evaluations (proverbial “happy sheets”) show overwhelming program success as a result of this incredible instructor.

Personal power over others can be formal or informal. Formal power comes from the person’s relative formal position compared with the rest of the group. A professor has formal power, and holds his/her students’ lives in the palm of her/his hand. There are many ways a student can receive top marks. Participation, group work, verbal exams are all, at least partially, subjective. Regardless of protestations that class evaluations are completely anonymous, students know that it is better to err on the side of “the professor is wonderful” that the opposite.

Informal power comes from “force of personality.” Those who talk longest and loudest overpower (especially when humor is involved) everyone else. Laughing along with the “professor/teacher” indicates “agreement and respect” and often the other students feel intimidated by the apparent approval and therefore “go along” with other students to give excellent evaluations.

It is also amazingly annoying for any teacher, professor, lecturer, trainer (or worse, those business coaches) to measure their success by the success of their best students. The bell curve clearly indicates that there will be students (far right of the curve) who DO NOT succeed because of anything the “teacher” does. The strategy for those students? GET OUT OF THEIR WAY!

The 34 % to the left of that group are keen but need to be reinforced, encouraged, and supported as they clarify and practice the concepts. The 34% to the left of the median, they are normally lacking in confidence, feel they are stupid, and need a great deal of practice to pass. That 34% is THE GROUP teachers are paid to teach. That is the group that needs our skills, our talents, and our intensity. It is the success of those students that most reflects the teacher’s ability. (And those students should be the ones who least notice the teacher’s impact at least in the short term.)

My company, Catalyst Consulting, (closed in 1999), created, marketed, and conducted programs that ALWAYS included a final day (not follow-up day) 3 months after the first three or more contiguous days. This day was not an option. The day was part of the program fee. This practice allowed so many good things to happen. The initial questions that began that final session? What worked, what didn’t, and why. After lengthy discussion (and demonstrations and coaching) the final question would be “where to do we/you go from here?”. Program evaluations at THAT point might be more accurate.

Just this past week I stepped away from an opportunity to team-teach with a friend (with whom I had a passing acquaintance) with years of teaching experience. The course: public speaking; two 3-hour sessions per week for 12 weeks. My co-teacher’s philosophy, always end the first class after 45 minutes. Always because students “love” it. And don’t worry about preparing much; it is just an “introduction” course. Not my way.

All of this to support your comment. The little things (right color shoes, or me throwing up (I did make it to the washroom, came back and continued) while teaching 300 people on ship in relatively heavy seas) are not more important IF the students are more engrossed with the ideas than in the instructor.

Below is the letter I send to the person I was to teach with:

I am up in the middle of the night struggling to think how I can ask you to re-consider your tradition of having the first class be only 45 minutes.

It is my feeling that the first class is incredibly important;

The experience of the first class sets the tone for the succeeding classes. If the expectation is that the classes are over in less than half the time for any session, it begs the question why a three hour class? And why all of this is schedule for 12 weeks? We only have 36 hours and to throw away 2 hours is over 5% of the class time available.

Each class is “only” 3 hours long. My challenge is never too much time, but too little time. I always start on time and finish on time. Finishing early for me means 5 minutes, and only if everyone has arrived on time, and has returned from breaks on time.

My initial formative teaching paradigm was teaching adults. To charge a substantial fee, and then begin late or finish early, infuriates adults. They paid 100%, they expect 100%. To let students out after 45 minutes of a 180-minute class is not acceptable.

I believe in the incitement of teaching. The first class demonstrates my passion for the subject, my ability to use a variety of teaching / training experiences to engage the different student learning styles, and my expectation of excellence in both student and trainer/instructor/teacher.

I love every class. I prepare for 3 hours each class. I give breaks. I vary the activities. I follow the Situational leadership process of being directive in at least the first class to create in the students the confidence that I know what I am doing and have the ability to help each student achieve the “university’s goals for the course, as well as, (and more importantly), their personal goals for the course.

As an ex-basketball coach and player, I knew the first practice would be/must be challenging, fun, exhausting and personally rewarding. Basketball (or any sport) requires hard work, determination and the willingness to push yourself to the limit of your abilities. (My favorite song of all time is “Take it to the Limit” by the Eagles.) Every practice has a purpose, and every practice is a full practice. And every practice starts on time, and finishes on time except in exceptional circumstances.

All of the above I believe fits within the way you and I think.

If there is any concern about 3 hours as too long for the first or any class thereafter, it is not shared by me.

I am prepared and excited to teach a full 3-hour class on Wednesday.

He was not amused, and he and I are not conducting the program together. C’est le vie!

On Jul 7, 2012, at 7:39 AM, Seth Godin wrote:

Thinking about your shoes

I woke up early to give a speech a few weeks ago and got dressed in the dark. Bad idea. I ended up wearing two slightly different brown shoes on stage, and I was sure that it was the first and only thing that anyone in the audience would notice. I was wrong.

People spend almost no time thinking about what you wear on your feet. A few hours after the meeting, we have no recollection at all about what tie you wore or how your hair was done.

On the other hand, we’ll long be impacted by your big idea, the project you didn’t launch and the gift you didn’t give.

It’s easy to obsess about trivia, mostly because the stakes are so small. What happens if we wonder about what we could to that might change everything instead?

When I miss in basketball, I can still find the ball.

Posted on: July 4th, 2012 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

As I think about the growth of a country such as the UAE, I am amazed at all the initiatives begun with great fan fair, publicity, photo ops, and promises of profound, worldwide significant change. Then . . . what happened? The initiative, using my basketball analogy, is the basketball. The “initiative” gets thrown at the “hoop” and if it does not “score”, the ball bounces away. Why? There is no backboard, Basketball is about missing . . . the best shooters rarely shoot above 55%. But the entertainment is not just in the 3 point shot, the entertainment is in the misses, the rebounds, the outlet passes, the fast breaks, the plays the free the open player for a good shot. The UAE initiative “game” plays without a “backboard”. One miss and the ball flies out of the basketball court, perhaps out of the gym. There is no opportunity to grab the rebound, learn from the “miss”, and allow others to help score the basket. No initiative is guaranteed to succeed. (If it was guaranteed it would take all the fun out of living.) The UAE must allow initiative to miss, to regroup, to re-think, and keep going. By forcing initiatives to be “successful” (to score with the first shot) just promotes 1) shooting the ball once, and if you miss, the game is over, the ball (the initiative rolls away and is lost), and the game stops until another initiative hits the courts! and 2) encourages this creating the initiatives to care little about responsibility or accountability. These so-called experts are paid for shooting, not for scoring. Without the opportunity of “rebounds” the initiatives are 9 times out of 10, going to fail.

Emiratization Proposal: programs written and taught in Arabic.

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

There has been some confusion about Tom’s Pattillo’s proposal to help UAE women college and university graduates join private industry by creating and operating Business Soft Skills Training Centres.

Some people think the courses developed will only be taught in English.

Although the ability to speak Arabic and English is required to participate in the proposed program, the Centre would develop and teach only Arabic courses.

Potential clients would be Arabic speaking women (perhaps older than 30), who want to learn, in a short term “workshop” or “seminar” program, how to do “things” (from cooking, to understanding their children, to public speaking, to the newest technology, and retirement planning).

The courses developed would be based on the needs of the potential customers as discovered through consumer research including focus group methods.