The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) will collaborate with Montessori Centre International (MCI) to train a new generation of Montessori educators, after the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President and CEO, and Leonor Stjepic, Chair of Montessori Centre International, signed the MoU which aims to develop a strategic partnership between the entities through the development and embedding of a Montessori Professional Specialism Certificate in the HCT’s Bachelor of Education Early Childhood degree.
The MoU was signed during the HCT’s 3rd Annual Education Student Research Conference, held on May 1, 2019 at the HCT-Abu Dhabi Women’s campus, in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, Global Ambassador for the Montessori Group.
The first stage of the collaboration will see MCI certify a Montessori Professional Specialism as part of the HCT Bachelor of Education Early Childhood degree, which will enable HCT BEd graduates to take up jobs as Montessori teachers or operate their own Montessori nursery. Subsequently, HCT and MCI will work to establish a Centre of Excellence in Montessori Education in the UAE. MCI will also provide specialized Montessori training for HCT faculty on the MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy, as well as Integrating Montessori Practice program.
Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi said that HCT was pleased with this collaboration in the area of early childhood education, saying: “It will equip our Bachelor of Education students, specializing in the Early Childhood Education major, with Montessori skills and practices, which will eventually enable them to become highly qualified teachers or even establish their own Montessori nurseries.”
He added that this initiative is aligned with the HCT 4.0 initiative, the objective of which is to graduate technical leaders and entrepreneurs in order to increase future employment prospects of UAE nationals.
Dr. Al Shamsi stressed the importance of early education in developing children’s personalities and preparing them for the future. “The Montessori education method discovers potential and equips learners with 21st century skills and innovation skills based on the MCI heritage of pioneering innovation,” he said.
Princess Tessy of Luxembourg said: “It was a huge honour to represent Montessori Centre International (MCI) and meet Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi and other distinguished guests. In my role as Global Education Ambassador for the Montessori Group, and as the mother of two young boys who went to Montessori schools, I have seen first-hand the value of Montessori education and importance of qualified early years practitioners. HCT’s educational goals are dynamic and inspirational and we look forward to helping them being achieved through this new partnership.”
Leonor Stjepic, Chair of Montessori Centre International, said: “Both HCT and MCI share an ambitious vision to make transformational impact in the area of education. The signing of this MoU, and being part of such a beautiful ceremony alongside eminent guests, is the first step in what I’m sure will be a rewarding collaboration for both organisations.”
Dr. Al Shamsi said that the launching of the “Global Khalifa Award for Early Education” by HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, reflects the support of the UAE’s wise leadership for early education, as the Award invites international experts to share their experiences and research based on the latest technologies and best practices.
Dr. Al Shamsi affirmed that HCT continuously strives to play an effective role in achieving the visions and directives of the UAE leadership in building human capacity.
MCI is the largest UK training provider for Montessori practitioners offering qualifications within both Further Education and Higher Education frameworks, and has trained over 4,000 students over the past 20 years.