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Education - International Arab Baccalaureate Conference Draws Educational Notables From Across Lebanon.

NNA - 16/2/2012 - Education policymakers, school principals, heads of departments, and other stakeholders coming from all over Lebanon, participated in a much awaited, day long International Arab Baccalaureate (IAB) Conference, held at the Educational Research Centre (ERC) complex in Zouk Mosbeh, north of Beirut.

After a welcoming note by Dr. Tony Tohme Director of ERC, the conference began in earnest with IAB Chair (and author of the Profile Shaping Education (PSE), Prof. Ibrahim Halloun, with the subject: 'International Arab Baccalaureate: Student License to the Future'. Further topics included IAB Scope and Assessments, IAB e-Platform and IAB School Accreditation. Discussion around these topics even went on during coffee breaks and the luncheon, which were provided onsite.

The International Arab Baccalaureate (IAB) initiative was initially launched in Lebanon by ERC, back in July 2010, after two years of successful piloting and intensive monitoring. It is being implemented during the current academic year in Grades 10 and 11, at 28 schools located in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and will cover all three secondary school grades in the coming year, at the end of which the IAB diploma will be granted for the first time.

The recent conference follows an earlier IAB Conference on February 3 & 4 that gathered representatives from potential IAB candidate schools from KSA, UAE, Jordan and Egypt, in order to learn about IAB and consider implementing it at their schools In an interview with Reverend Father Boutros Azar, Secretary General of the Catholic Schools in Lebanon, he said: "By participating to the conference, I realized the importance that we should attach to the various educational approaches, especially those that look after the Arab world, which is the basis of our work at the General Secretariat of Catholic Schools. This event shows how important it is to look after the students and the teachers for meaningful learning and teaching." He wished for the continuation of cooperation in order to have successful students, competent teachers and efficient trainings. "The main concern is the human being and the respect of his rights of privacy, heritage and culture." He concluded: "I thank the organizers for this educational meeting and I look forward to further cooperation between us in order to achieve the lofty goals we seek in our educational mission, to build a better future for our institutions, society and the world, so that education becomes the means of humanitarian unity and peace between individuals and people." Mrs. Nahla Osman Zahra, Director of Jinan High School in Saida - Abra, expressed her interest in the International Arab Baccalaureate and declared: "The adoption of this program distinguishes the student and the school; the students have an internal energy and this project works on its development as it is based on analysis that leads to creativity. Furthermore, this curriculum is characterized by the development of the teachers' capacities in a way to serve the school, teachers, students, parents, and the community as a whole." Mr. Ahmed Alameh, Director General of St. George Schools in Hadath and Haret Hreyk, stated that the IAB diploma goes in line with the Lebanese certificate. He hoped that it will become a global certificate and that it will be applied at large.

Father Maroun Zgheib, Director of the School of Our Lady of Graces in Kfarchima and Damour, said: "We are here today to develop ourselves, our teachers and our educational curricula, as the existing programs do not comply with our requirements. We found a new thing in this curriculum that stems from the existing programs and tries to develop them." He also expressed his encouragement for this project.

The Conference comes at a time when ERC is working hard in order to have IAB recognized by ministries of education and concerned accreditation agencies, and accepted for entry at major universities in the Arab World and elsewhere, especially in Australia, Europe and North America, this can only mean good news for students of the Middle East and for the future competiveness of the Middle East.

ERC also announced that it is set to host a two-day international conference under the theme of 'Education for Innovation' in Beirut, Lebanon on March 24 and 25, 2012.

IAB builds on ERC's long experience in educational research, curriculum development and educational measurement in many Arab countries.

An international Governing Board of renowned Arab and non-Arab educators and policymakers sets and oversees the implementation of the general policy of IAB.

All IAB matters are carried out in the spirit of full partnership with accredited schools.

Design and delivery of IAB assessments benefit from the latest advances in measurement research and technology, including an IAB Electronic Assessment Platform which incorporates a unique item bank, an information management system, OMR assessments, online assessment and on-screen marking of paper tools.

NNA 2012 LEBANON

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Publication:National News Agency Lebanon (NNA)
Date:Feb 16, 2012
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