His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, visited the Translation Challenge site to review its progress, which falls under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Arabic e-Learning Project.
With the help of over 300 dedicated volunteers, 1,500 videos and 3 million words have already been translated. Sheikh Mohammed personally oversaw the launch of the content approval phase, in line with the current curriculum, as well as the formation of the study groups who will ensure the quality of the videos before their official launch in October. While touring the translation "factory", Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Hamdan also participated in the challenge by lending their voices to an educational video.
His Highness also oversaw the overall progress of the challenge, including video selection, content translation and voiceovers for the videos. Ultimately, this project will offer over 50 million Arab students around the world access to 5,000 educational videos for free.
The translation "factory" is a simulation of the challenge’s mechanisms and processes, including how the team goes about translating content and preparing it for video production in Arabic, before producing all the videos. The Translation Challenge is the most comprehensive challenge dedicated to Arabising educational content in math and sciences.
"We are fuelled by the energy and enthusiasm shared amongst the Translation Challenge volunteers. We have one team of thousands of volunteers to start a new phase in the education of the Arab World. Our students need to have access to advanced educational content, and the Mohammed bin Rashid e-Learning Project will be the largest platform to provide it," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.
He added that mathematics and sciences in Arab schools are key to resuming Arab civilisation, and that translation is the foundation of an Arab renaissance, and opens the doors to invaluable knowledge.
"We need to provide support to math and sciences material in our schools, and to encourage and support our students in these fields, so that we can shape a generation of Arab scientists, researchers and thinkers. This is the fastest way to bridging the education gap in the Arab world," Sheikh Mohammed noted.
The translation "factory", which took place in Dubai, was a live simulation of the Translation Challenge mechanisms and processes. It was a full day presentation of all the stages of the challenge, including translation, review, sound recording and production design, as per the agreed upon Translation Challenge framework. Dedicated volunteers from various Arab countries worked diligently as editors, supervisors, fact checkers, technicians, creative designers and commentators.
It also included students from UAE schools in different grades, who learned about the process of Arabisation from their teachers before they watched and evaluated the final videos.
The translation "factory" included several workstations, similar to organised production lines, in which volunteers worked within a clear framework. The work was divided into stages and distributed to different platforms. The process started with selecting educational videos from the latest international curricula, for various grades, before their content was deduced into text.
After that, the text was translated to Arabic, reviewed, and audited for information and language under the supervision of teachers, editors and specialised professionals. The text was then matched with the approved educational curricula, and integrated into the Arabic curriculum through audio commentary, after being produced with visuals and graphics to enhance its quality. Finally, it was presented to a group of students from grade 7 to 12. They assessed the content, design, accuracy and clarity of the material on the video.
Sheikh Mohammed reviewed all the various stages of the translation "factory", before he joined by giving his own voice to one of the educational videos.
The Translation Challenge is a call to action for all Arabs to come together to translate to Arabic 5,000 videos and over 11 million words of educational content in science and math for students from kindergarten to grade 12. The project will offer the material online free to over 50 million Arab students in the hopes of rebooting civilisation in the region, and instilling a curiosity for knowledge in future generations to come.
Since the Translation Challenge launched, approximately 30 percent of the content has been Arabised and produced. The completed videos will be subject to a final evaluation before being officially approved and published on a special platform developed on the Mohammed bin Rashid Arab e-Learning Project website.