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    The First Consultative Meeting on the Knowledge Index in Muslim Counties Concludes at ICESCO Headquarters

    23 December 2022

    On the closing day of the First Consultative Meeting on “Strategic Indicators for Development in the Islamic World: Knowledge Index as a Model,” held by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), in partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the participants discussed innovative ideas and proposals to develop practical initiatives that will contribute to the improvement of the knowledge economy. The meeting also explored the Global Knowledge Index over two days to measure the knowledge performance of Muslim countries and understand the relevant transformations and challenges.

    At the outset of the second day, (Thursday, December 22, 2022), in the presence of Dr. Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, delegations of ICESCO Member States and the representatives of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and UNDP, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), welcomed all the participants, pointing out that the second day’s agenda features brainstorming sessions to outline proposals to help Muslim countries have knowledge-based economies and reach advanced ranks in the knowledge index.

    During the brainstorming session on pre-university education issues, Dr. Najwa Grace, an expert at UNDP, indicated that the knowledge index hinges upon knowledge capital and the enabling environment. Dr. Bari Bolly Koumbou, Head of ICESCO Education Sector, presented the Organization’s initiatives to ensure quality education for all through a comprehensive vision that stems from the perspective that human values are the basis of education. Ms. Ramata Almami, Head of ICESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector, indicated that we should understand the social variables, contribute to improving individual behaviors, and pay attention to mental health to build knowledge societies.

    During the second session on developing proposals on higher education issues, Dr. Hany Torky, UNDP Chief Technical Advisor of the Knowledge Project, presented the latest statistics related to the knowledge index, explaining that the percentage of missing data on higher education in the ICESCO Member States exceeds the data related to pre-university education.

    r. Omar Helli, Advisor to ICESCO DG for the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), said that the sources of knowledge have become diverse and numerous, but universities are considered major spaces for supporting knowledge through innovation and scientific research. Dr. Driss Aouicha, former delegate minister in charge of higher education and scientific research of the Kingdom of Morocco, reaffirmed that measuring the knowledge index through data collection is key to improving the knowledge index in Muslim countries.

    In the third session on developing proposals for technical education issues, Dr. Yusuf Sediq, an expert at UNDP, stressed that it is necessary to explore the professions of tomorrow and anticipate the future of the labor market to formulate proposals for improving the knowledge index in the Islamic world, explaining the sub-index of technical education and professional training. For his part, Dr. Raheel Qamar, Head of ICESCO Science and Technology Sector, reviewed the sector’s initiatives to keep pace with the rapid technological developments through critical thinking and innovation.

    After each session, the participants were divided into three working groups to generate ideas and outline proposals that would envision initiatives related to the addressed issues. Each workshop was followed by a presentation of the most prominent proposals to be included in the recommendations of the meeting.

    A consultative working session was held with the Secretaries-General of the National Commissions for Education, Science and Culture of ICESCO Member States to enhance the participation of Muslim countries in the global development index. The closing session presented the most prominent outcomes of the consultative meeting.

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