GESS records impressive numbers for sixth straight year in row

WAM DUBAI: The Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) exhibition ended on a high note, recording another growth year for the sixth consecutive time.

The sixth edition of the annual educational exhibition hosted more than 300 exhibitors showcasing the latest technological advances in education, up 14% from last year.

Visitor attendance, meanwhile, jumped 20% compared to the previous year, with delegates coming from more than 60 countries, highlighting the event’s global reach.

“It has been another remarkable year for GESS. Our growth is reflective of the high importance accorded to education in the Gulf region, by the government and private sectors as well as the education system as a whole,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F’&’E Group, organizers of the region’s biggest and most prestigious educational exhibition.

“The massive interest in smart learning tools and technological devices that can be used for education was a big factor to our incredible growth this year,” he added.

Global appeal Highlighting the UAE’s growing prominence as an education hub, GESS welcomed exhibitors and visitors across the globe. Germany, one of the biggest country exhibitors in GESS, praised the organisers for another well attended show.

Reinhard Koslitz, Executive Director of Didacta, said, “There is no doubt GESS provides an excellent platform for suppliers and decision makers to meet. What has also worked for the show is the strong support showed b y the government, in particular the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which tells the world how important education is in this part of the world.” Rosetta Stone, a leading provider of technology-based language learning solutions, is participating in the show for the very first time. Donavan Whyte, Vice President of Sales, EMEA, Rosetta Stone said, “As a first-time exhibitor we were delighted to start a dialogue with many forward-thinking educators from all over the Middle East. It is great to see the tremendous importance the region places on education and language is part of that. With our first Middle East office opening in Dubai this month, we will continue to learn from local governments and educational institutions and also share some of the knowledge we have acquired over the past 20 years.” GESS likewise welcomed a strong delegation from Korea, Japan and China whose exhibitors showcased a wide range of engineering and electronics supplies as well as ICT hardware and software solutions.

International coverage Edutech’s NAO robot was one of the show’s biggest attractions this year. Samsul Karim, Director, was pleased with the visitor turnout at GESS. He said, “We met with different school representatives not just from the GCC countries, but from as far as Africa. We have been exhibitors from the start and have seen how the show has grown in prominence and importance.” Thompson reported the overwhelmingly positive feedback from both exhibitors and visitors about the growing interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) products and solutions. “Technology adoption will be a crucial factor in improving quality standards which will help Gulf economies further improve competitiveness, as well as access to the latest educational trends and insights. This will only serve to strengthen the educational system, and we are privileged to be a part of that,” Thompson explained.

Strong content Teachers and other education stakeholders lauded the strong content offered at the Global Education Forum (GEF) which included presentations from technology powerhouses such as Google, Intel, Samsung and Microsoft. Combined with insights from global education experts, GEF and GESS have become a key resource for valuable insights into challenges and opportunities confronting the education sector in the Gulf region.

Many of the educators and administrators who attended agree the conference programme this year will help boost the adoption of technology into the classroom. Dr Ethan Danahy, Reseacher at Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, clearly demonstrated how LEGO robotics can be integrated into school classrooms and help create a better teaching and learning environment.

Dave Kirtlan of Elsium Education Consultancy’s sessions on ‘iPads in Educaton’ were packed with teachers and school administrators eager to discover how to embed mobile devices into the classroom and help promote independent learning and engaging the students more effectively.

“We are thankful for the support of the Ministry of Education in putting together the conference programme – combining international expertise with local insights – that make them such an enriching experience for delegates to attend. This important feature of the conference will continue to offer invaluable insights on the full spectrum of education in future editions of GESS,” ended Thompson.