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95% Emirati youth say Covid highlighted the value of lifelong learning

Abu Dhabi - Two in five say they prefer learning new information through conversations.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Sun 13 Jun 2021, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Jun 2021, 2:18 PM

Ninety-five per cent of Emirati youth believe Covid has made lifelong learning more important than ever, according to a new study.

The survey, conducted by the Federal Youth Authority (FYA) in collaboration with Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed Ramadan Series 2021, explored the youth’s views on learning beyond school.

Two in five of those polled — or 39 per cent — said they prefer to learn new information by engaging in conversations with others, like older family members, older people in the community, mentors and peers, reflecting the Emirati tradition of passing wisdom through generations.

Learning through conversation was a top choice, over any other means, including through social media or reading.

Nearly three-quarters of participants also said they expect the quality of their work to improve through lifelong learning, with continuous education also expected to have a positive impact on their creativity.

Almost all of the young people surveyed agreed that more can still be done to encourage lifelong learning in the community, with over half claiming that the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on their motivation to continue the journey.

Two hundred members of the Federal Youth Authority initiatives, all of whom Emirati nationals, were surveyed for the study.

Youth aged 15 to 35 made up majority of the sample, accounting for 83.25 per cent of all participants, while 15.71 per cent were aged 35 to 50. Only two FYA members included in the survey were older than 50.

Nearly half (44 per cent) of respondents believe learning will make their life happier and they want to engage in it moving forward, the survey revealed.

More than a third (35.5 per cent) said they are currently learning within their profession, while over two-thirds (68.5 per cent) expect their creativity to get a boost.

Two-thirds of the Emirati youth interviewed see improved self-confidence as the biggest advantage of lifelong learning, followed by 63.5 per cent who believe it would create more professional opportunities and renewed self-motivation.

Developing a new professional skill is more interesting than developing a new personal skill, according to the youth, with 36 per cent saying they are most interested in developing professional skills, versus 32 per cent who are more interested in personal skills.

For over half (53 per cent) of the surveyed youth, learning in groups is most preferable, while a quarter favour learning by reading, and 21 per cent would opt for social media as a platform of choice. Some 22 per cent prefer to learn alone, while 25 per cent would like to do so with another individual.

The lifelong learning session was the latest in the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed Ramadan Series, which covered three additional topics of discussion this year: Human Fraternity and Peaceful Coexistence, Global Health, and Community Resilience.

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