ICD, Finterra collaborate for sustainable business growth

The meeting was attended by Ayman Sejiny, CEO of ICD, and senior officials.
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Updated 03 June 2020

ICD, Finterra collaborate for sustainable business growth

Ayman Sejiny, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group), and Satesh Khemlani, managing director of Finterra PTE Ltd., signed a memorandum of understanding on May 30 to leverage each other’s strengths to achieve sustainable business growth, including crowd funding for sustainable development.

The MoU came as a result of an ongoing discussion about strategic collaboration between ICD and Finterra, in areas where both organizations have common beneficiaries and share similar social impact development goals.

During the current global pandemic, it is clear that digital channels and online working are increasingly important for financial services and financial inclusion. ICD’s collaboration with Finterra is based on the its highly powered blockchain solutions for Islamic social finance, namely, SadaqahChain, WAQFChain and ZakatChain. The MoU was digitally signed during a virtual signing ceremony attended by the senior management members of all parties in Saudi Arabia and Singapore, respectively.

Sejiny, the CEO of ICD, said: “ICD is focusing on five strategic pillars, which include: Focusing our core business on financial institutions; implementing new innovative products and channels; growing the business in a financially sustainable way; serving member countries based on their development needs; and deepening our collaboration within IsDB Group and other IFIs and partners.

“Accordingly, the collaboration with Finterra, being technologically sound and operationally innovative, would allow ICD to reach out to communities and beneficiaries in emerging markets that others fail to reach. With the help of advanced technology and constant innovation, we aim at breaking barriers and enabling financial services to become more accessible to each Muslim that needs our help or support.”


Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Updated 09 July 2020

Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Outstanding students, tutors and colleges from 25 countries, including from the Middle East, saw their achievements recognized at the BTEC Awards 2020 ceremony, held online for the first time due to coronavirus.

Hosted by presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC ambassador, Flex, 17 category award winners were celebrated from the UAE and around the Middle East as well as internationally in subjects such as health and social care, performing arts, engineering, IT, business and sport.

Double Olympic gold medalist Max Whitlock and architect, TV presenter and campaigner George Clarke were among those presenting awards. 

They were joined by journalist and TV presenter Steph McGovern who spoke about her passion for vocational education and the BTEC Awards.

Spanning across 21 categories, the awards showcase the exceptional BTEC learners and teachers that have been nominated to win a gold, silver or bronze BTEC award. Accepted in more than 200 universities worldwide, BTEC is a highly regarded, career-focused qualification, studied in over 60 countries.

The Middle East winners are:

• BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student of the Year Silver Winner — Finn Page, DESC, UAE

• BTEC Teacher of the Year (schools only) Bronze Winner — James McBlane, British School Al-Khubairat, UAE

• BTEC IT and Computing Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Sangeetha Philip, Cambridge International School, Dubai, UAE

• BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Delma Sharyl D’Silva, The Winchester School — Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president, BTEC and apprenticeships at Pearson Education, said: “This year I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of BTEC Award nominations we received, and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year. 

Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.”

In the UAE, BTEC qualifications are available in sectors including applied science, art and design, business, childcare, construction, engineering, media, health and social care, hospitality, ICT, performing arts, public services, sport, travel and tourism.

Pearson has been delivering BTEC qualifications worldwide since 1984. A recent study revealed that 90 percent of BTEC students are employed full-time after graduating.

Globally, nearly 1 million students studied toward a BTEC in the past year, via 784 approved BTEC centers in 60 countries.

In response to new careers emerging within industries and ongoing change, Pearson is continually adapting and innovating its BTEC curriculum and learning to ensure it is relevant for young people and adults, supporting progression and career aspirations throughout lives.