Call for more on heritage and culture in curriculum

DUBAI — The Historical Buildings Section at Dubai Municipality and concerned departments are in talks with the Ministry of Education over inclusion, in the national curriculum of Arabic schools, of more content on the heritage and culture of the UAE.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 2 Jun 2005, 10:15 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:56 PM

Revealing this to Khaleej Times, Rashad Bukhash, Director of the General Projects Department at Dubai Municipality, said: “Already some of the aspects of the local heritage and culture are covered by Arabic schools under their national curriculum, but we believe there is scope for widening that coverage."

He explained that the officials are currently discussing the issue and it would be some time before a decision is taken in this regard. “It might take some time, but we are at least moving in that direction,” he said.

Earlier Bukhash attended a conference on a unique contest on historic buildings, organised by Dubai Municipality, in co-operation with the Ministry of Education, where students from government and private schools of the country proved their knowledge on UAE's rich architectural heritage.

Results of the contest, held for the second consecutive year and open to students of all schools in the country, were announced at the Press conference. A total of 37 winners were chosen in four categories of the contest, which saw students from elementary, preparatory and secondary grades in schools of different emirates of the country vying for top positions. The students were asked to participate in the contest with paintings, photos, reports or replicas of historic buildings across the country.

Bukhash said the contest was organised with the objective of connecting the young generation with the heritage of their forefathers.

Responding to a question, he said that irrespective of the popular notion, such events have a very positive impact on society. “The participation from children of various ages, and those with special needs, and the outcome of the contest in the form of models and art, is a testimony to the event's significance,” he added.

He said the Historic Buildings Section at the General Projects Department has been spearheading the efforts to promote architectural heritage of the country through field visits to the historical areas of the emirate, heritage contests, and lectures and seminars.

“We have also included heritage information in the education curriculum as well so that students in schools, universities and other educational institutions can be better informed about the nation’s heritage,” he said.

Announcing names of winners of the contest, Ahmed Mahmoud, Head of Historic Buildings Section, said there was tremendous response from the students for participating in the contest, which was organised from September 2004 to April 2005.

The painting contest was organised for all three grades (elementary, preparatory and secondary) in which as many as 75 students participated with 25 entries from the elementary grades, 35 from the preparatory grades and 15 from the secondary grades. In the photographs category, there were 35 entries from preparatory grades and 50 entries from the secondary grades. In the reports category, which was restricted only to preparatory grades, there were 35 entries. The contest to build replicas on historic buildings, which was exclusively for secondary grades, saw three entries. For the first time, students of special needs schools were also given an opportunity to participate in the contest. There were 14 entries from these centres.

Eighteen winners were chosen in the first category (painting) from elementary, preparatory and secondary schools while 11 winners were chosen in the second category (photography) from both preparatory and secondary schools and six winners were chosen in the third category (reports) from preparatory schools. There were two winners in the ‘replicas’ category.

The winners will be felicitated in a ceremony to be held in September 2005. They will be given cash prizes and certificates of appreciation. All participants will be given certificates of appreciation.

The first place winners are Mouza Saeed Abdullah from Umm Hakim Al Ansariya School, Fujairah (painting, elementary); Hanadi Mohammed Rafeeq from Al Karama Elementary School, Abu Dhabi (painting, preparatory); Hawra Hamed Abdullah from Umm Ammara Secondary School, Sharjah (painting, secondary); Asma Obeid Abdullah from Shamsa bint Majid School, Umm Al Qaiwain (photography, preparatory); Umayya Abdulla Misbah from Al Khadra School, Ras Al Khaimah (photography, secondary); Mira Al Jafilah from Dubai National School, Al Barsha Branch (reports, preparatory); and Maryam Saeed Mohammed Al Amri from Al Raya Elementary and Secondary School, Al Ain (replica, preparatory).

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