Children’s Council to be launched by Dubai Municipality

DUBAI - Dubai has already shown how it cares for children from across the world. Now, the emirate is going to listen to the children here in its decision making exercise over municipal affairs.

By (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Tue 25 May 2010, 12:45 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:45 PM

Dubai Municipality on Sunday became the first in the country to launch a Children’s Council of the City.

The civic body is supported by the education authority in the emirate, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), in the efforts to project the children’s pioneering role in building the future of the city.

“We want the participation of our children in the decision making process for the development projects of the emirate,” said Director General of Dubai Municipality Hussain Nasser Lootah. “We are keen to ensure their role in all spheres of life as well as all the activities undertaken by the Municipality such as planning infrastructure facilities, environment, engineering projects, buildings, parks, recreational centres etc.,” he said.

Lootah said a separate web page will be developed for the Council on the Municipality portal where children can log in to post their suggestions regarding any issues, which will be taken up for discussion according to importance.

Council members would also be able to engage in discussions with officials from the municipality and other bodies to air their voices.

Fatema Ghanem Al Marri, CEO of the School Agency in the KHDA hoped that the initiative will be a success, and other emirates will follow the example.

“We are trying to create a student community, who are not just for writing examinations, but, are socially committed,” she said.

Pointing out that it is important to give social education to the children, Al Marri said the Children’s Council, in the end, will speak the true voice of the children in the emirate.

The Children’s Council will have 26 members, who will elect a chairman, a deputy chairman and the council reporter from among them.

They will discuss issues such as children’s amenities like safe passages, playgrounds, the extent of the provision of centres for developing children’s physical and knowledge capabilities, as well as the care given to special needs children while planning buildings.

The council will also take care of the role of children in enhancing the urban face of Dubai by activating their role in the fields of maintaining cleanliness, protecting public properties, reducing environmental pollution.

It will also participate in spreading awareness on health and environment related issues, ways to strengthen national identity and Islamic values.

Facilities like children’s libraries, children’s sports schools and their requirements, children’s parks and the extent of providing recreational facilities suitable for different age groups will also come under the purview of the Council. The Municipality and KHDA will form an Advisory Group to facilitate the operations of the council while heads of organisational units in Dubai Municipality will provide facilities and support necessary for the Council to ensure effective implementation of its objectives.

Council members would have an active role in taking up all the issues that are raised in the Council to other school students to ensure the exchange of practical and comprehensive benefit for the schools of Dubai.

Summer would be a period where the members have to conduct research on children’s issues and submit proposals to solve them.

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