Dubai launches Children’s Council of the City

DUBAI - Dubai Municipality in cooperation with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Sunday launched Children’s Council of the City. The Council, which will have 26 members, will elect a chairman, a deputy chairman and the council rapporteur from among the members.

By (Wam)

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Published: Mon 24 May 2010, 6:57 PM

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

The council is being formed to discuss the various problems related to children such as children’s amenities like safe passages, playgrounds, the extend 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 the Emirate of Dubai by activating their role in the fields of maintaining cleanliness, protecting public properties, reducing environmental pollution and taking care of architectural heritage, in addition to the participation of children in spreading awareness on health and environment related issues, ways to strengthen national identity and Islamic values, which should become the face of the children’s behaviour, children’s libraries all over the emirate, children’s sports schools and their requirements, children’s parks and the extend of providing recreational facilities suitable for different age groups.

“We want the participation of our children in the decision making process for the development projects of the emirate,” said Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality.

“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 the Municipality is keen to project the children’s pioneering role in building the future by launching the initiative of Children’s Council of the City.

He said a number of meetings and discussions will be arranged for the children with the officials to raise their issues, in addition to a number of meetings with other bodies inside as well as outside the Emirate of Dubai as per the needs and plans.

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

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 and take up the responsibilities of participating in the decision making process,” she said, adding that it is important to give social education to the children.

Al Marri said that the partnership between Dubai Municipality and KHDA has become stronger after this initiative and it will give an opportunity for all to work hand in hand for the betterment of the future generation.

She also hoped that in the end the Children’s Council of the City will speak the true voice of the children in the emirate of Dubai.

Noora Salem Al Shamsi delivered the speech on behalf of the students. A group of students present on the occasion also cleared their doubts over the proposed council.

The Municipality and KHDA will form an Advisory Group to take care of the children’s issues and to help them raise their questions in the discussions in order to increase the activities of the Children’s Council of the City.

The Advisory Group will supervise all activities of the Children’s Council of the City, develop appropriate programmes as per the issues, formulate suitable plans and follow up their implementation, provide the necessary resources to stimulate children to launch innovative ideas, review and assess the questions posed by children and work out appropriate questions to follow-up and make sure children participate positively in the Council, prepare half-yearly reports on the status of the Council and the ensure the maximum participation of children, encourage children to conduct research on issues and develop creative proposals, coordinate for inviting whoever suitable within the Municipality to discuss issues in meetings of the Council or conduct any visits suitable to external bodies.

The Children’s Council of the City shall hold its meetings at the invitation of its Chairman or the Advisory Group and the meetings shall be valid if attended by the majority of the members of the Council and the Advisory Group. There should be the Chairman of the Council or Deputy Chairman. The Council shall take its recommendations unanimously or by majority vote of members present, and in the case of a tie it shall be decided by the Chairman’s vote.

The task of the Rapporteur of the Council includes inviting the members of the Council and the Advisory Group to attend the meetings, preparing their agendas, taking minutes of the meetings, following up the implementation of its recommendations, as well as performing any other functions that shall be assigned by the Chairman of the Council or the Advisory Group.

The time and place of the meetings and the method of work of the Council

shall be decided by the Chairman or the Advisory Group. There shall be at least two meetings a year and the period of the meetings could be changed as and when necessary.

The task of following up the recommendations of the Council is vested with the Partnership Department of Dubai Municipality in coordination with all relevant authorities.

It shall be the responsibility of the heads of organizational units in Dubai Municipality to provide facilities and support necessary for the Council to ensure effective and efficient implementation of its objectives.

The student members of the Council shall be entitled to some benefits. The students shall have an active role in taking up all the issues that are raised in the Council to the students in schools to ensure the exchange of practical and comprehensive benefit for the schools of Dubai.

During the summer period every student member of the Council shall conduct research on several issues related to children and prepare proposals containing a simplified study of the issues and a set of questions that are seen important by the member so that it could be discussed with the Advisory Group to raise them during the regular meeting of the Council.

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