Every child in the UAE will be taught about nature conservation
Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi and officials from the International Fund for Houbara Conservation during the launch of the Conservation Education: Houbara Model Programme for schools.
Abu Dhabi - A pilot project to assess the effectiveness of the initiative has run during the first half of 2018.
By Ismail Sebugwaawo
Published: Tue 2 Oct 2018, 9:00 PM
Last updated: Tue 2 Oct 2018, 11:11 PM
Students in the UAE schools will be given lessons on houbara bustards and nature conservation as part of the national school curriculum, education authorities have announced.
The Ministry of Education, in coordination with the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), on Tuesday launched the new education initiative, which will see every schoolchild in the country being taught about conservation through the flagship species of the houbara bustard.
The 'Conservation Education: Houbara Model National Programme' will be rolled out in selected schools during the current academic year and will later be introduced to all public and private schools across the country.
The houbara and the programme to conserve the species initiated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan provide examples used to convey important skills and information to pupils.
Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said during the launch of the programme: "By incorporating the houbara programme into the curriculum of the UAE, we honour a national symbol with outstanding contributions to education, development and conservation.
"By announcing this initiative in the Year of Zayed, we want to build on his wisdom and follow his pioneering initiatives in education linked to heritage, history and natural environment of the country."
"This system includes all age groups and reflects the values of the nation in building an advanced society based on science, technology, innovation and knowledge."
A special teacher handbook has been designed for the programme to provide teachers with tools to teach multiple subjects across all age groups in the UAE school system.
A pilot project to assess the effectiveness of the initiative has run during the first half of 2018 with the assistance of the Ministry of Education and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek). Seven schools from cycle 1-3, carried out the exercises contained in the handbook, and subsequently provided their feedback.
Majid Al Mansouri, managing director, International Fund for Houbara Conservation, said: "From primary to Grade 12, every child in the UAE will now get to learn about our environment and the need to protect it, and the other species we share the planet with. This programme will produce the conservation leaders of tomorrow who will take forward Sheikh Zayed's legacy."
He added: "We have developed a handbook for teachers to use and a website where they can access all the materials they will need."
Al Mansouri noted that they want students to be clear about and understand the desired balance between economic development and the preservation of nature and cultural heritage.The teacher handbook and website on Houbara model progamme are now available to all teachers in every emirate. To participate in the programme schools should seek approval from the Ministry of Education and then register with the IFHC.
The Houbara Model National Programme for children>The programme will teach about conservation through the species of the houbara bustard
>It will be rolled out in selected schools this year and will be introduced to other schools later
>It will be part of the national curriculum from kindergarten to Grade 12
>A handbook has been prepared for teachers of various subjects
KT NANO EDITAgents of hope
Children are our hope for saving the environment and a number of species that are on the verge of extinction. The new initiative by the UAE Ministry of Education will streamline efforts and prove to be more effective. Sensitising school-going children about the environmental issues will deepen their understanding and help them appreciate the nature more.