'My Identity': Enhancing national identity of Emirati students

‘Haweyati’ programme was designed after conducting an in-depth study that took into account the specialty of the local community, and was guided by Emirati national concepts.
'Haweyati' programme was designed after conducting an in-depth study that took into account the specialty of the local community, and was guided by Emirati national concepts.

Abu Dhabi - The programme, which is organised by Adec's Private Schools and Quality Assurance Sector (PSQA), will also encourage expatriate students to learn and respect the culture of the UAE.



By Jasmine Al Kuttab

Published: Sun 30 Oct 2016, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 31 Oct 2016, 3:53 PM

A new programme, aimed at enhancing national identity of Emirati students, will be implemented in 50 private schools in the Capital as a pilot phase during the current school trimester. The rest of the private schools in Abu Dhabi are expected to have the programme, named Haweyati (My Identity), applied during this academic year.
The programme, which is organised by Adec's Private Schools and Quality Assurance Sector (PSQA), will also encourage expatriate students to learn and respect the culture of the UAE.
'Haweyati' was designed after conducting an in-depth study that took into account the specialty of the local community, and was guided by the main Emirati national concepts.
There will be a gradual approach to the programme, which aims to meet the needs of the diverse private school systems.
Dr Maryam Al Ali, school development division manager at PSQA, highlighted that the programme aims to provide schools with a curriculum framework that promotes the principles of UAE's National Identity. She pointed out that 'Haweyati' would address topics such as values, culture, citizenship, culture, society, history and a sense of belonging.
"The 50 pilot schools were carefully selected according to certain criteria, such as the numbers and percentages of Emirati students in each school, geographic distribution, 'Irtiqaa' inspection band, and the variety of school curricula."
Amira Salah, head of the Arabic department at the Shaikh Zayed Academy for Girls, explained that the school consists mostly of native Arabic speakers, noting that it is thus vital to encourage all nationalities to learn and appreciate various cultures, religions and backgrounds.
Hamda Al Muhairi, principal of Al Dubyaniya MoE School, said: "Our programmes are based on how to give back to the society and how to take your education serious in order to benefit the nation."
Wedad Al Najdi, head of the Arabic department at Al Dar Academies, said: "We start with the early foundation years, where students take part in different activities and field visits that add to their knowledge and understanding, while teaching them pivotal facts about the lovely nation they live in.
An expat mother of two students has also welcomed the programme: "I think it's a bright idea to teach kids about different cultures, especially since we live in such a multi-cultural society."
11-year-old Soleil, who is studying at an American system private school, said she hoped her school will be among the 50 to implement the programme.
My Identity scheme explained
> Aims to enhance national identity of Emirati students and encourage expatriate students to learn and respect the culture of the UAE
> An eight-day intensive training workshop and online training courses will be provided for all participants.
> The programme will provide schools with a curriculum framework that promotes the principles of UAE's National Identity.
> The schools are selected considering the numbers and percentages of Emirati students in each school, geographic distribution and the variety of school curricula.
jasmine@khaleejtimes.com


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