UAE pupils to get lessons in morals

Classes will help counter ‘ex­trem­ism’

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu

Pupils as young as four are to be taught new ‘moral ed­u­ca­tion’ lessons as part of ef­forts to im­prove dis­ci­pline and tol­er­ance in schools across the UAE.

The manda­tory classes will form part of the cur­ric­ula in all govern­ment and pri­vate schools across the coun­try from KG1 to Grade 12.

A pi­lot scheme will be car­ried out in 24 govern­ment and 28 pri­vate schools in Abu Dhabi from Jan­uary 2017 and across the en­tire emi­rate from Septem­ber 2017.

Abu Dhabi Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil (ADEC) an­nounced the move yes­ter­day and said the classes will also be in­tro­duced across the rest of the coun­try at a later date.

Dr Karima Al Mazroui, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor at ADEC, said the new sub­ject aims to pro­mote ethics, per­sonal and com­mu­nity growth, cul­ture and her­itage, civic ed­u­ca­tion and rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

The weekly classes will form part of so­cial stud­ies and will be taught by so­cial stud­ies teach­ers who have un­der­gone train­ing.

ADEC said the move is part of a broader ini­tia­tive by HH Sheikh Mo­hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the Armed Forces, to counter ex­trem­ism through in­still­ing eth­i­cal val­ues and dis­ci­pline among pupils in schools.

Al Mazroui said: “The ini­tia­tive aims to in­stil eth­i­cal val­ues in pupils in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE and to pro­mote such con­cepts as tol­er­ance, pa­tri­o­tism, respect and com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“Moral lessons would en­hance val­ues among chil­dren, build brains to­wards pos­i­tive think­ing and com­mu­nity val­ues and this would help counter ex­trem­ism.

“We want to en­sure a com­mu­nity free from ex­trem­ism and vi­o­lence through pro­mot­ing good morals and dis­ci­pline among young peo­ple.”

The rolling out of moral ed­u­ca­tion classes is be­ing over­seen by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and ADEC, among other au­thor­i­ties. ADEC said moral ed­u­ca­tion is manda­tory for all chil­dren, ir­re­spec­tive of re­li­gion or cur­ric­ula. Last week, speak­ing in New York, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tol­er­ance, told an event at the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly that the Crown Prince’s Court has been work­ing on ways to re­in­force so­cial co­he­sion, and tol­er­ance and bring about the “re­nun­ci­a­tion of vi­o­lence, ha­tred and dis­crim­i­na­tion”, na­tional news agency WAM reported.

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