UAE pupils to get lessons in morals
Classes will help counter ‘extremism’
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.