Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Leena Al Khatib received a perfect score in mathematics, a subject she went from hating to loving because of "the way my professor taught", and an overall score of 98.7 per cent in the Grade 12 exams in the Ministry of Education's national curriculum this year. Antonie Robertson / The National
Leena Al Khatib received a perfect score in mathematics, a subject she went from hating to loving because of 'the way my professor taught', and an overall score of 98.7 per cent in the Grade 12 exams in the Ministry of Education's national curriculum this year. Antonie Robertson / The National

'I owe school success to teachers', says student awarded by MoE

Star pupil, who hails from Jordan, pays tribute to teachers at award ceremony.

DUBAI // When 17-year-old Leena Al Khatib was told she would be awarded by the Ministry of Education for her academic achievements, the first thing she did was return to school to thank her teachers.

The Grade 12 pupil at the National Charity School, which follows the national curriculum, was one of the highest achievers in the country.

With a score of 98.7 per cent, the Jordanian was among the 22 Dubai pupils honoured at the Dubai Police Academy yesterday.

"I cannot forget the hard work my teachers put in just so that I could be here," she said. "I hated mathematics but it was just the way my professor taught that I love the subject now."

She ended up with a perfect 100 per cent in maths. She said her teacher, Khalid Abu Kaff, had "truly changed the way I think about challenges". "When he would begin his class everyone would pay attention and he would never object to explaining tough problems again and again," she said.

A total of 34,751 pupils following the Ministry of Education curriculum sat their final examinations in June, and received their report cards last week.

Though the pass rate in state schools dropped this year, education officials said their new assessment system, which puts far more emphasis on coursework, had had a positive effect on individual pupils' results.

"We believe the reduced pressure because of the marking process being spread over several assessments and assignments has helped them achieve better grades," said Ahmed Saeed Al Drei, the head of the ministry's exams department.

Top scorers in public and private schools as well as adult centres and those educated at home were awarded university scholarships. Many also received cash prizes and laptops. From Abu Dhabi, 312 pupils will get Dh15,000 each in recognition of their hard work.

Leena wants to be a pharmacist and will be applying to Sharjah University after she receives her Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score.

Her enthusiasm was also fired by her chemistry teacher, who she considers a role model.

"I remember once when a British boy came to school, my chemistry teacher picked me to help translate lessons for him," she said.

"While she was doing the experiments, I helped her and the boy communicate. She was so proud of me and told other teachers and the principal. I have to credit my success to them."

For Leena's mother, Neama, the teachers' influence went beyond education, helping make her daughter a humble person.

"Her teachers were like her parents at school, she often says," her mother said. "Their affectionate approach has made her a kind and respectful child, too."

At one point, Leena contemplated being a teacher herself. "If that is the way a teacher is, I thought it would be great to be one - affecting the life of so many students that way," she said.

But her teachers pushed her to pursue her dream. "I know what they taught me will always stay with me, no matter what I do, and the culture they passed on, I will pass on to my children."

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has also recognised teachers' contribution to their students' successes. At Emirates Palace hotel last night, 18 teachers from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia were due to be awarded Dh20,000 each by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister, Presidential Affairs Minister and deputy chairman of Adec.


* with inputs from Wam

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 An tenant in the Al Barsha area of Dubai has been sent a non-renewable contract by the landlord. Randi Sokoloff / The National

Dubai landlord refuses to pay back Rera fees after losing rent case

Keren Bobker helps a tenant who wants to know how to reclaim his RERA case fees and who has also been sent a contract with a “one-year nonrenewable” note.

 A Brabus Mercedes 6x6 Sports Utility Vehicle is readied for display during Auto China 2014 in Beijing, on April 20. Adrian Bradshaw / EPA

In pictures: Auto China 2014 exhibition

Leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for the kickoff of China’s biggest car show, but lacklustre growth and environmental restrictions in the world’s largest car market have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1,100 vehicles are being showcased.

 A customer looks at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy.  Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP Photo

Nintendo’s Game Boy at 25: hand-held legacy lives on

Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inspire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National