x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Cash rewards given to RAK's top students

Education is viewed as "an investment for national progress".

RAS AL KHAIMAH // RAK has recognised its outstanding students and educators with Dh500,000 in cash prizes. During a ceremony at the weekend, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras al Khaimah, presented the RAK Awards for Innovation and Excellence to 113 pupils from grades four to 12, who each received cash prizes of between Dh2,000 and Dh15,000.

Another 15 people, including teachers, school administrators, social workers and parents, also received cash awards. "Education is being viewed as investment for national progress and it is imperative that steps be taken to foster excellence in education and efforts for attaining highest quality standards should be given top priority," Sheikh Saud said during the ceremony. His Government, he said, was committed to improving the educational standards and skills of its teachers.

Dr Mohamed Mansour, the general secretary of the award board, urged the community to take part in the process of improving education. "We are looking for people who have made contributions to education at a local level, for families and teachers with a strong dialogue with their children and their community. "We hope it will push students to compete at an international level." Ninety-one of the students were given awards for outstanding academic performance. Another 22 won for their extra-curricular activities and community involvement.

Shamma al Qassimi, a 14-year-old grade nine student from al Ghob Girls School, who sings, rides horseback and plays basketball, was elated about her award. "I'm the first child and first granddaughter in my family. I feel like people sacrificed a lot for me. It makes me very proud to win this for them and also for myself." Zainab al Ruffai, a 17-year-old Grade 12 pupil at Noura bint Sultan School, said the award would encourage her to study engineering next year.

"This competition has really encouraged all of the girls from my school. All of my mothers and sisters came tonight. " Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr, the chairman of RAK Financial Department and head of the board of trustees of RAK Award for Creativity and Excellence; Sheikh Abdul Malik bin Kayed, the adviser to the RAK Ruler; Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud; Sheikh Salem bin Sultan, the chairman of RAK Civil Aviation; Abdullah Hammad, the head of the RAK Education Zone; and heads of various government departments also attended the ceremony.

Abdullah ali Mussabah, the former director of the RAK Education Zone, received a special award for his development of the emirate's education sector. It was the fifth year the awards have been handed out. azacharias@thenational.ae