x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Get into politics, FNC tells students

Schools should encourage Emirati students to take an interest in politics because they lag behind many Arab young people in that respect, a top FNC official says.

Dr Saeed al Ghufli, executive director of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, speaks at Zayed University in Dubai.
Dr Saeed al Ghufli, executive director of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, speaks at Zayed University in Dubai.

DUBAI // Schools should encourage Emirati students to take an interest in politics because they lag behind many Arab young people in that respect, a top FNC official said yesterday. Dr Saeed al Ghufli, executive director of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, the Government body that oversees the FNC, was speaking yesterday at a gathering at Zayed University's Dubai campus on the development of politics in UAE culture.

He said the council was working with the Ministry of Education on how to incorporate ideas of political participation into curriculums. Dr al Ghufli outlined a set of recommendations to improve youth engagement in politics, including programmes to stress the importance of political activity and the role of the FNC. He said there was a tendency for Emirati youth to "turn away" from politics. Mouza Rashid, the head of the student council and an international affairs major at the Dubai campus of Zayed University, said that strong student demand for political studies and international affairs programmes proved they cared about politics.

"What is missing is open dialogue," said Ms Rashid, such as allowing students to attend FNC sessions and open meetings between the council's members and local residents. The students added that the FNC was not visible enough and had to deliver tangible benefits to citizens to encourage more Emiratis to participate in the political process. @Email:kshaheen@thenational.ae