Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 October 2019

Prince Edward presents students with Duke of Edinburgh Award

Earl of Wessex was in Dubai for the special ceremony

Prince Edward was in Dubai on Monday to congratulate UAE pupils for completing the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Students from eight schools from across the country received a gold medal from the Earl of Wessex at a ceremony at Gems Wellington International School.

The students completed various, 18-month long programmes including climbing mountains in Nepal and teaching tennis to children with Down Syndrome.

“You should walk out of here with your head held high and be proud of yourselves,” said Prince Edward.

“A lot of people think they could achieve the Duke of Edinburgh Award, but you actually did it.

“The parents and friends who offered support should also share in that pride."

UAE students have been taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award since 2000.

The initiative was founded in 1956 for young people between the ages of 14 and 24.

This year, 29 pupils from the UAE signed up to the scheme. To win a gold medal, participants have to work away from home for five days.

“It was an incredible experience for me,” said Emirati student Obaid Al Jallaf.

“I went mountain climbing in Nepal and it was challenging but exciting at the same time.

“I had a lot of issues with being attacked by leeches but I would not change it for the world.”

Brendan Law, vice president of Gems Education, said the awards were a key driver in helping students experience life outside the classroom.

“Students need to develop skills and attitudes outside of school because what goes on in the classroom is only half the story,” he said.

“It’s about adding something to their community.”

Updated: March 25, 2019 09:27 PM

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