School lessons dedicated to Sheikh Zayed will inspire leaders of the future
Classes across the Emirates pay homage to the life of Sheikh Zayed
The Year of Zayed may be over, but the lasting legacy of the country’s Founding Father will be felt for decades to come.
Throughout 2018, teachers from across the Emirates educated pupils about the pioneering achievements of Sheikh Zayed.
As part of plans to continue that theme into next year, social studies teachers will be taught how best to relay important moments of Sheikh Zayed’s journey.
The Ministry of Education announced that state schools will expand their curriculum to include more classes on the life of Sheikh Zayed.
Ayesha Al Qumzi, an Emirati mother from Abu Dhabi who has a daughter and son in local schools, said it was critical that the next generation was taught about the life of the country’s founder.
“Social studies should focus a lot more on Sheikh Zayed and his life in the UAE,” she said.
“It’s important for the next generation to know about Sheikh Zayed. We need more focus on how he led the union and the story of the union.”
At Dwight School Dubai, which opened this year, Sheikh Zayed’s vision in helping put the UAE on the map continues to resonate with staff and pupils alike.
Classes reflected on the impact of his leadership with schoolchildren penning poems and making posters and videos.
Gems International School launched a campaign – Smile for Zayed – in which pupils carried out acts of kindness.
And Cranleigh Abu Dhabi school created an opera that integrated the history of the UAE with Sheikh Zayed’s message of sustainability.
Water in the Desert: A Zayed Legacy was inspired by Sheikh Zayed’s love of the environment and his belief that water is the country’s most valuable resource.
The social studies curriculum at Al Yasmina Academy, in Abu Dhabi, has evolved in recent years to incorporate Sheikh Zayed.
Ghareib Abdelrahman, a social studies teacher at the academy, said pupils could become leaders by learning the lessons from the past.
“We’re hopeful that pupils will gain the quality of leadership from Sheikh Zayed by learning about him in their social studies class,” he said.
“These leadership qualities will help them build and lead the nation.”
Hala Jijakli, another social studies teacher at the academy, said parents were keen for children to immerse themselves in the story of how the country was founded.
“Knowing about Sheikh Zayed’s life guides the students to gain the same leadership qualities,” she said. “Parents have shown great interest in having their children learn about Sheikh Zayed’s history and achievements in a way that will help them to understand the history of the UAE.”
Rafeef Kadhum, assistant head teacher at the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, said the school’s curriculum now included studying the life and times of Sheikh Zayed.
She said the curriculum changes applied to schoolchildren in years three to five so far but should be extended to other grades.
“Sheikh Zayed is inextricably linked to the history of UAE,” she said.
“They [the curriculum changes] have been welcomed because Sheikh Zayed is the most important historical figure in the country.
“We feel that it should be included across all the years so that pupils’ knowledge deepens.”
Updated: December 31, 2018 08:23 PM