Adek awards Dh3.6 million to Abu Dhabi's best schools

Teachers and support staff also honoured at prize-giving ceremony at Emirates Palace

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More than 25 outstanding teachers and schools in Abu Dhabi were honoured at an awards ceremony on Thursday.

Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) awarded a total of Dh3.6 million ($980,000) to 28 winners across 11 individual and school categories during the event at Emirates Palace.

The Adek Awards 2024 recognises outstanding achievements of people, schools and initiatives across the emirate's education system.

A 35-member judging panel selected winners from more than 300 submissions from public, private and charter schools.

Mayoor Private School won the Best Inclusive Practices Award, which came with a prize of Dh300,000.

Bright Riders School took home Dh200,000 after winning the award Best Improved School.

Sixteen schools in the emirate were each awarded Dh125,000 for meeting Abu Dhabi's benchmarking requirements for educational standards.

Anna Pagdiwala, principal at Mayoor School Abu Dhabi, said the institution had always worked to ensure the needs of pupils were met.

"It is not a one-day thing. It is all those small things that we do. We are open to listening to students," she told The National.

"We don't charge any fees for what we provide in terms of the special-needs support.

"Even though Adek gives us a provision, we are allowed to charge. But the school management has been kind enough, they don't want to make money out of this situation. So that is our contribution to those parents."

In case special training is needed, Ms Pagdiwala said payment is made directly to those agencies.

Liwa International School for Girls was awarded Best Professional Development Programme and received Dh150,000.

Abu Dhabi International Private School and Liwa International School in Al Falaj Hazaa each received Dh150,000 after winning Best Reading Programme and Best Arabic Programme, respectively.

Al Ain Junior School won Best Parental Engagement and Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Generations School won Best Student Wellbeing Programme.

Each was awarded Dh100,000.

Outstanding teachers

The Adek Awards also recognised five individuals with each taking home Dh50,000.

Salama Al Mazrouei at Qatr Al Nada High School won Principal of the Year and Mariam Mohammed Jumma Al Jaberi at Mubarak Bin Mohammed School won Outstanding Teacher in the early and primary years category.

Hanan Fathy Salim at Yasmina British Academy won Outstanding Teacher for Arabic Literacy and Culture, while Amal Al Shriti at Liwa International School, Falaj Hazaa branch, was honoured with the Unsung Hero award.

"I was surprised and overwhelmed at winning this award. Ever since I joined this school, I have received a lot of support," Ms Al Jaberi told The National.

She said she used interactive methods of teaching, which set her apart as a teacher.

"I believe in using hands-on methods when teaching and try to relate all the lessons to real life so pupils feel more engaged," she said.

Sadiq Amin Khan at Islamiya English School, who won Outstanding Teacher in the secondary school category, said he aimed to mould pupils into their future selves so they are prepared to face any challenges that come their way.

One of his pupils, he said, had initially struggled in lessons. He has now gone on to study medicine to become a doctor in China.

"We need to shape the children as they are our future," said the teacher of 17 years.

"It is a wonderful feeling when you are recognised after a long time and much effort.

"You need to take your classroom teaching outside of the class and allow children to think outside of the box."

Abu Dhabi's outstanding schools – in pictures


Updated: March 28, 2024, 9:47 AM