ABU DHABI // A programme to foster a sense of national identity in Emirati students at private schools was recently launched by Abu Dhabi Education Council.
Haweyati, or “My Identity” in English, also calls on international and expatriate students to appreciate and respect the identity and culture of their host nation.
The programme will be implemented in 50 private schools in a pilot phase during the current school semester.
Other private schools will be phased in during the academic year.
The first pilot will introduce students to the programme in an eight-day training workshop and through online modules.
Dr Maryam Al Ali, school development division manager at Adec’s private school and quality assurance department, said Haweyati will address topics such as culture, history, society, values, Arabic, citizenship and belonging, and will embrace the diversity of private school systems and cultures with tailored content.
“The 50 pilot schools were selected according to certain criteria such as the numbers and percentages of Emirati students in each school, geographic distribution, Irtiqaa inspection band, and the variety of school curriculums,” said Dr Al Ali.
Amira Salah, head of the Arabic department at the Sheikh Zayed Academy for Girls, one of the 50 schools taking part in the pilot, welcomed the programme.
“Linking how we teach our children national identity to that of the education council is crucial, especially since national identity helps teach children pride, responsibility, and acceptance of other cultures, religions and represents loyalty and love towards the nation,” said Ms Salah.
“A national identity framework compliments our schools’ vision to encourage students to want to work hard and take their education journey seriously. We are very enthusiastic to convey this framework to the rest of our peers and students at schools.”