Conference to focus on engaging gifted pupils

At Abu Dhabi meeting, education experts look to draw up a special curriculum for the nation's most talented children.

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ABU DHABI // Education experts will take the first step next week towards drawing up a special curriculum for the nation's most talented children.

On Saturday and Sunday, international and local academics and officials will discuss how schools can identify and support gifted pupils.

The conference at Abu Dhabi University will also look at ways of keeping the best pupils engaged with school.

Dr Nabil Ibrahim, chancellor of the university, said: "Specific approaches need to be taken to help raise gifted children."

Kathleen Austin, an adviser at the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care, said: "These are usually the troublemakers."

Tina Doshi, a maths teacher in Dubai, has seen such trouble first-hand. "Because one boy is so advanced, he disturbs the other boys as he finishes all his work early , of course unintentionally," she said.

Mohamed al Hosani, the head of a government school in Abu Dhabi, said a tailored curriculum could open many opportunities for his pupils.

"Through this, students, not just at my school, will be able to develop their talents and creativity," he said. "Some of the students I see have a lot of skills - more than an average person of their age."