Students graduate with life skills

Training in CPR and firefighting is part of final project for 17 undergraduates.

A student takes part in a firefighting demonstration hosted by civil defence department in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National
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ABU DHABI // Seventeen graduating Emirati students put out fires and performed CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, on others as part of their final projects for their bachelor’s degrees on Tuesday.

The Emirates College of Technology students organised a public safety seminar and demonstration on their Media Campus in Al Bateen, where Ministry of Interior officials from different departments trained them in first aid, emergency response and family development.

Firemen from the civil defence department supervised students’ extinguishing of controlled fires, while first responders from the Emergency and Public Safety Department demonstrated correct methods of emergency medical care.

Representatives of the Ministry of Interior’s child protection centre were also at hand to inform the students about child safety.

Students were informed that child abuse and neglect are criminal offences and that physical, sexual, and emotional forms of child abuse are all covered under the UAE law.

They were also encouraged to immediately contact authorities if they see a child in danger.

Being taught skills in this manner is as important as learning from a book, said Prof Bruce Taylor, president of ECT. “Practical application programmes such as this one are essential in complementing the more abstract knowledge learnt in the classroom.”

Tuesday’s workshop was just one aspect of a more hands-on learning experience the college provides its students, Prof Taylor said.

“As today’s event was mostly organised by the students, the knowledge gained will help them to develop in their current and future careers,” he said.

Salah Al Hamami, 30, who was among the 16 students graduating with a Mass Communications and Public Relations degree next month, said the college had given him a new lease of life.

“Before this programme there was no way I would be brave enough to do this interview with you,” said Mr Al Hamami, who joined the military immediately after graduating from high school.

“The fact that I could go to college at night so I could continue working helped out a lot, and now I am thinking of doing a masters.”

His classmate Abdulsalam Abdelgader, 40, agreed. The ability to attend night school had helped in his decision to continue education.

“I had been away from education for over 15 years. Now I want to go on and do my PhD,” the Civil Defence employee said.

Prof Omar Al Talab, instructor of Sociology at the college, said his students were being trained to become active within society and the workplace.

“In many emergency instances people don’t know what to do. So they either do nothing or cause more harm by mistake,” Prof Al Talab said.

“With the training they receive they will be able to not only help others, but also share what they have learnt.”