UAE schoolchildren compete in information technology challenge

The competition saw more than 100 high school pupils compete in a series of information and technology challenges.

The team from Al Hosn School who came out on top in UAE Cyber Quest 2014, a student outreach programme organised by the National Electronic Security Authority. Courtesy: The National Electronic Security Authority
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ABU DHABI // More than 100 Emirati pupils from six schools took part in an information security education programme organised by the National Electronic Security Authority (NESA).

The five-month outreach programme, UAE Cyber Quest 2014, concluded with a two-day competition that ended on Wednesday. The competition featured 10 teams from three high schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain competing in a series of information-technology and cyber-security challenges.

Only four teams progressed through to the final day of the competition, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre. Students from Al Hosn School in the capital emerged as the winners. Students from Al Maqam School and Al Dahma School finished second and third respectively.

“The success of the first edition certainly bodes well for the programme’s future and we look forward to engaging with even more schools right across the country for Cyber Quest UAE 2015,” said Dr Zayed Al Otaiba, executive director of talent development at NESA.

“The feedback we received from the teachers, parents and of course the pupils themselves has been positive and we have certainly succeeded in our mission to place information security front and centre of the UAE education agenda,” he said.

Dr Najla Al Naqbi, eLearning Manager at the Abu Dhabi Education Council, said the competition had shown that young Emiratis were technology savvy and had a strong interest in digital systems.

“This ability, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for ICT, comes as welcome news for the future of our nation as we collectively look to accelerate the development of a UAE digital economy,” she said.

The organisers confirmed that next year’s edition of the programme would include additional schools from across the UAE.