In the presence of Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, President of the Wellbeing Council, and during their second meeting which was held ‘remotely’, the participants reviewed the efforts of the education sector during COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery phase and the initiatives which were launched carrying the theme “healthy and active lifestyle”, “mental health”.
The meeting was attended by Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Performance Improvement, and members of the Council from federal and local government authorities and executive councils all over the UAE.
Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Welfare and Capacity Building Sector at the Ministry of Education, delivered a presentation about the most prominent achievements, initiatives and projects that promote the UAE’s efforts during COVID-19 recovery phase.
During the meeting, Dr. Amna Al Dahak, spoke about the ministry of education’s efforts to enhance the lives of students, parents, and academic staff. She also highlighted the initiatives presented by the ministry under the theme “healthy and active life style” noting that (10.000) students, teachers and parents participated in the virtual superhero campaign to motivate people with diabetes while (111) students joined “healthy student leaders” virtual camps and (2,215) counselling sessions were organized for parents of people of determination by specialists held at education support centers “COVID-19” pandemic.
In the “Mental Health” theme, she noted that the “National Week for Prevention Against Bullying” under the theme “Cyberbullying”, included a series of awareness workshops benefiting 320,988 people, and a guide to electronic bullying was prepared as an awareness and therapeutic guide targeting students, parents and schools, benefiting 41,000 people, additionally, a guide for academic and professional bullying prevention was also prepared to benefit161 people in addition to therapeutic cartoon videos on electronic bullying have also been developed reaching 230,988 views; awareness posts were posted on social media with 66,188 views as well.
In the same theme, the achievements and targets of the “Policy of Prevention of Bullying in Public and Private Schools, which follows the ministry’s curriculum”, depend on several measures to support educational institutions through the provision of a safe school environment free of all kinds of physical, social, verbal, sexual and electronic bullying. Around 3,041 guides were trained on the policy, in addition to the virtual summer camp, which brought 795 students together, the “Protection and Well-being Guide” in collaboration with UNICEF, which prepares the teacher to meet the basic needs of mental health and well-being in schools and classrooms through three main topics on well-being and protection for students, teachers and schools by creating welcoming educational environments for all children upon their return to school. A training program has been implemented for mentors and teachers from public and private schools to present the content of the guideline and its accompanying activities.
The council meeting highlighted the most prominent efforts of the Ministry of Education to enhance wellbeing during the pandemic year (2020), whereas Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi confirmed that in the context of achieving “positive learning environments and a positive, purposeful and secure digital community”, internet services were provided for around (12,194) students, in addition to (88,012) electronic devices for students too.
Policies and guidelines have also been developed to ensure a legislative and regulatory environment supporting digital learning during the pandemic (distance learning policy, student behavior management regulation for the application of distance learning, a framework for evaluating the application of digital learning in accordance with global standards with other educational authorities, and intelligent evaluation policy).
Smart learning platforms have also been made available to some third parties (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority – Dewa, General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Schools of Protection, Ministry of Interior – Penal Institutions, Abu Dhabi Welfare and Rehabilitation Centre, Fatima College of Health Sciences).
Twenty smart learning platforms have been activated at the UAE school serving all subjects, where curricula, plans and platforms have been adapted and supported by advanced technical simulation programs to ensure that the study tasks are accomplished efficiently, in addition to increasing the efficiency and activation of all systems in the ministry, including swiftAssess platform in UAE schools for the purpose of conducting continuous and centralized student assessments. The smart education system has been activated for about 500,000 students from various schools, with a 97% enrolment rate for Emirati schools’ students, including kindergarten and private schools following the ministry’s curriculum.
As part of the Ministry of Education’s efforts to promote wellbeing, training courses have been held for students and parents in cooperation with AQDAR, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) and the National Happiness and Wellbeing Program attended by 52,020 people. Other training courses for teachers were held in public and private schools about: introduction to distance learning, tools used in distance learning, distance learning design, e-assessment in distance education.
Source: Emirates News Agency