In three years, across ten public schools in different emirates, 3,900 students were reached through a programme that enhanced their learning experience while also helping include more than 400 pupils with special needs in the mainstream.
The programme for inclusive education was designed and implemented by Indemaj, an organisation founded and operating under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Hussain, Wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
On Wednesday, Humaid Obaid Al Qattami, Minister of Education, honoured the schools which participated in the project as well as Indemaj for their outstanding efforts.
“An organisation through its persistent work and innovation has shown that high quality inclusive education can be provided at public schools with a little effort,” said Khawla Al Mualla, Assistant Undersecretary for School Environment and Activities at the Ministry of Education.
Acknowledging the progress made by the participating schools Ali Mohammad Al Zahbi, Section Manager for Curriculum and Education Programme at Fujairah Education Zone, said that Indemaj has helped schools in enhancing the way they teach. “Though it was designed to help include children with special needs it has helped improve the quality of education for all students.”
The programme basically focuses on creating a resource and development centre at the schools, which are equipped with latest technology and innovative tools to help children learn better.
“It basically makes learning fun through its interactive and innovative methods, which has had an impact on the rate of presence of students in schools,” added Al Zahbi.
‘A modern way’
However, it is not the technology alone that is the focus of Indemaj. The programme provides comprehensive teachers professional development training, which focuses on facilitating the learning process rather than merely feeding students with information.
“We are promoting a modern way of interactive learning, which stimulates critical thinking ability of pupils as well as motivating them to take initiatives. We also train teachers on modern teaching methods as well as ways to understand child psychology,” informed Hana Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Indemaj.
The schools are selected for the programmes based on the keenness demonstrated through their initiatives with local special needs centres.
Indemaj was founded by Princess Haya in 2009 and works in line with the vision of the UAE the leadership which ensures that all UAE children, including those with special needs, are provided with the opportunity to benefit from new educational approaches and learning mechanisms to augment their abilities and skills.