Abu Dhabi: Thirty-six winners of the Khalifa Education Award for 2016-17 were honoured on Monday by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Shaikh Mansour also honoured Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, for being chosen as the Educational Personality of the year, in recognition of her contributions to strengthening the UAE’s march of education.
Addressing those in attendance, Shaikh Mansour said that the education sector receives great attention from the UAE leadership, represented by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Shaikh Mansour reaffirmed the important role played by the first generation of educators who diligently and with dedication to impart knowledge. He added that a good education if a safeguard for identity and ensures stability and the sustainability of development.
Shaikh Mansour pointed out that no form of development is sustainable without heavily investing in education and preparing innovative national cadres who are capable of managing a competitive knowledge-based economy.
Shaikh Mansour said that 313 Emirati and Arab winners were honoured throughout the Khalifa Education Award’s previous 10 editions for their innovations and contributions that deserve to be honoured and recognised.
Shaikh Mansour announced that the next edition of the award will add a segment that pertains to families in the award’s education and social service category. The award will be shared between three Emirati families, who will be chosen based on how well they brought up their children or for how they have improved the education system in their local or national community.
Shaikh Mansour said that this step highlights the award organisers’ belief that honouring a family is also an honour for a community, which is the environment that embraces education and is the key driving force for development.
Shaikh Mansour congratulated the winners and extended his thanks to the award’s board of trustees, its executive committees, panel of judges, coordinators and employees of the education sector in the UAE and abroad. He also thanked all those who supported the award, including individuals, and local, regional and global institutions.
Prior to the ceremony, Shaikh Mansour met with first-generation school teachers and administrators, who made immense contributions to the UAE’s field of education.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Amal Al Afifi, Secretary-General of the Khalifa Education Award, presented a commemorative gift to Shaikh Mansour.