Abu Dhabi: Their faces gleaming, a total of 150 high-performing students strode up to the stage to collect their certificates. They were feted in the capital on Wednesday for topping the Grade 12 exams under the UAE Ministry of Education (MoE) curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year.
The ceremony was held at the Emirates Palace Hotel, and was graced by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“Given all the accolades we are receiving, I am happy I put in the effort and achieved these grades,” Razan Al Kaabi, Emirati topper in the Science stream, told Gulf News. Al Kaabi, who graduated from Al Shifa Bint Abdullah Girls School in Sharjah, scored 99.2 per cent.
Maryam Al Kindi, who scored 98.4 per cent in the Science stream, was also delighted.
“My family is so proud of me, and today, I received the prize with all of my eight siblings and my parents present. It is a special moment,” said the 18-year-old Emirati topper from Al Itqan School in Fujairah.
Abdul Rahman Al Amadi, who graduated from Mohammad Bin Rashid School in Dubai, was overwhelmed.
“I can’t find words to express my joy. This is a motivation for me to do more, and to take responsibility for the next generation. I want to study chemical engineering abroad. For today, my family is really happy, especially my mother,” he said .
Other top education officials were also present, including Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council.
As reported by Gulf News last month, more than 33,300 appeared for the Grade 12 MoE curriculum final exams this year. Results were released earlier this month, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, personally called the four toppers and informed them of their grades on June 15. They were Syrian pupil Hajar Al Qutaifan, who stood first overall with 99.9 per cent, Egyptian Israa Ebrahim, who came first in the Literature stream with 99.3 per cent, Razan Al Kaabi, Emirati Science stream topper with 99.2 per cent and Wafa Al Yamahi, Emirati topper in the Literature Stream who scored 99 per cent.
All pupils from across the UAE who scored 98 per cent or more, as well as three special needs pupils who attained 95 per cent or more, were then recognised for their achievements on Wednesday. They received certificates of appreciation, and cash grants of Dh20,000 each. A number of scholarships at UAE-based universities were also announced.
According to Emirates News Agency (WAM), the high-performing pupils were last week invited to a reception by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The reception was held at Al Bateen palace, and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said that the pupils were role models.
Later in the week, the toppers also attended an iftar banquet held in their honour by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid at Zabeel Palace in Dubai.
— Omnia Fahim is a trainee at Gulf News