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Moral education will be tested in students’ everyday interactions, says minister

Second day of Aqdar World Summit hears how moral education goes beyond classrooms and textbooks

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The real test for moral education will not come in classrooms or schools, but in the everyday interactions of the students, especially when it comes to tolerance and the acceptance of others, said a minister on the second day of the Aqdar World Summit in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

“If we talk about moral education, we are talking about a concept … [based] on the vision of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He focused on empathy and to always make sure to help everyone, and these concepts are the fundamentals of the UAE,” said Jameela Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education.

“The moral education curriculum that we have worked on is based on the guidance of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, … and these include tolerance, critical thinking … [and] cultural diversity,” she added.

Al Muhairi said the curriculum for moral education was ready, and that its positive results would be witnessed in society.

“We want the students to acquire the values [of moral education] themselves, we don’t want them to just sit and take exams [while in school], but instead the real testing will come when the students go out into their communities with their positive behaviour.

“Moral education will build the UAE [in a positive way] and will make the leaders proud of the next Emirati generation,” she added. Echoing the same comments, Hessa Bint Eisa Bu Humaid, Minister of Community Development, said the introduction of moral education in schools was in line with the UAE’s policy of maintaining a peaceful and multicultural society.

“The UAE is giving a very good example for cohesion and existence between different cultures. There are more than 180 different nationalities coexisting and living together in the UAE.

“People of all nationalities, cultures, races and religions are living in peace and security and this is thanks to the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” she added.

“We have established a Ministry of Tolerance in order to maintain and strengthen tolerance in our country, and this shows how serious the government is when it comes to this domain,” she said.

Teacher-student relationship

Al Muhairi also spoke on the importance of enhancing the teacher-student relationships, which, she said, would motivate students to perform better in the classroom.

“What is crucial is to have empathy and kindness between the teachers and the students … Students will like their teachers because of the kindness showed to them and it will make them exert more efforts in their studies because they feel cared for,” she said.

Al Muhairi added that several conferences and studies were being conducted to achieve this goal.