Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has invested Dh20 million in the eighth Sayfuna Mumayaz summer school programme which is expected to attract more than 20,000 students from both public and private schools across the emirate.

The Sayfuna Mumayaz logo is a drawing of a yellow-faced, smiling character with orange hair reading a book while wearing blue sunglasses. The logo was designed to give the feel of a fun summer academic programme.

The five-week summer course is free of charge and is designed to enhance the cultural, artistic and physical capabilities of students from grades 2 to 9. Some of the activities offered include dance, arts and crafts, heritage activities and sports (such as horse riding, swimming and marital arts).

While speaking to Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General, ADEC, Gulf News learned that the budget for the programme has increased by Dh2 million since last year.

"We've added two more centres this year to help engage students in extra-curricular activities while enhancing their applied as well as academic knowledge in indoor and outdoor activities and community works," explained Al Khaili.

Even though the programme is designed mainly for Emirati students, Al Khaili stressed that out of the 20,000 students, a good 10 per cent will be expatriates.

"We encourage our expatriate children to enroll and engage with other students, so as to learn more about the UAE culture and heritage, while improving their academic skills along the way," added Al Khaili.

Moza Al Mansouri, project manager for Sayfuna Mumayaz in the Western Region, said that last year more than 73 per cent of students said the programme had exceeded their expectations.

"We make it fun for our students. It's not just about focusing on science and technology, we have different workshops where students can create their own radio stations, lasers or even telescopes. We will also have fun games this year, such as PlayStation and Wii games as well as weekly competitions," said Moza.

Abdul Aziz Al Junaibi, project manager for Sayfuna Mumayaz in Al Ain, said that with more than 24,000 swimming, boxing, fencing, art and bowling activities on offer, more students are attracted to the programme each year.

Ahmad Al Marzouqi, project manager for Sayfuna Mumayaz in Abu Dhabi, added that the programme has won the Hamdan Bin Zayed Award for being one of the best educational and summer programmes in the history of the UAE.

"Each year we add more applied knowledge activities to benefit students, such as in the fields of agriculture, internet usage, English language, horse riding and football, among many more," said Al Marzouqi.

Summer fun: How to take part


-Students can register between May 31 and June 4
- You may register at the nearest centre to your residence, for more information visit www.adec.ac.ae


- Public and private school students from grades 2 to 9
- Emirati students or students whose mothers are Emiratis n - High-performing expatriate students
- Teachers' children

Participating centres:

Abu Dhabi - 28 centres (11,500 students)
Al Ain - 32 centres (12,350 students)
Al Gharbia (Western Region) - 14 centres (2,100 students)