Kholood Hamad (right) and mother pose with her award at the Grade 12 students of 2013-2014 award ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 10th July, 2014. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Despite her young age, being pregnant and managing her home, 18-year-old Khulood Hamad emerged as one the UAE’s top performing high school students, who were honoured on Thursday by the Ministry of Education.

Hussain Bin Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, honoured 52 grade 12 achievers for the academic year 2013-14.

The students received an award of Dh100,000 each and a laptop.

“The awards and honours received by these students from our wise leadership is aimed at enhancing the status of education and the development process of our country’s academic agenda, which affirms the country’s continued interest and mission in developing the education segment,” Al Hammadi said.

Khulood got married young and found herself caring for a house and a husband when she was still in high school.

“I still wanted to finish my studies after getting married and with the encouragement and help of my family and husband I was able to do so,” she recalled.

Khulood did not only manage to complete her high school education, but also earned a high score of 94.6 per cent, after moving from high school to the adult education centre in Al Ain.

She ranked first in the adult education category.

“Being in the final stages of my pregnancy while taking my final examination was a bit challenging because I would catch myself out of breath and I used to get tired quickly.”

Khulood who hopes to get accepted to UAE university in Al Ain in order to study chemical engineering said it all comes down to ambition.

“Girls should not think that their academic path is over just because they are married. If you have the will and you are ambitious then you can fulfill your dreams.”

Eighteen-year-old Eman Talab was another adult education top performing student.

Eman received a high grade of 98.4 per cent in the arts stream, also while being married and pregnant.

Eman ranked second in the adult education category.

Eman who hopes to study accounting at Zayed University in Dubai believes all women, regardless of the obstacles they face in life, should continue their education.

“It is important for women to have an education so that they can have a back-up plan in case their family goes through an ordeal. Education is everything, it guarantees continuity.”

The award ceremony was held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.