Ayesha Mohamed Al Zaabi winning the Golden prize in 'Distinguished Alef Cluster Leader' category of 2021 Alef Education Award in Dubai. Presenting the award is Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Seventy-one winners, including schools, teachers, students, and parents, bagged a total of more than Dh1 million in the 2021 ‘Alef Education Award’ in Dubai for excellence in digital teaching and learning practices.

This year, there were eight award main categories. The award was first launched in 2020, given the increased importance of digital learning in the UAE against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, 67 winners were awarded across six categories.

‘Real trailblazers’

In a statement during the award’s latest edition, held at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai, Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO, Alef Education, said: “The UAE has always been at the forefront of embracing innovative technologies, and our gathering today to celebrate excellence in the digital education sector is a clear testament of that.”

He added: “Through the [awards], we want to recognise the real trailblazers of our education community that have thrived in digital education delivered through the Alef Platform in the past year.”

Going global

Dr Aishah Al Yammahi, Board Advisor, Alef Education, said: “As the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee, we’re proud to reward outstanding schools, educators, students, and parents for excelling in digital teaching and learning practices at the Alef Education Award 2021.”

She added: “I’m also pleased to announce that Alef Education Award will be going global from its next edition. Alef Education is a UAE-based company that has expanded recently to serve the education communities in the United States, Indonesia, and others.”

Golden prize

Three winners were chosen from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Al Ain under the ‘Distinguished Alef Cluster Leader’ category, with Ayesha Mohamed Al Zaabi bagging the Golden prize. Three awards were also given under the ‘Distinguished Alef School Leader’ category to winners from Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Al Ain.

The Gold award went to Sheikha Abdullah Al Qaydi. In the Distinguished Alef Teacher category, the awards were given to winners from Sharjah, Al Dhafra, and Al Ain, with Nourah Mohamed Alyileili from Aishah Bint Othman School receiving the Golden prize. Ahmed Hassan Al Mansoori was felicitated as the ‘Leading Figure in Society’.

Main Categories
There were eight main categories under the Alef Education Award for schools, teachers, students, and parents: Alef Distinguished Student, Alef Most Improved Student, Alef Special Learning Needs/People of Determination Students, Alef Distinguished Teacher, Alef Distinguished School Leader, Alef Distinguished Cluster, Alef Most Engaged Parent, and Leading Figure in the Society.

Student winners

In total, 52 UAE public school students from Grades 5 to 11 received awards. Among them, 10 students were awarded in the ‘Alef Special Learning Needs/People of Determination’ category, and 21 students bagged prizes in the ‘Alef Most Improved Student’ category.

Under the ‘Alef Distinguished Student’ category, 21 winners were announced.

First-place students by grades

  • Mohammed Tareq Salem, Grade 5, Obadah Bin Al Samet – Abu Dhabi;
  • Amina Ahmed Abo Maash, Grade 6, Al Zawraa 1 Girls – Ajman;
  • Hind Mohammed Aldhaheri, Grade 7, Al Hemma – Al Ain;
  • Fatema Ali Al Eed Al Sweidan, Grade 8, Al Shawamekh – Abu Dhabi;
  • Mohammed Ahmad Alomari, Grade 9, Abu Dhabi Secondary;
  • Omar Moustafa Kabbouli, Grade 10, Khalifah Bin Zayed – Abu Dhabi;
  • Abdulrahman Rashed Alkuwaiti, Grade 11, Abdul Qader Al Jazaeri – Abu Dhabi.