Dubai: The achievements of outstanding students, teachers, schools and organisations were recognised in the 18th edition of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance on Wednesday.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, presented awards to 248 winners at the event, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The award was established in 1998 under a decree by Shaikh Hamdan as a way to recognise excellence in educational performance and foster talent.
A total of 375 people applied for the award this year and 248 winners were chosen, Gulf News previously reported. This is an increase of 2 per cent over last year, when 244 winners received the award.
Speaking at the event, Shaikh Hamdan said: “In today’s assembly, the 18th session of the Distinguished Academic Performance Award, we would proudly like to honour the exquisitely distinguished individuals in the academic field.
“Those who have set foot on the road to creativity and their works are being recognised throughout the years, as they have proven to play a pivotal role in supporting education, ultimately attracting attention for its uniqueness by regional and international institutes.”
He also announced “the approval of the Arab Bureau of Education for Gulf states for allowing the Award to host the GCC Talent in the UAE, where the Hamdan Award will have a pivotal role in embracing this new council.”
He requested the Award Board of Trustees to review and reassess some of the Award’s protocols in light of the government’s latest trends and strategic plans of the Ministry of Education in order to build a community with sustained knowledge.
The majority of the winners came from the Sharjah Education Zone with 67 winners, followed respectively by Dubai (60 winners), Abu Dhabi (40 winners) and Fujairah (24 winners).
Of the winners, 88 per cent were students who applied for the distinguished student category (204).
Other categories included distinguished university student, in which 17 students won.
The distinguished teacher category had nine winners, distinguished counsellor (one winner), distinguished school (one winner), best implemented project (three winners), best scientific innovation (two winners), distinguished family (five winners) and institutions that support education (three winners).
In the “best educational research in the Arab world” category, the winner was Sa’ad Al Haj from Algeria for his research into the effect of using documentaries to reduce mathematics-related stress for students who face difficulties in mathematics.
Student Amnah Al Hammadi won in the “ people with disability” category.
Three institutions received an award for supporting education, including the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), which was awarded for its initiative ‘Conservation Award: For a Better Tomorrow’; Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation, awarded for its health awareness initiative; and the Ministry of Interior which won for the initiative that aims to develop the skills of youth.
There were 26 winners from the GCC, including 10 from Saudi Arabia, seven from Kuwait, six from Bahrain and three from Qatar.
More than 30 per cent of the GCC participation was in the distinguished student and teacher categories.
Students were thrilled to receive their awards. Fatima Sami Fahad Mohammad from Dubai said it was her strong will that helped her win the “distinguished student” award.
“Without the support of my friends and family, I wouldn’t have reached here,” she added.
Another student, Juwan Aws Abu Zaid from Ajman, said she took part in a number of charity events as a volunteer, which helped her bag her award.
“I feel happy and proud because I worked very hard to reach this stage,” she said.