Hind Al Mualla, chief of creativity, happiness and innovation at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI The bar has just been raised for Dubai schools. Besides aspiring to the best ratings during the annual school inspections, they can now compete for a Healthy and Happy School Award.

Hind Al Mualla, chief of creativity, happiness and innovation at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said the award has been designed to recognise schools that are working to create a healthy environment for their students. “There are a number of innovative practices that schools have introduced and they need to be highlighted and recognised.”

Key parameters

She said the H2 School Award has been launched as part of the ‘City Makers’ initiative by a ‘Sky Blue’ team comprising representatives from Dubai Education Zone, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Sports Council and KHDA.

The award will go to the school that demonstrates and provides evidence on a number of parameters. They include promotion of healthy eating, holistic living and creation of a positive work and study environment. While healthy eating pointers will look at how the school encourages students to make healthy food choices and limits the availability of unhealthy foods on campus, holistic living criteria include the provision of a range of physical and mindfulness activities that are implemented. The third aspect pertains to the creation of an environment to support social-emotional learning where every child is physically safe, emotionally secure and psychologically enabled to learn and grow.

Hind said schools can apply in three categories – the H2 Award, ‘star of the community’ and ‘most innovative school’.

The ‘star of the community’ criterion looks at how a school makes activities for students available to their staff, parents and general community and the ‘most innovative school’ parameter will focus on how a school achieved its target by implementing out-of-the-box practices and ideas. The school will need to provide evidence towards this end. The impact of each practice will be measured using different tools like the school’s participation in tournaments, leagues, after-school clubs, happy hearts survey results, applicable inspection findings etc.”

Hind said schools have until May 5 to apply for the award. The winners will be announced during the What Works Fusion forum on May 23.

Submission have to be in the form of a video, no longer than three minutes, uploaded on Vimeo/YouTube or a Prezi presentation. Links need to be sent with a 200-word introduction. Hind said all submissions will be evaluated by an international jury.