Khalifa Award for Education: Community Partnership is the key to Educational Excellence

Amal Afifi: The Main Objective of Khalifa Award is to Maintain Educational Excellence, Locally and Regionally

Suaad Al Suwaidi: A Unique Model of Strategic Partners in Encouraging Educational Excellence

Abu Dhabi- Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The General Secretariat, Khalifa Award for Education, affirmed the importance of strengthening strategic partnership with various parties related to the field of education, in order to assure educational development and improvement in the area and to expand the spread of Educational Excellence among all educationalists, locally and regionally.

This essential aspect of Education was reflected upon during the visual communication session titled “Partners of Excellence”, administered by Respected Suaad Al Suwaidi, Vice General Secretary to the Award and addressed by the speakers Mrs. Salma Kanaan, Executive Director to Emirates Down Syndrome Association, Mrs. Afaf Al Haridi, Director of Al Amal School for the Deaf at Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services and Mrs. Fatima Al Saridi, teacher at Al Fujaira Institute for the Rehabilitation of People of Determination.

Respected Amal Al Afifi, General Secretariat to the Award, commenced the open discussion by stressing the importance of the Strategic Partnership inaugurated by the Award with various Educational community bodies, pointing further that such relationship has strengthened the Award in achieving its goal in its mission towards better education, to reinforce Educational Excellence in all aspects, thus launching programs, projects and initiatives that develop educational and academic performance in most educational institutions and communities.

Affirmingly, Suaad Al Suwaidi added that the Strategic Partnership commenced between the Award and other community institutions and organizations has provided a unique model in support of educational initiatives in the field. Mrs. Al Suwaidi added that the named partnership has had the biggest impact in motivating and encouraging educators in the field to excel creatively and innovatively in teaching, scientific research and community service, which was highly reflected through the participation of the educational institutions in various cycles of the Award and attaining awards in different fields and categories. This, consequently, gained the partnership new dimensions in anchoring the understanding and culture of Excellence whose effects, in turn, positively affected the various elements of the teaching learning process starting with the students to the teachers, the administration , the leadership, the distinguished family and other fields that support and develop the educational development of the UAE.

On the same topic, Mrs. Salma Kanaan expressed her pleasure to be part of such a content-rich session and with educational elites who have chosen Excellence as an approach to a better life for the People of Determination. “ We have chosen Excellence and Innovation as a style of life that was finally crowned by attaining the distinguished Khalifa Award for the year 2018-2019,” She added. “ This distinction was the outcome of joined noble efforts along with community cohesion and solidarity; volunteer loyal efforts that have created a profound system and a conscious unique community that has designed the plan as per the genuine inspirational vision of the wise leadership that had taught us at the Emirates Association to orient the future, move ahead and continue generous giving in spite of all challenges.”

Mrs. Afaf Al Haridi, also inspired by the topic, commented : “When there is no place for the impossible and success shines in the far horizon embraced by our vision and attained by our persistence and will, as was the case when we won the Award in 2016-2017, the feeling of overflying with swarms of Excellence becomes a unique and overwhelming experience that crowns the hard work and success of Al Amal School for the Deaf.” This school, she continued, has, through various challenges, shone out with the hope and ambition of deaf students at an exceptional situation and a time when a pandemic conquers the world leaving its effect all over. Still, through all this, the school could overcome the challenge with its wise leadership under the patronage of Sharjah City for Human Services and with great support of Sharjah Private Educational Committee, exclusive academic and administrative staff and great support of the Ministry of Education.

Mrs Al Haridi also stressed that the experience of Al Amal School for the Deaf stands as a unique model that supports these individuals locally, regionally and internationally. To this, the school, and since its inauguration, has attained various community innovations in supporting and caring for this category of the society and providing them with various options for learning, working and innovation in all aspects of job and production opportunities.

From her own perspective, Mrs Fatima Al Saridi , a teacher winner of the last cycle Award for the People of Determination Category, shared her experience of participation and winning the Khalifa Award for the mentioned category stressing that the Award has pioneered all other specialized educational awards , locally and regionally. Thus, the mere participation in the Award is in itself a reflection of Excellence and Distinction and a challenge that every educator aims for. She also added that Distinction starts with the healthy team work that she herself also adopted to be crowned as a result with the Award for this category for the year 2020. It is faith, determinism, and persistence, as she continued, that are the major elements to prove that there exists no impossible in the life of the People of Determination. “This is what we have experienced with the Ministry of Community Education represented by all related institutions that serve this category of people.” She expressed.

The session was ended with an open discussion among the attendees on the Mechanisms and Foundations for Excellence and Distinction on individual and institutional levels.

Extracted from: A session on Khalifa Award for Education and Partners of Excellenc