UAE Reading Year: Aim is to emerge as the capital of cultural and knowledge content

Shaily Kalra

reading habit in UAE

Reading is the basic skill for a new generation of scientists, intellectuals and innovators.

UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The strategy for reading is one of the most important strategies that the Government will follow as it is directly involved in building up human capacity.

                                                Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Dubai: UAE, the country with endless dreams, is now focused in its efforts towards encouraging children to develop the habit of reading and the year 2016 is UAE Reading Year.

UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, while directing to declare 2016 as the Reading Year emphasised that “reading is the basic skill for a new generation of scientists, intellectuals and innovators.” .

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler Of Dubai has qualified UAE’s thrust on building the reading habit by emphasising that the strategy for reading is one of the most important strategies that the government will follow to produce a reading generation, build up human capacity and establish the UAE as the capital of cultural and knowledge content.

Significantly, UAE has provided Dh 100 million fund and announced a ten year National policy to encourage the habit of reading among all age groups from children to adults.

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, minister of Cabinet affairs and the Future Chairman of the Supreme Committee for UAE Year of Reading has come up with a policy of education. The main objective of this policy is to ensure 80 percent of students and 50 percent of Emirati adults should make reading their habit and optional reading average per student should not be less than 20 books annually. He further said, “Changing a society’s behaviour is not something easy, so five ministers are working as a team to overcome this challenge and achieve the vision of our wise leadership in establishing a reading, education conscious society.”

Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of education said the ministry will focus on four main objectives: Enhancing linguistic abilities of students, instilling reading as a main component in the UAE educational system, putting in place qualified human resources, providing an enabling reading environment with suitable content.

Minister of Health and Prevention; Abdul Rahman Al Owais emphasised the importance of communicating with children through basic skills of reading.

Inbuilt in the policy is a project for newborns where parents will read for children at three stages after birth, at the time of boosters or vaccination that is the age of two years, and at the age of four at the time of nursery classes.

Then there is the Family Knowledge Awareness Project that will bring awareness within the family through reading before starting a family and the Reading for Patients Project for treating and giving relief to the patients who are hospitalised for a long time.

Najla Mohammad Al Awar. Minister of Community Development said: They will focus on creating a reading environment in government departments, developing of libraries in various places as in schools, universities and opening public libraries in shopping malls and encouraging not only children but also retirees, housewives and workers by making them understand the importance of reading.

Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Council ( NMC), said that the media will promote the idea of reading as the key component of UAE society. And the media will consider the government policies in publishing sectors and providing Arabic books for all age group for children.

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