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Ministry, EPA explore ways to bring local publishing and school curriculum closer

In the presence of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and President of EPA, and Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, the UAE Ministry of Education and the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) have discussed avenues of cooperation and have explored means to develop the publishing sector in the UAE.

EPA representatives including Ali Al Shaali, Vice President, Mohammed Bin Dakheen, Treasurer, Ali Bin Hatem, Secretary, Nooh Al Hammadi, Board Member, and Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director, were also in attendance.

The talks featured several important issues, including the possibility of adding more texts from Emirati publishers in the ministry’s curriculum. Ways to support and encourage students with talent and interest in creative writing including publishing their works, was another important aspect discussed at the meeting.

The leaders of both organisations have also talked about the possibility of jointly organising mini book exhibitions at schools to showcase locally made books.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said, “The UAE attaches great importance to education, which is fundamental to human capacity building as well as to human development and knowledge. Advanced educational systems depend on curricula that meet the aspirations of societies and keep up with future needs. This meeting with the Ministry of Education aimed to discuss ways of expanding the scope of cooperation between EPA and the ministry by including outstanding texts by Emirati publishers in school curricula in all its stages.” Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi noted that Emirati publishers have the talent and capacity to draft educational texts that reflect the UAE’s national identity and keep pace with scientific advancements, while enriching the vocabulary and knowledge of students, making them better able to serve their country and community in the future.

“EPA always welcomes cooperation with various federal and local agencies to work together in order to reinforce the UAE’s stature in different book-related fields,” Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi emphasised.

Hussain Al Hammadi said, “The Ministry of Education is committed to cooperating with publishers across the UAE, in a way that enables them to offer more Emirati creative writers a platform to express themselves and contribute to improving school curricula. I am certain that this collaboration with the Emirates Publishers Association will be instrumental in helping the Ministry enrich the Arabic language curriculums in schools with the writings of talented authors, and ultimately help us inspire a fondness for the Emirati heritage and social traditions among young students in the UAE.” 

Al Hammadi highlighted the Ministry’s keenness to strengthen cooperation with publishers and book industry experts within the framework of the agreement signed with the EPA, with the aim to enhance the education system in the country alongside all relevant institutions of education and literature. For this purpose, he said the Ministry is looking into new and innovative ventures with partner organisations to initiate simple and attractive new methods of Arabic Language learning, which will not only polish students’ language skills but also help them savour contemporary literary texts by a variety of Arab authors.

EPA was founded in 2009 upon an initiative by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi to serve and develop the UAE’s publishing sector and to advance the role of Emirati publishers through training and mentoring programmes that help raise their efficiency. EPA represents the interests of professionals in the UAE’s publishing industry by working on advancing their rights. It also constantly works to improve the conditions of the profession and its related laws in coordination and cooperation with concerned authorities in the UAE and beyond.

Read more: http://www.gulftoday.ae/portal/eae0e1eb-3ca1-47ae-9a65-dba13179f7fd.aspx