Khalifa Award recognises excellence in education

Prizes worth Dh3.6m handed out to 39 educators and institutions

17:00 April 16, 2018

Abu Dhabi: Thirty-nine educators and institutions were on Monday honoured at the 11th edition of the Khalifa Award for Education.

A total of Dh3.6 million was distributed among the winners across nine broad areas, including for excellence in public education, scientific research, educational authorship and community development.

Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Tolerance, was honoured as Educational Personality of the year. Shaikh Nahyan has previously served as minister of higher education and scientific research, and has headed UAE University, Higher Colleges of Technology and Zayed University.

The awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi was attended by Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Shaikh Nahyan, Minister of Education Hussain Al Hammadi, and Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, director of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge.

Amal Al Affifi, the award’s secretary-general, told Gulf News that the prize has promoted a culture of excellence and innovation since its launch in 2007.

This edition of the award witnessed a 27 per cent increase in nominations compared to the 2016-17 cycle, she added.

Winners received a trophy, Certificate of Excellence, and a cash prize ranging from Dh75,000 to Dh200,000.

“I have always been passionate about education, and about assisting children with special needs. This award, which I am sharing with my colleague, feels like a validation for all our efforts,” Dr Siham Bakri, a special needs educator based in Umm Al Quwain, told Gulf News.

Along with Mona Al Ali, Dr Bakri had undertaken research into the development of language skills among kindergarten children with special abilities.

Dr Adil Rashid, an Emirati engineer, and his family from Fujairah were awarded for their contributions to society.

“My wife is a principal at a school, and together, we encourage our children to do their bit for their country and their society, whether it comes to feeding the poor or undertaking voluntary work. We are so delighted to have been recognised by our leadership with this prize,” Dr Rashid said.

Another Egyptian researcher based at the King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia, Dr Mohammad Abidou, received the prize for his work into maximising the efficiency of renewable energy power sources when they are integrated into the general grid system.

“Renewable energy is the future of this region, and indeed the world, and this award spurs me on to continue developing our knowledge in this field,” said the professor of electrical engineering.