UAE public and private schools to pair in Year of Tolerance

Published:  16 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Dubai, UAE, Study Abroad
In celebration of the UAE’s ‘Year of Tolerance’, upscale private schools and their public education counterparts are to pair up, with a pilot scheme already on the go.

GEMS, the emirates’ largest private school provider, is gearing up for the innovative programme by already pairing two of its 50 elite schools with their emirati twin public schools. According to Deema al Alami, the education provider’s vice-president, Dubai’s Wellington International School and Fujairah’s Winchester School are already participating in a trail run, and al Alami is expecting more GEMS schools as well as other private education facilities to join in the nationwide rollout of the programme.

The initiative is based on cultural exchanges between private and public school pupils, with expat children learning about life in state schools and the distinctive culture of the Emirates and emirati pupils given a glimpse of life in private education. The two GEMS private schools already running the programme have both set up Tolerance Gardens on their premises, stocked with the UAE’s indigenous plants and those from students’ home countries. Should foreign plants not be suitable or are unavailable, artefacts will be used instead.

As regards actual education, most of the Year of Tolerance’s classes will be organised as extra-curricular activities, and will include student performances and a Wall of Tolerance on which student messages will be displayed along with reports of tolerance activities and artworks. Guest speakers on the topics making up tolerance as well as community outreach visits to children with special needs will help pupils realise tolerance isn’t just an abstract idea as it can be made part of everyday life both at school and in the home.
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