New UAE Charter: a guide to raise responsible citizens

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UAE Emirati men dancing
Rhythmic chanting and waving of camel sticks by groups of men are features of local celebrations. Here the stick dancers practice

The UAE government has issued a charter outlining a nationally recognized code of conduct and values for Emiratis. This charter is part of a series of new educational initiatives aimed at promoting a country wide civics curriculum.

The Cabinet, which met yesterday at the Union House under the chairmanship of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the charter to be circulated to all relevant bodies.

“The charter aims to develop a general and clearly defined frame for Emirati character to reflect its unique culture and connection to its values, traditions, heritage and its religion, Islam,” the report said.

It will be used in educational and cultural spheres and will raise “a national generation who are aware of their responsibilities and duties toward the nation, family and community”, the state news agency Wam reported.

Ahmad Al Jarwan, a member of the education and youth committee of the Federal National Council, said the charter will help raise next Emirati generations who are productive, motivated and compassionate to contribute to building the modern, developed country they aspire to. “Passing on our values and traditions to next generations should be a joint responsibility among the family, schools and other educational institutions,” he said.

Hamad Al Rahoumi, also a member of the committee, agreed and said instilling the Emirati values and traditions will help next generations cope with future challenges, especially those of the population structure of the UAE.

The Cabinet approved a resolution directing the Ministry of Education to integrate  a history course on the founding fathers into the national curricula. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research was also ordered to introduce Emirati studies as a mandatory subject for all graduates from national and private universities.

The new subject will include studies on the UAE’s history, social culture, terrains, geography, laws and regulations.

“Students are not aware of the rich UAE culture or its history,” Fathima Wadood an Emirati teacher told Arabian Gazette. “If we are unaware of our history we are unable to forge an identity. This charter would undoubtedly instill a sense of belonging and identity.”

41st National Day initiatives:

Emirati SME’s

The Cabinet approved a measure to support small and medium-sized enterprises by requiring that federal ministries and departments buy 10 per cent of all purchases locally.

“We will support the UAE youth, products and culture because the UAE is the source of our pride and our people are the source of our dignity,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Emiratization

This charter emphasizes the importance of emiratization. Some analysts say that nearly 10-15% of the Emirati youth would be promised of employment. This would pave the path for employments in the projects planned, including the $10 bn theme park and the mall of the world.

“The most important characteristic of the founding fathers and the most important lesson we learned from them is that the citizen is the priority, and we should give importance to building humans before building edifices,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“We announced today…that the year 2013 will be a year of creating jobs for UAE nationals, that will be a national priority for which all efforts must unite.”

“For decades people of other nationalities have been employed to build the UAE,” Mohammad Al Rasimi a student at the Zayed University told Arabian Gazette. “However the new projects like the Mall of the world would be placed on the hands of the able and educated UAE youth.”

Museum

Other initiatives passed include commissioning the construction of a museum at the Union House and a directive for the Ministry of Economy to develop a quality mark for all national products.

High flag poles on which the UAE flag will be hoisted will also be erected in each emirate to complement the ones in Dubai and the capital.

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