Education UAE Issue 5

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SEPTEMBER 2020

EDUCATION & COVID-19, YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

AN ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL SCHOOLING, THE FUTURE OF HOMESCHOOLING

LEARN, PLAY AND GROW IN THE HEART OF NATURE

PODCASTS FOR PARENTS INFORMATIVE & ENTERTAINING


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DECISION TIME AS KIDS RETURN TO SCHOOL

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t's time to go back to school! Or is it? Many parents are considering homeschooling this autumn, but there are a lot of factors to consider before making a decision. And unfortunately - as with so many parenting decisions - there is no definitive 'right' answer. That's why in this issue of Education UAE we look closely at the alternatives to traditional schooling and how best to go about them. The Covid-19 outbreak has caused significant disruptions to daily life, and children are feeling these changes profoundly. Although the return to school will be both welcome and exhilarating for a lot of students, others will be feeling ill at ease or anxious. With this in mind, we asked Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Dr Vivek Mundada, about the current health challenges, including mental wellbeing. When going through these uncertain times, exercise may be the last thing on your mind to add to your family to-do list. However, keeping in shape can do wonders for kids' physical and mental health. We look at how to do this at home, without the need for big purchases or a gym-full of equipment.

Podcasts have been causing quite a stir lately; even more so during the current pandemic. For those completely new to the podcast scene, most are set up like a TV or radio show, with different episodes focused on wide-ranging topics, and often featuring special guests. Listeners can subscribe to specific podcasts, download new episodes, and listen whenever it's convenient to them. We look at a number of the most revealing and entertaining podcasts in the sphere of parenting, helping you to decide whether it's time you dipped your toes into the podcast stream. As is usually the case with Education UAE, we take in a broad brush of other topics and stories too, including the myths and misconceptions of Alzheimer's disease, the recently launched Marsbound Hope Probe, and what makes a child become a bully? And if all that were not enough, we visit a University in Georgia and look at the top five technical skills that will be in demand in five years in the job market for students!

Complimentary Copy

TEAM Belinda Breeze Daniel Murad Eddie Rayner Laura Wojciechowski Rod Millington

CONTACT

educationuae@tpg.media www.education-uae.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

@educationuaemag @educationuaemag

Rod Millington Editor-in-Chief

Rod Millington has been active in the commercial writing sector for over 30 years, with work published throughout Europe, North America, the Far East, and the Middle East. During this time, he has had the privilege to speak to a wide range of fascinating and entrepreneurial people, from captains of industry through to pop icons such as Sir Paul McCartney. In total, Rod has had over 25 million words committed to print across more than 35 publications for clients as diverse as FIFA, Cunard, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and Dubai Municipality.

This magazine is published by TPG Publishing LLC. All material is the copyright of TPG Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. This magazine is the property of TPG Publishing LLC. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form whole or part without written permission of the Managing Director of TPG Publishing LLC. While every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press.

All our publications are printed using recycled paper.

BECAUSE WE CARE



YOU NEED FOR

Get your little ones comfortably ready for their journey with a great collection of essentials – from cloating and footwear, to bags and more!

/ BrandsForLessUAE

www.brandsforless.com


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Contents

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Boarding In Dubai – The Swiss Way

50

Bullying Is A Sign Of Weakness

86

Food Safety And Nutrition Tips For Your Child’s Lunchbox


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THE FEATURES IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE… DID YOU KNOW?

KNOW IT ALL

Knowledge And Human Development Authority

46 Perceiving The World In A Different Way 48 Travel On Public Transport To Save Your Kid’s Future 50 Bullying Is A Sign of Weakness 52 Bee Part Of The Solution 54 Blast off!

8 Keeping Safe In The New Academic Year 9 More Than Two-Thirds Of Schools In Dubai Offer ‘Developed’ Distance Learning

Abu Dhabi Department Of Education And Knowledge

10 #NeverStopLearning With a New Activity Platform

OUR WORLD 56 Raising Models Of The Community

Sharjah Private Education Authority

THE LOUNGE

THE NEW NORMAL

60 Stay Safe, Get Fit 62 Children’s Tales From Around The World 64 Podcasts For Parents

11 Future Change Makers’ Programme Launched For Students During Lockdown

12 Schools And COVID-19: Your Questions Answered 14 Maintaining A Structured Routine For Wellbeing 16 An Alternative To Traditional Schooling 18 How the GCC Can Reshape Its POST COVID-19 Education System

EXCELLENCE… IN PRE-SCHOOL

BON VOYAGE Travel Near

68 The UAE Is The Place To Be!

Travel Far

72 UAE Residents Can Tavel Without Having To Quarantine On Arrival 74 The Country That Has It All

22 It’s Okay To Be Quiet 24 Innovative Ways To Keep Children Entertained

MYTH OR TRUTH

EXCELLENCE… IN SCHOOL

HEALTH AND NUTRITION

26 Powering Through A Sustainable Kitchen 26 Shaping Up Education Models For The Future 27 Inspiring Students To Aim High 28 Screens, Gadgets & Teaching

78 Health Tips To Keep Your Child Safe And Healthy 84 Real Food With Real Benefits 86 Food Safety And Nutrition Tips For Your Child’s Lunchbox

EXCELLENCE IN… HIGHER EDUCATION 36 MBZUAI Announces Academic Year To Start January 2021 36 Zayed University Switches To Hybrid Model For Autumn 2020 Semester 40 Are You Tech Savvy? 44 My Kind of Town

76 A Mystery Of The Mind

LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD 94 Don’t Let The Roaring 20s Take A Toll On Your Skin


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Did You Know?

NEWS SECTION

Bringing you the latest education data, achievements, and development plans from local authorities, including Ministry of Education (MOE), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), Sharjah Education Council (SEC) and Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA).

KHDA

KEEPING SAFE IN THE NEW ACADEMIC YEAR A set of protocols have been developed by the Government of Dubai. They’re in place to make sure there’s a consistent and effective approach to keeping everyone at school safe and healthy once schools open again in September. All schools will have to comply with these protocols. Here, we look at some of the most salient points laid out by KHDA. What’s included in the protocols? The protocols cover different areas of school and university operations, such as entry, pick-up and school visit procedures; screening and contact tracing; physical distancing arrangements; and school buses. Will all schools and universities be open to students in the new academic year? Schools and universities will be allowed to open and operate from the start of the 2020/21 academic year, provided they comply with specific health and safety protocols. Can students continue with distance learning in the new term? While face-to-face learning remains the preferred education model, we understand that different parents have different views, especially in the first phases of re-opening. As a temporary measure, schools can and should provide 100% distance learning provision in the new academic year to parents who request it. How will this affect school fees and exams? Each school has its own approach to fees and exams. Please check with your child’s school directly to find out more.

What health and safety conditions will be introduced in the new academic year? Maintaining health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. Conditions to protect students and staff include:  Screening all students and staff for temperature at entry point to the school.  Maintaining physical distance guidelines as recommended by the relevant health authorities and reducing the headcount capacity in classrooms.  Limiting gatherings and suspending group activities such as school celebrations, and sports events.  Organising and managing the students’ working day including mealtimes to avoid high concentrations of students in one place.  Sterilising the school building, classrooms, laboratories and other facilities regularly.  Ensuring that support and maintenance service staff do not enter the school when students and staff are present.  Appointing a trained health and safety official to ensure that people and processes in the school comply with health and safety protocol.

Will buses be operating? Buses will be able to operate at 50% capacity, and must also comply with health and safety protocols, including taking the temperatures of all passengers boarding the bus; keeping windows open as much as possible; and disinfecting handles, rails and other frequently used areas of the bus.


KHDA

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MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF SCHOOLS IN DUBAI OFFER ‘DEVELOPED’ DISTANCE LEARNING More than two-thirds of private schools in Dubai offer a ‘developed’ level of distance learning, according to the recently released Distance Learning Evaluation (DLE). With its focus on high-quality distance education, the DLE supports schools to identify areas of improvement and helps parents to make the right school choice for their children. The DLE categorises schools’ proficiency at providing highquality distance learning as ‘Developed’, ‘Partially Developed’, or ‘Not Developed’. 67% of Dubai’s private schools were found to offer ‘Developed’ level of provision, 32% ‘Partially Developed’, and 1% - one school’s provision - was ‘Not Developed.’ Every school rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Good’ by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau in the 2018/19 academic year was found to offer ‘Developed’ distance learning. 80% of schools rated ‘Good’ and 26% of schools rated ‘Acceptable’ also offered ‘Developed’ distance learning provision. Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority said: “Earlier this year, school leaders, teachers, parents and students in Dubai had to respond very quickly to an entirely new way of teaching and learning. They’ve shown great resilience, commitment and love during this period, and we’re grateful for their effort.

“The DLE was put in place to give us a common language and measure to talk about the quality of distance education. Because schools will provide options of face-to-face and distance learning next academic year, the DLE will help parents to get a complete picture of the quality of education their children are receiving and will help schools to provide even better quality learning, no matter where it takes place.” Distance learning evaluations were based on three main areas: how well students were learning and how well their wellbeing was safeguarded; how well teachers were teaching and monitoring students’ learning; and how well school leaders were managing students’ learning across the school. Each school’s five-hour evaluation was carried out through discussions with school leaders, review of students’ work, observation of online lessons, and feedback from parents, students and teachers. Parents can access each school’s distance learning evaluation and inspection reports through the KHDA online directory. The Distance Learning Evaluation is a collaborative initiative between the UAE Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge and the Sharjah Private Education Authority and KHDA.

For full DLE results please visit  www.khda.gov.ae/DLEreport/DLEReports.aspx

DUBAI’S PRIVATE SCHOOLS RESULTS AT A GLANCE  67% were found to offer ‘Developed’ level of provision.  32% ‘Partially Developed’.  1% - one school’s provision was ‘Not Developed.’

For full DLE results please visit https://www.khda.gov.ae/DLEreport/DLEReports.aspx

Every school rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Good’ by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau in the 2018/19 academic year was found to offer ‘Developed’ distance learning.


10 Did You Know?

ADEK

#NEVERSTOPLEARNING WITH A NEW ACTIVITY PLATFORM Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is urging students to #NeverStopLearning with a new Activity Platform. This has been developed as a digital playground, helping parents to find innovative ways to keep their children entertained during the pandemic and beyond. Aimed at children of all ages, ADEK has teamed up with some of the UAE’s leading edutainment vendors to create a platform packed full of enrichment programmes, competitions, edutainment exercises, academic support, and physical and wellbeing challenges across four learning pillars: STEM and Innovation; Enrichment; Arts, Culture and Languages; and Physical Education and Wellbeing. “Student wellbeing and engagement are at the core of our efforts at ADEK. With the current situation fuelling our commitment to ensure there are constant avenues of engagement for everybody within the Abu Dhabi education community, the Activity Platform has been designed as a onestop resource for students to continue learning, innovating and staying active,” said H.E. Amer Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). “The options available are fun and engaging, taking students away from pure academics and filling their time with meaningful activities. There are also ample opportunities for students to connect with their peers in a number of the challenges requiring team collaboration.” Spotlight on STEM The STEM and Innovation stream is full of experiences for 21st-century learners. Whether embarking on a journey through coding by learning the basics, taking their interest in robotics to the next level through a series of challenges, or seeking safe and

fun science and engineering experiments at home, the STEM and Innovation pillar encourages critical thinking in fun ways. An Eye for Arts and Culture Arts, Language and Culture, are embraced with access to some of the capital’s most iconic attractions. Experiences are augmented with hands-on, creative activities which add three-dimensional learning to a digital discovery. Children can take a time-out to read, reflect and explore ideas in more depth, with access to extensive digital libraries and storytelling experiences. Additionally, language skills can be honed with a range of courses for native and non-native English and Arabic speakers. The Arts, Language and Culture stream also includes music tutorials and poetry. Enriching Education Journeys For students plotting their first steps towards higher education, a range of webinars and university prep talks ensure that they are ready for the big leap into university. There are also admission preparation courses, including IELTS to SATS revisions, specialist subject tutoring and coaching sessions for candidate interviews. Younger students can revise or refresh core subjects ensuring they are prepped for the coming academic year. Keep on Moving For students eager to keep moving, the Physical Education and Wellbeing stream features a whole host of challenges, from sports contests to cooking competitions and physical activities children can do around the home or garden.

 Visit www.activityplatform.ae


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SPEA

FUTURE CHANGEMAKERS’ PROGRAMME LAUNCHED FOR STUDENTS DURING LOCKDOWN

Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi Chairperson of SPEA

Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA), and the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), in partnership with Kalimat Group, have announced a newly-launched initiative called the Future Changemakers, aimed at utilising remote learning to instil critical thinking skills, creativity, imagination, and the entrepreneurial mindset among stay-at-home students, amid Covid-19 concerns. The initiative takes a holistic approach at engaging students of all ages, from kindergarten through to grade 12.

Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, Chairperson of SPEA, said: “The Future Changemakers initiative encourages students at home, to invest their expanded learning time towards other creative areas of interest, following the introduction of distance learning, implemented as part of the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus. We are working tirelessly to establish a paradigm for interacting with students and parents during this period in an effort to discover, invest and foster talent.

Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “Our partnership with the Sharjah Private Education Authority further enhances our aim to inspire a generation of changemakers by enabling the entrepreneurial mindset of critical thinking and creativity to be instilled from an early age. The Future Changemakers Initiative is structured to help students of all ages focus their passions, develop their talents, and build an impactful idea that solves critical problems within their communities and effects change for the society as a whole.”

“We have provided school administrations with sufficient time and space to implement this initiative and have notified parents as well. The initiative comprises of three competitions: Sheraa Online School, Sharjah Treasures, and Future Authors: ‘Read. Dream. Create’ – each with its own set of guidelines and submission deadlines. “she added.

 www.spea.shj.ae


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Schools and Covid-19:

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED Global estimates indicate that only 2% to 5% of individuals with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 are under 18 years of age

Dubai Health Authority dedicated, 24/7, back to school Covid-19 helpline Tel 800 588


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IT’S BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME IN THE UAE, BUT FOR MANY PARENTS, WHAT ‘BACK TO SCHOOL’ MEANS IS ANYTHING BUT CLEAR. FOR ALTHOUGH CHILDREN ARE SAID TO BE ‘MINOR PLAYERS’ IN THE TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19 AND OPENING SCHOOLS WOULD ‘ADD LITTLE’ TO THE REPRODUCTION RATE OF INFECTION, THERE IS STILL MUCH CONFUSION. HERE, WE LOOK AT SOME OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS IN ORDER TO CLEAR UP SOME OF THE UNCERTAINTY AND MISUNDERSTANDING.

Q: What will the impact of opening schools be on the virus spread in the wider population? A: A study published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health Journal regarding the spread of the virus in New South Wales, Australia, found that the risk of children and staff transmitting the virus in schools was very low when contact tracing and ‘epidemic management’ was in place. Q: When parents are faced with the decision on whether to send their child back to school, how can they make the best decision? A: Parents need to look at what’s going on at the school and your own family circumstances. Find out the details of school reopening plans and what kinds of physical distancing will be achieved. They should ensure the school is committed to universal face coverings and understand their local community transmission. Schools are a reflection of their community. If disease transmission rates are going up in the community, that’s going to be a factor against more in-person learning. The other thing that’s individualised is the health of a child and the health of everyone in the child’s world. Q: What physical changes can schools make to reduce risk? A: Schools can reduce the risk that infections will spread by focusing on three major categories: airflow, reconfiguring the building interior to enable social distancing and hygiene.

Keeping people apart may have reduced community spread by as much as 44%

Q: Would it help to group students in bubbles or pods? A: It has been proven that by shrinking our social spheres, we can block the virus’ spread. The same strategy can be used in schools. If you have youngsters in one classroom or one pod that do get sick, it doesn’t spread like wildfire through the school. A bubble or pod also makes it easier for contact tracers to track exposure. If a child or teacher tests positive, the bubble can be quarantined instead of the whole school. Q: If children are sitting at tables with at least six feet of distance between them, no barriers and not wearing masks, would they be considered close contacts if there was a positive case at the table? A: If social distancing of six feet or more is assured, this would not be considered close contact. Q: Are there any recommendations for teachers regarding how to best console a crying child and maintain safe practices? A: In such a situation, it is best if both the teacher and child are wearing both mask and eye protection and attempt to limit the duration of the close contact. The definition of close contact considers both distance and duration, so it is essential to limit the period of direct and unprotected exposure. Q: Is there a recommended number of ‘hygiene breaks’ for children? A: It is recommended that children (and adults) wash their hands routinely and thoroughly throughout the day, particularly before eating, after using the restroom and after hands are soiled or dirtied. There is no explicit recommendation on the frequency or intervals of hand washing.

Q: Is it okay for students to throw or kick a ball, etc. during sports classes if they maintain at least a six feet distance? A: Yes. Students can take part in physical activities if they are maintaining a six feet distance. Sports activities that allow for sufficient social distancing should be prioritised. Q: If a choir class can maintain excesses (greater than 6 feet) of social distancing while singing, but not wearing a mask, would that eliminate the considerations of close contacts in the class? A: Choir classes are of concern as singing might increase the distance respiratory droplets travel. It is suggested that chorus students stand at least six feet apart and wear a mask. It is preferable to hold practice outdoors when feasible. Q: If a teacher or other member of staff has been in a group setting and is now showing Covid-19 symptoms and has test results pending, how does the school handle others in the group? Are others okay to continue working? A: If the others in the group are asymptomatic, they can continue working with heightened awareness and monitoring for symptoms.


14 The New Normal

MAINTAINING A STRUCTURED ROUTINE FOR WELLBEING GOING BACK TO SCHOOL ALWAYS BRINGS MIXED EMOTIONS IN THE CHILDREN. THEY CAN BE EXCITED, BUT CAN ALSO BE ANXIOUS. THIS YEAR IS VERY DIFFERENT THAN THE PREVIOUS ONES DUE TO THE PANDEMIC WE ARE CURRENTLY LIVING IN.

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Dr Vivek Mundada Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Medcare Women & Children Hospital

ince the time this pandemic has started, there have been many baffling questions even for scientists. We do not exactly know why some people do not even show any symptoms, while others get affected in a life-threatening way. We also do not completely understand why children are less affected than adults. Data from various countries, including the US, suggest only 8-9% of the Covid-19 positive cases are made up of children. Most of these cases are either asymptomatic or mild to moderate in nature. Children who are prone to have severe infection are those with pre-existing health conditions, such as congenital heart

conditions, immunodeficiency, obesity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, children are not usually the ones who bring the infection into their homes. In fact, most of them catch it from other family members. Studies have also shown that they are not the greater transmitters of the infection to others. For example, a study from France showed that children with Covid-19 failed to transmit it to any other person despite their exposure to hundreds of children in different schools and a ski resort. Such statistics are certainly reassuring. In the world of psychology, it is a well-known fact that parental anxiety disorders can increase the risk of similar disorders in their


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children. Studies have shown that parental anxiety may induce a range of negative outcomes in their children. Since the pandemic has started, paediatricians have seen a surge in symptoms like headaches, sleep problems, tics and behavioural difficulties. The environmental change is claimed to be the culprit behind these symptoms in them. It was also interesting to see that the parents of these children were slightly more anxious about the pandemic. Social media like WhatsApp and Facebook have been the primary source of information for most of us as it

is at the tip of the fingers. Needless to say, there have many wrong facts or misinformation circulating as well causing fear amongst the users. Such information automatically gets circulated more through these channels without verifying the facts. So nonscientific information like herbal medicines or food items to treat or prevent coronavirus were unnecessarily causing confusion amongst parents. Online learning has limitations and children tend to learn better whilst in school. The school environment is also beneficial for building social and emotional skills and for physical

exercise. This is the place where they will see and meet their friends again, albeit with some restrictions. This prolonged period of lockdown and no major exposure to the outer world has clearly affected their mental wellbeing. Schools have been working to modify the infrastructure while being compliant with the regulations so that education can be provided in a safer way. Although the facilities may not look or feel the same as before, many children are still eager to return to school. The onus is on the parents, too. Both the school and parents have to work as a team and should be on the same page. Parents should also comply with the instructions given by the school. It is important to stay connected with the school through various resources. As we know, this pandemic is not going to end soon. We have adopted and found out ways for ourselves, including changes in the workplaces. Children deserve the same. They follow the adults, and we can be their role model. So being optimistic will certainly help. Children are resilient and often adjust to the new situation better than adults. If they have any queries, talking through such queries and explaining the correct facts in an ageappropriate way will certainly help. Parents can encourage children to verbalize their thoughts and be a good listener. Any new sign of anxiety, including physical symptoms like headaches and abdominal pain, should be identified early, so that appropriate professional help can be sought. Parental anxiety can also reflect in the children and being patient and sensible as well as not showing any anxiety, especially in front of the children will help encourage a sense of positivity in them. We should continue to reiterate the importance of social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing masks whilst in public places, including school. Such positive behaviour by the children must be encouraged by a lot of praise so that it is reinforced. Once schools start, it is important to maintain a structured routine, which is also an important part of good sleep hygiene. A combination of a balanced diet, good quality sleep and exercise can help to build up a good immune system in children.

Dubai Health Authority dedicated, 24/7, back to school Covid-19 helpline Tel 800 588


16 The New Normal

AN ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL SCHOOLING MANY PARENTS IN THE UAE ARE UNSURE AND UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT THE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS IN SEPTEMBER. BUT THEY DO HAVE A FEW ALTERNATIVES, INCLUDING HOMESCHOOLING OR ENROLLING THEIR CHILDREN IN AN EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE SCHOOL.

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uelled by the current financial crunch, which has in turn been driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, homeschooling is a consideration in many parents’ minds at the moment. And when you consider that annual tuition fees can range from AED 30,000 to AED 100,000, depending on the school and curriculum, it is easy to see why. For it is possible to get good homeschooling options for anywhere between AED 3,600 and AED 11,000. Peter Davos, founder and CEO of Hale Education, comments: “There has been a surge in interest in homeschooling with established online service providers who tuition can be 90% cheaper than what parents are paying brick and mortar schools.”

It is no surprise, therefore that a growing number of parents may look at this route, although there are a few apparent problems too, such as not being able to go out to work. Learning at home may have been required in what was a crisis situation, but it not a long-term solution for most parents. However, homeschooling may well have to continue in some form for the foreseeable future. In the best-case scenario, officials have said, students will be in physical classrooms for 70% of the time and learning from home for 30% of the school week. What’s more, there is a strong argument to suggest that if online learning is to continue, then schools should reduce tuition fees.


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Students are also not required to be accredited to a curriculum, but parents can decide to choose one if they wish. But is the quality of homeschooling good enough? Critics of this approach claim that it varies considerably, and that is some cases forms of abuse, which could well have been spotted by a teacher, can go unseen. NEVERTHELESS, UNDER THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES, IT CAN OFFER MANY BENEFITS. THESE INCLUDE:  With a desire and commitment to learn, a relaxed and less competitive environment can help to develop a better understanding of subjects.  While traditional schools need to close in a crisis such as Covid-19, homeschooled children can continue to benefit from their usual online schooling programmes.  Homeschooling can protect children from bullying, which can, if left unchecked, changes lives and have a very negative effect on a child’s education.  There is data that shows that those children who are schooled at home perform better academically.

extracurricular goals, such as sports or arts, at recognised establishments. It can also allow students to study from more than one school at a time. To qualify, students must be enrolled full-time in a Dubai private school. LOGIC OVER EMOTIONS Is homeschooling a good idea? There isn’t a concrete answer to that question because it all depends on a few factors. It may be an excellent option for one family but not the right fit for another. It takes a lot of bravery and dedication to school a child at home, and the ability to see things through, no matter what. Your child’s future is dependent upon how well you do the job, so it isn’t a decision to take frivolously. While there are obvious financial costs, such as not being able to go out to work, many would-be homeschooling parents don’t take into account the personal cost. Yes, it can be a lot of fun! But you must have a firm conviction and commitment that will carry you through the times when you want to pull your hair out. Consequently, for the sake of your family unit, you need to listen to our head rather than your heart.

And with private schools getting more expensive by the day, homeschooling is turning out to be an increasingly attractive option.

THE BENEFITS OF HOMESCHOOLING Homeschooling is not prohibited or regulated by the UAE’s authorities. That said, the vast majority of parents in the UAE send their children to brick and mortar schools, with in excess of one million youngsters attending over 1200 private and public schools. In comparison, only very few parents opt to teach their children at home. Emiratis who choose to teach their children at home must show they are meeting certain educational requirements, while expats do not.

A THIRD WAY The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai said that parents who are interested in alternative forms of education might be able to join the Rahhal programme. In response to a question on its website concerning homeschooling, KHDA replied: “KHDA does not currently recognise homeschooling programmes,” pointing to Rahhal as an alternative. Rahhal, which loosely translates as ‘traveller’ in Arabic, is a KHDA-approved programme for participating schools and students that allows young people to be absent from most classes to pursue

There has been a surge in interest in homeschooling with established online service providers whose tuition can be 90% cheaper than what parents are paying brick and mortar schools

Dubai Health Authority dedicated, 24/7, back to school Covid-19 helpline Tel 800 588


18 The New Normal

HOW THE GCC CAN RESHAPE ITS POST-COVID-19 EDUCATION SYSTEM OF ALL SECTORS IN THE GCC, EDUCATION WAS AMONG THE LEAST PREPARED FOR A DISRUPTION LIKE COVID-19, AND THE MOST AFFECTED BY IT. WITH ALMOST NO ADVANCE NOTICE, A WELL-ESTABLISHED MODEL OF IN-PERSON LEARNING WAS FORCED TO SHIFT ENTIRELY ONLINE, SENDING 2.75 MILLION CHILDREN HOME. AS A RESULT, THERE IS A RISK OF A DECLINE IN LONG-TERM LEARNING LEVELS, ALONG WITH A POTENTIAL INCREASE IN THE GAP IN DIGITAL LITERACY AMONG CHILDREN. GOVERNMENTS MUST TAKE SHORTAND LONG-TERM MEASURES TO PREVENT SUCH NEGATIVE OUTCOMES.

M Ahmed Mokhtar, Principal at Strategy & Middle East, part of the PwC network

Karim Aly, Partner at Strategy & Middle East, part of the PwC network

ost schools, leaders, and education ministries have already taken significant steps to provide the best education possible under the circumstances. However, those measures have largely been reactive and ad hoc—as the results show. There have been profound challenges with the transition for even those GCC countries that had already started implementing digital learning. In the UAE, teachers reported insufficient digital preparedness levels impeding the teaching process. In Saudi Arabia, many students had problems logging onto e-learning platforms due to poor connectivity. In Oman, public schools were closed, and the school year terminated. There have been similar issues elsewhere. Countries that had already made major investments in digital learning, such as China, Singapore, and South Korea, also experienced significant problems. Most education ministries in the GCC are now working hard to set the right conditions for reopening schools after the summer, a critical short-term imperative.

However, given the likelihood of ongoing disruptions to in-person learning in the future, governments should adopt longerterm measures to improve online learning. First, governments and schools should improve online learning to minimize the drop in the average learning level. Education ministries should treat e-learning as a supplement that leads to better outcomes, not as a substitute or replacement for classroom learning. That means that education ministries should modernize traditional pedagogical methods by establishing national guidelines and standards for online education. School systems should provide educators with digital literacy training through media campaigns, tailored workshops, training programs, and regular e-learning forums and webinars. As with traditional education, governments should establish an accreditation scheme for online institutions and programs, to regulate offerings and ensure quality. Teachers who undergo formal training should receive an e-certification, with mandatory staff quotas that increase over time.


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For example, 20% of a school’s educators must be e-certified after one year, 40% after two years, and so on. Governments will need to create digital materials to support online learning, potentially by working with privatesector providers such as Google or Coursera. They should offer tailored online quizzes and exams, with a recording application to ensure academic honesty. A central online platform can provide many of these offerings and feature national curricula, prepared lectures, and segmented levels of access for teachers, students, and parents. Along with improvements to online education, governments should make long-term efforts to reduce the digital literacy gap between privileged and

underprivileged children. A key factor is access. Education ministries should ensure that all students have a laptop or equivalent electronic device to attend online classes. As part of broader digitization agendas, governments should partner with national telecom companies to increase broadband internet coverage, offer discounted rates for low-income families, and establish public WiFi hotspots areas with high concentrations of students. Schools can provide some classes and content through dedicated television channels, further increasing accessibility. In particular, governments should ensure that all students have access to online resources. Online libraries can give students access to textbooks and other resources. Students should also

have the software and tools they need for projects along with subscriptions to leading global newspapers and magazines. For students at university, virtual reality programs can be critical resources. For example, medical students can perform mock surgeries through virtual reality simulations. The pandemic has been a massive disruption for GCC governments, demonstrating the need to be prepared for future problems. If education ministries are to fulfil their mandate in such circumstances, they need to adjust. By reshaping the education system to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19, they can integrate online learning and create an education system that is ultimately better for current and future generations of students.

Dubai Health Authority dedicated, 24/7, back to school Covid-19 helpline Tel 800 588


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22 22 Excellence in Pre-School

IT’S OKAY TO BE QUIET ADMIT IT; YOU'RE CONFUSED. YOUR LITTLE ONE DOESN'T ACT THE SAME WAY THAT YOU DID WHEN AT SCHOOL. SHE IS QUIETER, A LITTLE MORE RESERVED, AND SEEMINGLY A LOT CALMER. THERE IS NO DIVING INTO ROUGH AND TUMBLE PLAY AT THE DROP OF A HAT; INSTEAD, SHE WOULD RATHER STAND BACK AND WATCH THE OTHER KIDS.

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hat worries you is that her teacher says she wishes she'd participate more in class and her social circle is extraordinarily small. But what's odd is that your child seems perfectly happy with all of this! All too often, we assume that quiet kids have social anxiety issues and lack confidence. Most of the time, though, that's simply not true, as Susan Cain, author of 'Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts', explains: "Neurologically, they're just wired differently than louder children and react more positively to less stimulating environments." Even, so, in the fast-moving and highly competitive modern world, it is good to be able to be comfortable in a wide variety of social situations. Happily, with a little practice, the vast majority of quiet children can learn to plot a course through this often raucous world more easily. Parents can be a great help too, by thinking before they speak. Quiet children regularly get the message that being a little withdrawn is somehow wrong. Saying "Sorry, he's shy" is not a good thing to say to another adult – or even another youngster – who is trying to engage with your child, with little or no luck. You are implying that being quiet is a negative thing and are showing disapproval.

Instead, say something along the lines of: "He's in a quiet place at the moment." This acknowledges how your child feels right there and then; they may not always feel this way and might talk the hind leg off a donkey at home, but in that moment they feel the need for calm and quiet. By creating an environment of acceptance, you'll provide your child with the freedom to hold on to who they really are. All children are different, with different personalities and characteristics. There could be a variety of reasons why a child is quiet within a children's setting, including being shy and English being their second language. Then there is the impact of being in new surroundings for the first time. As a rule, children will be quieter than usual when put in front of new adults and new children without the support of their parents. Some socially anxious children can indeed benefit from gentle encouragement to take small steps toward doing something they find frightening. For instance, a child who is afraid of speaking in class, as they believe the other kids will laugh at them, may perhaps be helped to face this anxiety by taking part in a small group discussion. But the best advice for parents of a quiet child is to simply smile and ignore comments from others who recommend that 'little Nicola' should be pushed to "come out of her shell."


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Saying "Sorry, he's shy" is not a good thing to say to another adult, or even another youngster who is trying to engage with your child, with little or no luck


24 Excellence in Pre-School

INNOVATIVE WAYS TO KEEP CHILDREN ENTERTAINED The closure of nurseries and other educational institutions globally including in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in March meant that parents had been left with limited options to continue their pre-school children’s development at a crucial stage of their lives. With this in mind, Kido Education, a global network of nurseries, has developed and curated a one of a kind platform – Kido Home - for the Early Years education sector. Aniruddh Gupta, Founder and CEO of Kido Education, explains: “We have reworked our international curriculum so that it can be delivered online and still achieve the developmental goals so important for children from 2 - 6 years old.” The Kido Home programme is customised to every child and then delivered to them via state-of-theart interactive sessions through specially designed apps. Kido Home is only AED 1,500 a month, with the f irst two weeks being absolutely free. Building on a track record of exceptional parent satisfaction in the UAE. Since the closure, Kido Nursery in the UAE has been offering online support to parents which has gone above and beyond just provision of home learning packs or online learning videos alone. The experience has been a wonderful process of learning and sharing with a high degree of interaction, a sentiment that has been expressed by many parents who are already using Kido Home in the UAE.



26 26 Excellence In School

POWERING LEARNING THROUGH A SUSTAINABLE KITCHEN The Arbor School is building towards a carbon neutral on-site kitchen, and instilling a sustainable healthy food culture at its Al Furjan Campus this academic year, with the launch of its unique farm-to-fork canteen concept, The Farmhouse at Arbor. Designed to provide its pupils with the maximum brain power for learning, and to spread a healthy lifestyle message amongst its student community, The Farmhouse at Arbor will deliver a seasonal lunch and snack menu created from the highest quality, locally sourced and organic ingredients.

Principal at The Arbor School, Brett Girven commented: “We’re in a great position to be able to grow our own produce on the school campus and work with a Michelin star chef, Anna Maria Herreras, to bring this project to life. Big changes that really make a difference to the planet are derived from education and awareness, and that is what we are providing to our pupils through The Farmhouse at Arbor canteen concept, so they can go on to make conscious decisions for the planet and themselves.”

The Farmhouse at Arbor will deliver a seasonal lunch and snack menu  Anna Maria Herreras

SHAPING UP EDUCATION MODELS FOR THE FUTURE ‘Developing a Hybrid Educational Model in a post-Covid World’, was the latest entry in the calendar for SHAPE Education, an ongoing initiative set up to solve educational challenges and connect people through technology. It’s the brainchild of Cambridge Assessment, a non-teaching department of Cambridge University and Cambridge Judge Business School, which organised the event in collaboration with Alef Education, a leading K-12 education technology company based in the United Arab Emirates. Alef Education believes in making learning engaging, exciting and personalised to each individual. In the opening presentation by Her Excellency, Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for General

Education, she said: “The UAE was among the first countries to reopen to the pandemic with resilience and commitment because we took immediate action to close schools in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19 whilst we continued to deliver teaching and learning online.” The event brought together industry experts and thought leaders to discuss new business models that face the education sector as a whole as a result of Covid-19. The current hybrid model of remote and in-class learning has dramatically changed the way we view technology and has fast-tracked the digital education market at a disruptive rate on a global scale. All presentations are available on shapeeducation.org, along with opportunity areas identified through cross-sector discussion.

The UAE was among the first countries to reopen to the pandemic with resilience and commitment


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INSPIRING STUDENTS TO AIM HIGH Dunecrest American School has announced that Maya El-Chal, an IBDP candidate at the school, has been shortlisted for the prestigious John Locke Institute 2020 Essay competition. Ms. El-Chal competed with almost 3,000 applicants from around the world; professors from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard and Chicago adjudicated the competition. The John Locke Institute is an independent educational organisation that runs various residential courses, revision seminars, essay competitions and events for exceptional students in Oxford, Princeton and Washington DC. It aims to “inspire students to aim high and equip them with the skills they need to achieve their goals”. Revered as the grandfather of Classical Liberalism, John Locke is a

17th century Oxford philosopher, political scientist, economist and medical doctor who carried tremendous influence in both the United States and his birthplace, England. The institute aims to honour its patron’s philosophy of education: a teacher “should remember that their business is not so much to teach all that is knowable, as to raise in [the student] a love and esteem of knowledge; and to put them in the right way of knowing and improving themselves”. Attaining the honour in the history category, Ms. El-Chal’s essay was about whether or not a state’s strength is a prerequisite or an obstacle for economic growth. Ms. El-Chal included several case studies from past governments as well as current global issues. Countries specifically highlighted within the essay included Lebanon, Japan, the Maldives, and Nigeria.

 Maya El-Chal


28 Excellence In School

Screens, Gadgets, and Teaching: BEAM CREATES AN IDEAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

ALDAR ACADEMIES’ SCHOOLS HONOURED FOR EXCELLENCE

BY SAMAR KHALID MURAD, Principal, International School of Creative Science, Sharjah

We live in a world where screens and gadgets are an integral part of our day-today life. All aspects of our lives are touched by technology, from the moment we rise in the morning till the time we sleep - we are constantly interacting with our gadgets. Technology is integrated into our lives to the extent that it is a part of everything we do, see, and experience. The education industry has experienced its share of changes with technological advancements. Virtual classrooms, online tutorials, the use of high-tech tools, like artificial intelligence and machine learning in conceptual studying, and bring your own device (BYOD) are all vital teaching tools in modern-day classrooms. However, more and more concern is being raised by academics across the world on maintaining a balance between the modern and traditional ways of teaching and learning. Mastering this balance in the UAE is Bukhatir Educational Advancement and Management International (BEAM), a Sharjah-based, multinational conglomerate established in the early 1970s that has led the deployment of concepts and management expertise in the education sector across segments. It makes the best use of technology while keeping the traditional values of learning alive. BEAM offers courses for teaching and nonteaching staff aimed atfully equipping them with techniques far and above modern-day offerings. It also seeks to deliverengaging teaching and learning methods deliveredby highly experienced academic teams using a world-class technology infrastructure. At BEAM, an education system based on success geared towards achieving strong teaching and learning outcomes is implemented to ensure a solid educational foundation for students and to prepare them for the future ahead. From the effectiveness of technology to adopting a BYOD system, BEAM has adopted all the latest trends in the educational world to widen and improve digital learning offerings.

With a forward-thinking, holistic approach to delivering the best education and nurturing future leaders, BEAM uses the BYOD approach to support the national vision of creating suitable learning environments to help students develop skills and thrive in the 21st century. BEAM’s curriculum highlights the importance of learning how to deal with the technological tools that they will be using in the future. The BYOD approach, as per BEAM’s founding philosophy, fosters a more knowledge-driven learning outcome where students become active learners,rather than passive ones, and develop problem-solving skills. Stressing the importance of BYOD, the United States National Library of Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NCBI) positions it as being beneficial for high levels of student engagement through interactive assignments, while also teaching core curricular skills, and helping create an interactive and collaborative learning environment. To best take advantage of the BYOD system, students at BEAM premises are granted access to the ISCS wireless network viaindividual usernames and passwords. The students’ use of the network will be monitored carefully by the IT team using the Mobile Device Management Solution implemented by the school to ensure maximum safety and supervision. Although technology-assisted learning is encouraged at BEAM, student safety and wellbeing are also prioritised. Professionals and trained teachers ensure a balance between managing screen time, putting them to use for an average between one and three lessons per day. At BEAM, strict policies are applied for the use of devices after school hours, in addition to break times. Teachers ensure that devices are not being overused and a balance between traditional and digital learning techniques is maintained. Overall, BEAM understands that although the concept of a classroom has dramatically changed over the past few years, it is necessary that equilibrium is upheld so that the basics of learning and education grow stronger.

ADEK Inspectors have awarded the ‘Developed’ grade to Al Bateen Academy, Al Ain Academy, The Pearl Academy, Al Muna Academy, Al Mamoura Academy, West Yas Academy, and Al Yasmina Academy. This was based on an array of factors that evaluated each school’s distance learning provision for students and their wellbeing during the recent period. The assessment themes include learning opportunities, safeguarding, monitoring and assessment, agility, communication and engagement, among others. The reports highlighted the strong leadership and unified approach to distance learning, as well as effective planning and use of digital platforms and tools in creative and effective ways. The award means that The Pearl Academy is the only school in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to hold this accreditation and joins an elite global community of schools who routinely share practice and support each other.

 Stephen Sharples, Director of Education, Aldar Academies


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AN ‘OUT OF THIS WORLD’ EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS Over 70 students from Grade 5 at Nibras International School, Dubai, had the unique opportunity to virtually meet and speak to ‘astronaut candidate’, Mohammed Sallam. Sallam, the only remaining Arab participant from the Middle East in the Mars One Mission, answered questions from students and shared some valuable information about space and the planet Mars. “Space is my passion, and I am a curious guy. Every day I need to learn something new or explore a new thing,” Sallam explained to the students. “When I was your age, I got to find out

AL NAJAH EDUCATION GAINS HIGHEST RATING Al Najah Education is proud to announce that all of its Dubai Schools have received the highest possible rating, ‘Developed’. “I’m delighted that every single Al Najah school in Dubai achieved the highest possible rating in the recent DLE. This is testament to our excellent leadership and teachers who were able to mobilise e-learning as soon as the school closures were announced. We are just as well prepared now to welcome all our children back into our schools every day from September.” - Raza Khan, CEO of Al Najah Education.

about the solar system. We found out about the eight planets, and I used to ask what is their purpose? Are there people there? I was told no, but I couldn’t really believe that. That is when I decided if there is a mission to explore these places I want to be there,” he said when asked about what made him want to become a part of this mission. The Mars One Mission began with 200,000 global participants and will end with 24 finalists being selected next year; they will then start training to be a part of the 2031 mission to Mars.

 Mohammed Sallam

AMERICAN SCHOOL OF CREATIVE SCIENCE IN AL BARSHA MOVING TO NAD AL-SHEBA Bukhatir Education Advancement and Management International (BEAM), one of the UAE’s leading private educational establishments, is relocating its American School of Creative Science (ASCS) campus located at Al Barsha to a site alongside the International School of Creative Science (ISCS) campus based in Nad Al-Sheba, Dubai. Effective from the start of the new academic year 2020-21, the move will ensure that students of the American School will benefit from an expanded leadership, inclusion, and operations team at ISCS Dubai. The American curriculum school will continue to be operated in its full comprehensive format with strong academic teaching principles and the same ethos that BEAM schools are renowned for.


30 30 Excellence In School

BOARDING IN DUBAI The Swiss Way

CONVENIENTLY SITUATED AT THE HEART OF A DYNAMIC, COSMOPOLITAN, AND CULTURALLY DIVERSE CITY, SWISS INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC SCHOOL IN DUBAI (SISD) IS ON THE CUTTING-EDGE OF GLOBAL LIVING, EDUCATION, AND MULTI-CULTURALISM.

OUR SCHOOL IN NUMBERS

Opening year 2015

Curriculum Full Continuum International Baccalaureate (PYP, MYP, DP and CP) and Swiss Baccalaureate programme

Grades Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12

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he international community at SISD allows its boarding students to make lifelong friendships with young people from all over the world, and this extensive contact network will become invaluable throughout their lives. This is a school where students' academic capabilities are thoroughly tested and encouraged. It is becoming increasingly clear that an International Baccalaureate (IB) education is the global gold standard in a world where children see their futures expanding beyond national borders. For those ready to maintain fluency in French or German alongside their English, the school's proven immersive approach to bilingual education provides its boarders with a crucial competitive advantage at university and in the workplace.

But SISD is also a fun place to live and learn, with an exciting range of afterschool and weekend activities. Moreover, it boasts a world-class campus with comfortable, state-of-the-art boarding houses, as well as excellent sports facilities. Its boarding-houses cater to students from ages 11 to 18 and are friendly, welcoming places. The campus

is a boarder's home, and it is here that they can enjoy using the Olympic size swimming pool, gym, cardio studio, sports halls, and playing fields during the day, after school and on weekends.

The Swiss educational system is among the very best in the world, and its boarding schools are some of the most prestigious that you could hope to find. SISD offers the class-leading quality for which Swiss education is known, with an IB Diploma Programme that prepares students for universities all over the world. It also features elite educational facilities that rival those of boarding schools in Switzerland itself, with top-tier innovation labs and facilities for the creative arts. There are various opportunities for cultural immersion and extracurricular activities too - SISD isn't just a place to study – it's a place for students to call home. There are many practical and long-term benefits of being a boarding student in Dubai. Students can, for instance, spend an hour or more on the bus in the mornings and after school. Boarding eliminates long commutes to and from school every day, with the extra time used on studies and a range of other activities. Furthermore, boarders benefit

Number of students 1,200

Number of staff 270

Nationality of students and staff 70+ nationalities, mainly Swiss, French and German

Co-curricular activities More than 60+ After School Activities, both internal and external covering sports, robotics, etc

Languages: English, French, German, and Arabic. Also available is the Mother Tongue Programme for Italian, Spanish, Russian, and more


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from a structured routine throughout the day and outstanding levels of pastoral care. From a parent's point of view, there are a lot of other practical benefits, for example, all the food is provided, laundry is done, and students follow a daily routine. They are also each attributed different responsibilities within their house. The long-term benefit of boarding is creating and instilling resilience in students to prepare them for life after school. Boarders are better prepared because they develop confidence, and are more independent and tolerant as peers surround them from across the world. They also develop a lifelong network of friends that they will sustain in life beyond school.

SISD isn't just a place to study – it's a place for students to call home


32 Excellence In School

FOLLOW YOUR PASSION, AND SUCCESS WILL FOLLOW YOU TODAY'S HIGH-PRESSURE, FAST-PACED CULTURE CAN INTERFERE WITH HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT. WHEN WE'RE TOO FOCUSED ON TEST SCORES, PERFORMANCE AND GRADES, WE MAY DENY OUR STUDENTS THE TIME AND ENERGY THEY NEED TO TACKLE THE DEMANDING WORK PLACED IN FRONT OF THEM EFFECTIVELY.

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owever, Maryam Ahli, the highest attaining Emirati in the UAE in this year’s International Baccalaureate programme, with an overall score of 44, created a healthy learning environment in which she was able to reduce academic stress without sacrificing achievement. Here, we speak to Maryam to find out about her approach, challenges and ambitions for the future. What kept you motivated throughout all of your hard work? I think one thing that kept me going was a desire to do well. This was especially true because I’m a female Emirati and to want to meet the expectations of society, as well as ultimately contributing to the success of the nation. Did Uptown International School ‘get it right’? In retrospect, did you choose the right place to study? It is important to say that regardless of the environment and situation, young people can still succeed. Not everyone is going to have the best resources. But I was fortunate enough to have teachers who were very supportive and who tried to ensure that we had every opportunity to do our best. And they

always reminded us to push ourselves, which I thought was the most crucial part. Do you think it has been important to have a good support system at home? Yes, but although my parents wanted me to do well, this was something that I wanted to do. They supported me through it, but there was no pressure. So I got to love my subjects and enjoy them. Did you become part of a study group, or did you work better on your own? I formed study groups on some subjects; for example, in history, it was fun to discuss different opinions with classmates. But I preferred to study on my own because I felt that I was maximising my time and using it well when, for instance, I was alone in a library or coffee shop. Learning how to manage time effectively is an essential skill for students. Was this an important aspect during your studies, and how did you go about it? I planned my days in a very organised manner. I always knew what I would be doing at a certain time. Because the biggest problem for students is procrastination, so I didn’t allow myself to procrastinate; I forced myself to be on top of everything.

So procrastination was your biggest challenge? Yes, I think so. It’s hard to stay on top sometimes, especially with the IB, which isn’t easy. It’s hard to stay motivated, particularly when there are so many subjects. Sometimes students feel overwhelmed, worrying that they can’t complete everything. So it’s just about persevering and staying on top of things, regardless of how you feel.


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What did you think of the International Baccalaureate programme? Did it reach your expectations? I think the IB programme is really beneficial. However, it’s also academically rigorous. But I learned how to balance my time, which is essential when you have a lot of work to do. I think the IB provides a holistic education that goes far beyond just learning ‘stuff’. Where do you go from here in terms of your ongoing education? I’m going to University College London (UCL) to study economics. I want to do as well during my undergraduate degree as I did in high school, and more importantly, to focus on enjoying my subjects. I think if you enjoy the subjects you can do well. And this is a philosophy you will carry forward into your career? Yes, I want to find a job I enjoy and something I am passionate about, regardless of other people’s opinions. Some people think that a certain job is more important in society or look at things like income, but I want to just enjoy my job and do something that helps people around me. What interests do you have outside of school, and how important have these been in getting the balance right in your life? Because I managed my time so well, I had time to compete in show jumping events during my studies. I found that very beneficial, being able to participate in things that I love, instead of being forced to study all of the time. And I felt that sports were also extremely beneficial in reducing stress and bringing in the element of balance. Do have any tips for fellow students when it comes to acing exams? I think a lot of students pick their subjects based on what other people would think or based on what their parents might want. But I believe it’s important to focus on what you like because if you focus on that, the subject becomes much easier. Managing your time is also really important. Some students think they have to give up their interests because of studying, but if you manage your time effectively, you don’t have to stop doing other things you enjoy.


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36 36 Excellence in Higher Education

MBZUAI ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC YEAR TO START IN JANUARY 2021 Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate-level, research-based artificial intelligence (AI) university, has announced that the start of its first academic year has been rescheduled for January 2021. The decision was made in light of safety measures taken on campus due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, during the Board of Trustees meeting that took place over video conference earlier today. The decision to postpone the first intake of students, His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “The University is eager and ready to welcome our first cohort of students from around the world, however, given the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, the decision to start the academic year in 2021 been made in the best interest of the prospective students, faculty, and staff, whose health and wellbeing is our top priority. We want our students to be able to focus on their studies and research, and take full advantage of the world-class education that they will receive at the MBZUAI campus.”

UNIVERSITY FUTURE-PROOFS GRADUATES

Murdoch University’s expansion in Dubai Knowledge Park doubles the size of its former campus, with its 27,000 ft2 being twice as large as its former one and featuring worldclass facilities. These include a dedicated cybersecurity lab with custom-built systems and education-focused furniture and interiors to promote a collaborative teaching and learning environment. In line with Dubai Knowledge Park’s mission to contribute to the UAE’s knowledge-

ZAYED UNIVERSITY SWITCHES TO HYBRID MODEL FOR AUTUMN 2020 SEMESTER

 Dr. Anil K. Jain

based, innovation-driven economy, Murdoch University Dubai will offer students access to future-forward modules such as crime prevention, human cognition and behaviour, and global marketing. Dr James Trotter, Dean and Academic President, Murdoch University Dubai, said: “Our students cite the high quality of teaching as the hallmark of a Murdoch education. KHDA independently verified this in the 2019-20 Higher Education Classification survey of our students where we received a 91.1% satisfaction rate for teaching and learning, a satisfaction rate that is well above the industry benchmark.”

Preparations are in full swing at Zayed University’s (ZU) campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to implement a hybrid education model through the autumn 2020 semester. The ‘hybrid’ (or ‘blended’) education model aims to enable teaching and learning to continue both online and partially on campus, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. ZU is offering online classes to students and a limited number of classes face-to-face across its campuses. The move reflects the University’s commitment to supporting the continuity of education for students and its dedication to leveraging its robust technology infrastructure capabilities to ensure continuity of academic and educational services and readiness in reopening its campuses for the autumn semester. The move comes directly in response to the recent announcement made by the Ministry of Education to prioritise remote lectures, and to limit campus attendance to staff and students using laboratories, studios, and research facilities.


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Personalised Tutoring for All The security and management of data, described as the Middle East’s ‘new oil’, will become increasingly important for individuals and organisations in the future. The merging fields related to data science will offer enormous opportunities for those who know how to capture, analyse, and present data.

Personalised Tuition: At Carfax, we adapt every programme to each pupil’s learning style, interests, and academic goals. The increased focus one-to-one tuition provides, allows Carfax Tutors to dedicate time and effort to ensure that each child unlocks their academic potential. If a pupil is progressing beyond their curriculum, one-to-one tuition gives them a space to be stretched. For those who are struggling, one-to-one tuition provides the time and support needed to ensure understanding is achieved.

Contact enquiries.uae@carfax-education.com www.carfax-education.ae +971 4 438 5276 Location Office G31, Block 2A, Knowledge Village, Dubai, P.O. Box 500709 Social media carfaxeducation carfaxeducation carfax-education

Freedom to ask questions: One-to-one tuition gives pupils a safe and encouraging environment to ask the questions they may not have the confidence to ask in front of a class. These may be questions helping them understand concepts or queries which help develop a curiosity about subjects beyond the curriculum. Expanding this curiosity is a key goal of Carfax tuition to encourage independent research, lateral thinking, and develop pupils’ interests.

Time flexibility: Our courses are designed with each pupil, and their family’s schedules in mind. We are not bound by traditional term dates, or school timings, and can develop courses both online and offline that fit your needs. Our programmes are developed to be both academically rigorous and provide maximum flexibility. Perfect for independent minds: Pupils can take ownership of their work and direct their learning in partnership with their tutor so they can work on the topics they choose. This independence encourages pupils to develop plans for their workload, learn to prioritise what is important to them and take pride in their work. Carfax Private Tutors support 1,000s of pupils across the globe to unlock their academic potential and spark a love for learning. We deliver the highest quality lessons with our team of energetic, enthusiastic and passionate tutors from our offices across the globe.

CONTACT US TODAY ON +971 4 438 5276 or enquiries.uae@carfax-education.com


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PUSHING LIMITS The AI and Robotics Lab (AI & RLab) was established during mid-2018 as part of the United Arab Emirates University’s ongoing efforts to motivate its students to find solutions that will solve challenges faced both locally and internationally. The lab is part of the College of Information Technology, as well as it is an integral part of District 4.0 and the University’s Future Concepts, and focuses on three main axes:  Applied research of robots and artificial intelligence in the medical and educational fields  Education and development of students in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence, alongside preparing them for future challenges  Assisting governmental and private local entities, including sensitising and advising them on matters related to robotics and artificial intelligence services

In relation to the education sector, understanding human behaviour can allow for the design of a students’ attention assessment system in a smart classroom and propose a personalised training system for the instructor based on individual students’ capabilities. Recently, researchers at the United Arab Emirates University developed a lowcost 3D printed robot that could replace humans during dangerous operations such as opening suspicious packages and handling hazardous material.

 T he campus will house more than 70 classrooms  There will be 137 offices for faculty and administrative staff  The new building will accommodate 5,000 students  The campus will span an area equivalent to approximately eight football fields

ABU DHABI UNIVERSITY PREPARES TO MOVE TO ITS NEW AL AIN CAMPUS Abu Dhabi University (ADU) is preparing to make the muchanticipated move to its brand-new campus in Al Ain. It is located in Al Ain’s Asharej district and meets One-Pearl Estidama requirements for design and operational sustainability. Dr. Hamad Odhabi, Director of ADU’s Al Ain campus, commented, “With its state-of-the-art facilities, the Al Ain campus will serve as an integral part of ADU’s mission to enhance the lives of

students, helping them attain their academic goals, and prepare them for the workforce by developing their practical and professional skillsets.” The new building will accommodate 2,500 students in the first stage and 5,000 students after the completion of the second stage. The campus will span an area of 28,000 square meters initially, expanding to an area of 54,000 square meters once completed, which is equivalent to approximately eight football fields. The campus will house more than 70 classrooms and a laboratory

that adopts modern educational methods, as well as open spaces to facilitate collaboration among students. Additionally, the University will include a total of 137 offices for faculty and administrative staff. The campus will include a plethora of modern facilities constructed according to best practices such as a gym, an aerobics centre, a games room, café, a restaurant lounge, a club hall, a meeting room, an indoor playground, and a medical clinic. The campus will also house a library with a reading area, a book area, discussion rooms, and a student council centre.


40 Excellence in Higher Education

ARE YOU TECH SAVVY? THE TOP FIVE TECHNICAL SKILLS THAT WILL BE IN DEMAND IN FIVE YEARS IN THE JOB MARKET

Although a lot of the jobs that exist today will be automated by 2030, you should be excited about the future, not scared of it, as Majid Mneymneh, Vice President, Higher Education & Corporate Pearson Middle East, explains. Studies reveal that we are now in the midst of the single biggest economic shift since the industrial revolution. Technology, automation, and globalisation are affecting everything - especially work and education. Our 2017 research on the 'Future of Skills: Employment in 2030' showed us how these major shifts will affect the future of work, and most of the results tell us that there is a need to up-skill and re-skill people for the future. When asked, 63% of the population in the Middle East agreed that they have found themselves in need of further education and new skills and competencies which were not taught at school. Thus, our learning institutions must now also take responsibility for imparting education that is relevant, pragmatic, and job-oriented to make learners fit to join the future workforce. Role of Higher Education Institutes It is beyond doubt that Higher Education plays a crucial role in opening doors to higher-paying, stimulating, and rewarding career avenues. According to the Global Learner Survey by Pearson, 64% of the students feel that higher education helps them prepare for their career in the best way possible. However, as the nature of work is changing, more and more people have also started realising the importance of learning new skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This has made it crucial for higher education institutes to use their expertise and increase these skill offerings to bridge the communication gap between educators and employers. SOME OF THE SKILLS THAT HAVE BECOME THE PRIORITY ARE:

Majid Mneymneh is the Vice President of Higher Education & Corporate at Pearson Middle East.

Artificial Intelligence A recent Deloitte survey showcased that 72% of leaders and HR professionals believe that AI, robots, and automation are important, and every progressive organisation are expected to implement it in their operations to some degree. This has created a demand for working professionals who are well versed with AI and can address the strategies needed to implement these technologies. The future of operations is definitely in platforms. AI and Data Algorithms will help innovate and optimise workflow.


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A survey revealed 63% of the population in the Middle East agreed that they have found themselves in need of further education and new skills and competencies which were not taught at school.

Marketing Analytics Marketing analytics is increasingly important as a central strategy to drive company performance. Analytical capabilities, even in entry-level marketing positions, are a must for career advancement. Thus, having a strong foothold in marketing analytics will help one gain skills in quantitative marketing techniques and build knowledge with industry best practices and approaches for marketing measurement and analysis. Business Intelligence This can be defined as a process that includes analysing data and presenting actionable information to help managers at different levels make informed business decisions. Business intelligence (BI) is a technical skill that combines a range of tools and methodologies to collect data from internal and external sources and analyse it. This creates data visualisations and reports available to different types of decision-makers. It is one of the most

challenging business tasks, and the right people are the ones who have strong business intelligence skills. Data Analytics Data analytics is very valuable knowledge because it is the process of examining large data sets to understand and see hidden patterns, correlations, trends, and other critical business information. Effective big data analytics lead to high revenue opportunities, more effective marketing and sales, improved operational efficiency, and much more other business benefits. However, data analytics businesses don't want just analysts who can crunch numbers; they want workers who can come up with creative or unique strategies based on these numbers, which is why creativity also becomes essential. Coding and Programming As more businesses and industries incorporate digital technology into their operations, a basic understanding of computer programming as a

minimum requirement is becoming more important. These are among the most valuable technical skills that employers and job recruiters are looking for. What matters to employers is not whether someone has a computer science degree, but how well they can think and how well they can code. The need of the hour is to 'look at education beyond obtaining/giving away degrees'. While there have been some great reports and conversations happening across the globe about technology, digitisation, and how most of the tasks and operations are being automated, at the end of the day, it is about the people who need to use this technology. What, then, is actually required is education institutes facilitating a kind of learning which offers opportunities for practical application of skills, helping people up-skill themselves to adapt to this evolving landscape, and bringing them to the forefront of action using technology as the backbone.


42 ADVERTORIAL

American University of Sharjah, the region’s most sustainable university, makes sustainability central to student experience

UNIVERSITY

Contact info@aus.edu www.aus.edu +971 6 515 1000 Location University City, Sharjah Social media @ausharjah @wwwausedu @AUSharjah @AUSSharjah @American University of Sharjah

American University of Sharjah (AUS) has been named the MENA region’s best-performing university, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. The university demonstrates its commitment to sustainability in many ways, including giving its students the opportunity to place sustainability at the heart of their learning experience, regardless of the degree they are pursuing. Students are able to make a positive impact on the environment during their studies, and are shown how this knowledge can be applied in their future careers.

The university offers the popular Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences through its College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), preparing students to pursue careers with an environmental focus. AUS students are also able to undertake sustainability-oriented minors in areas such as environmental policy, renewable energy and environmental and water engineering. However, whatever a student’s academic choices, there are many ways they can contribute to the university’s sustainability goals and make a positive difference on campus, and beyond. The AUS EcoReps initiative allows students to educate their peers on important issues such as waste reduction and energy conservation. For finance student and EcoRep Bilal Mir, sustainability is an important component of today’s university experience: "No matter what field you decide to major in, sustainability will have a place. There is always room to reduce waste, save energy and change our habits. Through my involvement with the AUS Community Service Farm, I have better understood my role in protecting the environment and my responsibility for life on earth. My goal as an EcoRep is to make our students and faculty understand that AUS can be a leader in promoting a sustainable culture in the UAE and beyond. It starts with all of us and simple acts can go a long way!"

A group of students known as the AUS Green Team won two firstplace awards at the Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) awards and exhibition, an event held by the Environmental Agency–Abu Dhabi in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education. The team, which is based in CAS but welcomes students from across the university, won awards for the Best Green Campus Audit and the Best Sustainability Action Project. For the Green Campus Audit, students assessed the university’s per capita use of key environmental indicators, such as energy and water use, and climate change. The students procured data from across the university’s corporate functions, as well as external organizations such as Bee’ah, Sharjah Municipality and campus retailers. The Best Sustainability Action Project award recognized the team’s work with the university’s partner high schools, where students were challenged to minimize consumption of single-use plastics through practical creative solutions. AUS has long been at the helm of environmental consciousness in the Middle East and beyond. In 2019, the university announced it would start the process of banning single-use plastics on campus, the first university in the country to do so. The new Engineering and Sciences Building at AUS has also been awarded an Estidama 2 Pearl rating, the green building rating system of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. For more, see www.aus.edu/sustainability.

AUS students are being recognised for their environmental dedication.


American University of Sharjah Because tomorrow matters, AUS educates future leaders who are capable, confident and prepared to make a difference in the world.

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full-time faculty leading their fields in teaching and research. 82 student clubs and 26 sports teams, allowing students to excel in extracurricular pursuits. Unmatched for student diversity, offering unique opportunities for academic and personal growth.

88%

employability rate, evidencing excellent graduate employment prospects.*

66%

of students receive a grant or scholarship, ensuring opportunity for all with the requisite talent and commitment. Alumni have secured acceptance into top graduate programs globally and established themselves as leaders in their fields.

Ranked within the world’s top 50 universities under 50 years of age. Ranked among the top 10 universities in the Arab world for the past five years. Ranked among the world’s top 350 universities.

Highest percentage of international students of any ranked university in the world. Ranked within the top 250 universities in the Asia region.

Rated MENA’s best performing university in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System.

*2017 AUS Graduate Survey

To discover your future at AUS, visit www.aus.edu or talk to us at https://infodesk.aus.edu or by calling 800 ASK AUS.


44 Excellence in Higher Education

MY KIND OF TOWN WHEN CHOOSING A GREAT UNIVERSITY TOWN, TBILISI DOESN'T IMMEDIATELY TRIP OFF THE TONGUE. YET HERE WE HEAR FROM A STUDENT WHO BEGS TO DIFFER.

UPARNA SAYURI HEENATIGALA A medical student at Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia. Many of my colleagues selected Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU), and that encouraged me to dig deeper for more information. And as a girl from a GCC country, I found the atmosphere and environment so conducive that it convinced me to start my university life there. Indeed, as a medical student, right after college, we rush to select universities, and my first choice was TSMU.

ï„… Uparna Sayuri Heenatigala

I am doing my European MD in TSMU, and my university experiences have been amazing so far. I have learned and experienced so much valuable medical-related content in such a short period of time.


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I am still discovering all the opportunities that the university offers me. The study programme introduces many new concepts that have changed my view of the world. The course load is intense, so time management is the key. It is my first semester of MD programme. Thus far, in terms of clubs and events, I have found different student unions and one significant self-government that provides a platform for high-level advocacy, projects, training, workshops, and international meetings. Its activities revolve around medical education, medical ethics and human rights. There are also annual tours around Georgia and events for students like Fresher's Nights, which reduces the heat during a semester. There are university sports competitions, too. Tbilisi itself is a wonderful place to be based. The capital of Georgia, it is an ancient and vibrant city filled with many attractions. I visit the town every week with my colleagues. Popular with tourists, there is always a new place to wander off. And coming from a warmer country like UAE, the weather here did at first astound me, but it is just a matter of time until you adjust and experience the glory of it. Tbilisi is filled with positive vibes and laughter.

People here are supportive and fun; it doesn't matter whether you can speak their language or not; they find their own ways to help you out. And it is not just in the university area, but the whole town itself and that makes me visit the town and explore the country more and more. TSMU is home to students of a variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Here in the university, there is no space for discrimination or racism according to religions and countries, as we always tend to get to know each other better after every encounter and keep good connections. To sum up, life at TSMU is a great experience that I plan to make the most of. So if you are looking for a fantastic medical education, TSMU would be an excellent choice, not only because of the style of education, but because of the country, the people you meet, and the atmosphere you get to experience. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

ď‚Ź www.tsmu.edu


46 46 Know It All

PERCEIVING THE WORLD IN A DIFFERENT WAY

WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE SHOULD CALL DEAFNESS A DISABILITY IS HOTLY DEBATED. IF YOU CAN HEAR, YOU PROBABLY SEE DEAFNESS AS A DISABILITY. AS A RESULT, YOU’LL WANT THE DEAF TO LEARN TO SPEAK AND READ LIPS SO THEY CAN COMMUNICATE. OTHER PEOPLE, THOUGH, IN PARTICULAR, THOSE WHO ARE DEAF, ARGUE THAT DEAFNESS IS NOT A DISABILITY BECAUSE THE DEAF COMMUNITY HAS ITS OWN LANGUAGE. SO WHO IS RIGHT?

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eing a sign language using deaf person is not necessarily a disability, but membership of a linguistic and cultural minority. Indeed, it can be argued that calling deafness a disability is the same as calling a French-speaking person visiting a Spanish-speaking country disabled. They are not; they are merely using a different language. People, who can hear, see deafness as a disability because they believe it isolates its ‘sufferers’ from mainstream society. Nevertheless, that is not how deaf people view the situation. Yes, they understand that to a degree they are outsiders in a world that is primarily a hearing one. But within their deaf communities, they lead contented and fulfilling lives that are

full of meaningful relationships with those who share the same worldview. If the deaf don’t see deafness as a disability, why should the hearing community treat it like one? THE BENEFITS Researchers make a distinction between ‘deaf’ with a lowercase’d’, which refers to the condition of not being able to hear, and ‘Deaf’ with a capital ‘D’, which refers to a community of sign language users. Or to put it another way, the Deaf community is not only populated by deaf people but also friends and family who can hear and can use sign language. Deaf communities have a vibrant culture that embraces a tradition of storytelling. Within these stories, two common


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Deaf communities have a vibrant culture that embraces a tradition of storytelling. themes are often apparent. The first is a denunciation of the idea that deafness is a disability. The second exalts the benefit of being deaf, more often than not in the appearance of a deaf person gaining an advantage over a hearing person. Frequently these stories are amusing and help to generate a robust sense of solidarity through mutual experiences. Then again, to deny that deafness is a disability would be to legitimise decisions of deaf parents to have deaf children by design, or refuse a deaf child hearing aids or a cochlear implant when they could otherwise benefit from them.

But as Roger J Carver of the Deaf Children’s Society of British Columbia points out: “Parents may feel that their deaf child is missing a lot in life, like being unable to hear dragonflies buzzing, the wind whistling through the trees or the roaring of a waterfall. Such regrets are unnecessary: the deaf child perceives things in a different fashion: the zigzagging dragonfly’s iridescent wings vibrating in the sunlight, the breeze… the leaves trembling high above… the cool, white spray rising from the waterfall.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SIGN LANGUAGE COURSES VISIT: Dubai  www.pomegranateinstitute.com Abu Dhabi  www.etoninstitute.com


48 Know It All

Travel on Public Transport to Save Your Kid’s Future

RIDE THE BUS Studies have been done all over the world that point to a huge improvement in health and the fight to save the planet if we were all to switch to public transport. In the UK, for instance, where, according to the Confederation of British Industry, congestion costs business an estimated £15 billion (AED 72.22 billion) per year, air pollution causes 40,000 premature deaths in the same period. Many deaths result from heart attacks and respiratory disease. Indeed, of Britain’s 5.4 million asthma sufferers, two-thirds say that poor air quality makes their condition worse. Fewer cars on the road would reduce harmful emissions, as well as improve congestion. Cycling and walking are the most environmentally-friendly ways to get around. They’re good for your health and produce no harmful pollution. But if this is impractical, public transport – principally the bus and the metro in the UAE - can help reduce your environmental impact significantly.

Fewer cars on the road would reduce harmful emissions, as well as improve congestion

Cars are a genuine dichotomy. Yes, on the one hand, they can provide a better standard of living, with recreation, access to better stores, and the freedom to move where we want, when we want. On the flip side, though, they can rob us of our health and produce a colossal amount of pollution. It’s this last aspect that worries most sane people.

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et the UAE is a nation of car lovers and car enthusiasts – it has become a Middle Eastern Los Angeles; everyone drives everywhere. So the question is, are its citizens committed enough to save the planet or, on a more personal level, save their children and grandchildren? One student at Delhi Private School Sharjah (DPS Sharjah), Rishi Bhatnagar of Grade 11, is certainly committed; he has made a smart device to reduce and monitor pollution from vehicle exhausts

after seeing the smog in his home city of New Delhi, India. The pipe-like device, which fits at the end of the exhaust, can also generate electricity, which can be supplied to the vehicle’s battery and used to power a communication system that will send exhaust readings to a smart app. The prototype, called the ‘Engine Fumes Absorber and Electricity Generator’, is being tested in DPS Sharjah school buses. Tests on his father’s car showed around a 95% reduction in carbon-monoxide, a main pollutant from vehicle exhaust, using filters in the device.

At present, though, too few people care about the environment; they may pay lip service and recycle their paper cups, but beyond that, it’s all too much of a bother. Drivers have an extensive range of models available at a variety of price points too, ensuring they can choose a vehicle that suits their needs and their budget at any given life stage. It’s all so easy. But there are a few potential solutions to the car pollution problem, and it’s not just a change of fuel. To bring about a transport revolution, we have to transform our attitude toward cars and rethink their role in our lives. That might be a harder change than any other. Yet riding public transport, when you can, is beneficial in numerous ways. It’s cost-effective, particularly with soaring petrol prices. It also moderates your stress levels; someone else is driving. And, it goes a long way toward helping the environment; it conserves natural resources, lowers air pollution and harmful ozone levels. When it comes to the environment, using public transport makes a big difference.



50 Know It All

BULLYING IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS CARTOON NETWORK MIDDLE EAST HAS TEAMED UP WITH SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT MIDDLE EAST TO RELEASE A UNIQUE AND IMPACTFUL SONG FEATURING YOUTUBE STARS; THE SISTERS RAWAN AND RAYAN. THE SONG SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO CHILDREN ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF BULLYING AND SHARES POSITIVE MESSAGES AROUND INCLUSION. BUT WHAT MAKES A CHILD BECOME A BULLY?

F

or many years, research was thought to have shown that there was only one type of bully: an aggressive child with low self-esteem who came from a violent or neglectful home. The science behind this thinking, though, was mostly inaccurate. We learn more, we know more, and the answers change, as with all branches of science. The Charming Bully Academic researchers have adopted a definition of bullying that states that it is a form of aggression between individuals or groups that have various levels of power. And 'power' is the key. Indeed, children who grow up in violent homes but go to a school with an anti-bullying programme in a compassionate environment won't automatically become bullies. As a result, in addition to the direct and open antagonist, another more cunning kind of bully is now recognised. Youngsters

who fall into this category are inclined to have improved social skills, are frequently charming, and liked by teachers. This is a long way from the usual stereotype of the crude, unsophisticated bully. This more calculating kind of tormenter can turn their bullying on and off to suit their specific requirements at any given time. A Bigger, Badder, but Sadder Child Research suggests that bullying is often more about the bully themselves, rather than their victims. A study, carried out in schools across Italy and Spain, looked at a bullying situation from the standpoint of the bully. A questionnaire was also handed out to the children. It asked them to categorise their classmates as either a bully, a victim, or an outsider. Those who were pigeonholed as bullies were more likely to respond to the imaginary bullying episode with statements that focused on how the event affected the bully themselves. These

included declarations such as "I would feel great because I got the attention of other children" or "I don't feel guilty because I don't think about it." Here we see the need for power and celebrity, as well as a complete lack of empathy. Socially dominant bullies want to be the leader of the pack, and the way that they do that is to push other children down the 'chain of command'. Just Hit Delete Bullying is no longer confined to in and around the school. One common feature of bullying, as previously defined by academics, is that the hostility towards the victim is repetitive. However, the online world has severely blurred this definition due to the potential impact of just a single instance of cyber-bullying. There is such an enormous crossover between bullying at school and cyberbullying that many researchers claim that


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it is now one and the same. This is fuelled in some schools by the dubious practise of allowing children to have phones with them in class. For it has been shown conclusively that school bullies persist with the stalking online. Calli Tzani-Pepelasi, an investigative psychology lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, explains: "They may be sitting next to each other but prefer to bully each other through social media, as that way their actions can be viewed by more and they feel a false sense of fame." Be a True Buddy, Not a False Bully But what action do you take if you suspect that your child is a bully? Discovering what the motivation is can be an excellent place to begin. Where is the child getting his or her ideas from? Why are they acting the way that they do? Furthermore, are your own actions influencing your child's? Is your day-to-day approach to life and other people modelling that behaviour? A bully won't stop until is mindset is altered.

Socially dominant bullies want to be the leader of the pack, and the way that they do that is to push other children down the chain of command A useful way to address school bullying is a 'buddy system', which is designed to cultivate peer support. Younger students are assigned an older mentor to show them the ropes when they start school. "The fact that younger students have the opportunity to model the right behaviour

from the older students is one advantage of such a system," says Tzani-Pepelasi. But having a caring school environment across the board is also imperative when it comes to tackling bullying. "It takes a lot of persistence, and consistency from the teachers and the school staff in general, as without them the system cannot function," Tzani-Pepelasi concludes. Unfortunately, at present sufficient help and support is not always available. And research has shown that the continuum of aggression from bullying to teen dating violence is real. Maybe saddest of all, however, is that the impact of bullying on victims can last for decades, leading to poor physical and psychological health. So if your child is being bullied, or you suspect that they are bullying someone else, act now! It can be a steep path to walk, but the alternative can be a lifetime of suffering for the victim.

Watch the video here: ď‚Ź https://lnk.to/YaAshab Watch the Cartoon Network launch: ď‚Ź https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpeBv-M6pUI


52 Know It All

BEE PART OF THE SOLUTION With its black and gold striped body and transparent wings, the bee is a familiar sight in woods, meadows, and gardens around the world. But do you know how vital this creature is to our survival?

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adly, a world without bees is becoming more of a possibility every single day, and if they become extinct, we will be in serious trouble. The outlook is undeniably grim. In its constant quest for more ‘things’, modern society is undervaluing nature. But if we want an economy that provides for everyone’s needs, we need to look closer at the natural environment. Our politicians need to understand the importance of preserving the natural world – and to protect bees as crucial players in it. So, what would happen if there were no bees? Well, we would have a world very short of food. Bees are our principal pollinators, pollinating a third of the food we eat and 80% of flowering plants. Vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus rely on the pollination of bees, as do berries, beans, apples, apricots, tomatoes, and almonds.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: ww.beekeepersassociation.ae

SO HOW CAN WE SAVE THE BEES? THESE ARE OUR TOP FIVE TIPS: void using harmful A pesticides: Synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, and herbicides are toxic to bees lant a bee-friendly garden: P Plant flowers in patches bees like to focus on one flower type at a time ees need trees: Strengthen B bee habitats by caring for and planting more trees Create a ‘Bee Bath’: Fill a small dish or bowl with clean water, and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they prod out of the water, allowing bees to land and drink uild a hive: Keep bees and B enjoy free soaps, lotions, and beeswax candles, as well as delicious local honey! The bee is an incredible creature, so contribute as much as you can to help save it... and in doing so save humankind.


SAME JOB, SAME PAY – EQUALITY IS A HUMAN RIGHT By Kayla Irene Frank, a Grade 9 student at West Yas Academy, Aldar Academies. M egan Rapinoe, has helped the USA women’s soccer team win two FIFA Women’s World Cups (2015 and 2019) and the gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games and is at the forefront of campaigning for equal pay for atheletes.

Photo credit: Romain Biard / Shutterstock.com

T

he top-earning male athlete is paid more than the top 10 highest-paid female athletes combined. Women in sports do the exact same job; however, they are not paid fairly. This is a global issue I am interested in and passionate about. Female athletes work just as hard as male athletes. They train for the same amount of time but get paid less. This is due in part to the fact that female sports attract a smaller audience; therefore, they have fewer sponsors and less media coverage. Since sport is generally considered a ‘male activity’, female sports teams aren’t

C ristiano Ronaldo, is the worlds highest paid soccer player.

Photo credit: Cristiano Barni / Shutterstock.com

taken seriously. People underestimate the talent of female athletes because of their physical appearance and body structure, but women offer the same amount of athleticism, power, and strength to their sport. The USA female soccer team has won 4 Olympic Gold Medals and 3 World Cups; the men’s team has been unsuccessful in both. Clearly, there is a high athletic ability in female players. As far as strength, in recent years, the internet has been full of images of female football players with bloody knees, continuing to play, alongside pictures of male players exaggerating the smallest collision. Female MMA fighters often have more exciting

and physically demanding fights than those of their male colleagues. Female athletes deserve to be paid equally. One possible solution to this issue would be educating people about this gender bias and exposing them to the reality of female athletic talent. The more exposure people have to female sports, the more they will watch and realise that those female athletes are just as talented as male athletes. Once the fanbase grows, that will lead to more media coverage and sponsorship, which should eventually lead to equal pay. This is something I hope will one day be a reality.


54 Know It All

BLAST OFF!

THE UAE RECENTLY LAUNCHED ITS MARS-BOUND HOPE PROBE, THE ARAB WORLD’S FIRST INTERPLANETARY MISSION, BLASTING OFF FROM THE TANEGASHIMA SPACE CENTRE, JAPAN.


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The Al Amal probe, as it is called in Arabic, is expected to reach Mars by February 2021, staying in orbit for a Martian year (equivalent to 687 days on Earth) to gather data about the atmosphere. After the launch, Hope Mars Mission Centre in Dubai tweeted: “It’s an honour to be part of the global efforts to explore deep space. The Hope Probe is the culmination of every single step that humans have taken throughout history to explore the unknown depths of space.” The Hope Probe is the UAE’s most ambitious step in its growing space sector, having launched satellites in 2009 and 2013. These were developed with South Korean partners, but then the UAE established its own space agency in 2014, with one of its aims being a colony on Mars by 2117. The nation’s space programme has frequently been spoken of as a catalyst

for its mushrooming STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) sector. It should be noted, too, that the UAE took just two years to get the Hope Probe on its way, an incredible feat when you consider that most Mars missions take 10 to 12 years. NASA tweeted its congratulations after Hope’s successful launch, saying: “I wish you a successful journey and look forward to the time when we are both exploring Mars ... I cannot wait to join you on the journey!” The United States and China have also embarked on Mars missions this summer, with Perseverance Rover and Tianwen 1. “The data gathered by the probe will add a new dimension to human knowledge,” said Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Twitter. “This is our latest contribution to the world.”


56 56 Our World

RAISING MODELS OF THE COMMUNITY TEACHING STUDENTS ABOUT SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, SUCH AS HELPING OTHERS IN NEED OR BEING ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS, IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT SHAPES THEIR CORE VALUES AS STRONG INDEPENDENT THINKERS. AT REPTON SCHOOL DUBAI, THEY ENCOURAGE THEIR STUDENTS TO BE ROLE MODELS OF THE COMMUNITY BY RESPECTING THE PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENT THEY ENCOUNTER, AS HEADMASTER DAVID COOK EXPLAINS.

T David Cook, Headmaster at Repton School, Dubai

hrough social activities, such as our recent initiative of building two schools in Senegal, we provide our students with a better understanding of different cultures and instil core values within them - such as respect, self-sufficiency, principles, and discipline. We are also aware that the UAE is a first-world affluent country; the work in Senegal also helps to promote gratitude within our community, a very powerful attitude for good. We want the best for our students, and we want to nurture them into

individuals who keep an open mind and appreciate the values of other cultures and people. These activities create a sense of fulfilment for students and the belief that they can make a difference in the world in which they live. Inspiring social involvement helps instil a personal ethical code and teaches students how to take responsibility for their own actions. More importantly, it builds character. Being socially active and aware is an ethically binding promise students make to themselves, to work towards the betterment of society and minimising the adverse effects on those around them.


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We want the best for our students, and we want to nurture them into individuals who keep an open mind and appreciate the values of other cultures and people.

Simple activities such as switching the tap off after washing hands and switching off the lights when leaving classrooms can help in teaching them about energy conservation. Planting trees and recycling litter teaches them to be environmentally friendly and conscious. Donating used books, toys, and clothes is another method to teach them about how they can help those in need. Apart from rewarding them with the sense of self-fulfilment, community involvement such as encouraging students to rally for a cause or participating in bake sales, raising money for Breast Cancer Research, also teaches them the

importance of financial responsibility. Students can give back to the community through the Repton Garden, which was designed out of recycled products and launched by our Expo 2021 Repton Junior Club in line with the Expo's theme of 'Sustainability'. The sustainable project includes planting and growing food to present a positive perspective on healthy eating habits and identifying ways in which alternatives to plastic can be utilised in the project. Knowledge is power! By offering our students a platform to help bring positive change into the lives of Senegalese students, we hope to enrich their frame

of thought. With the Senegal school project, we want our students to be able to face world problems head-on and with a positive mindset, while also enabling them to find creative ways to overcome these situations rather than fear them. At Repton School Dubai, we are striving to build a vibrant multi-cultural community, by equipping students with both professional and life skills. We want our students to become humble 'Agents of Change' in the international community and do their part in changing the world for the better.


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CARREFOUR TEAMS UP WITH EMIRATES BIO FARM Carrefour has underscored its commitment to support local farmers and provide healthier organic products through signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Emirates Bio Farm, the largest private organic farm in the UAE. The partnership will see Carrefour source up to 450 tonnes of Emirates Bio Farm organic produce, which promises more affordable prices at Carrefour stores. Phillippe Peguilhan, Country Manager of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail commented, “We know today’s consumers are highly conscious of choosing fresh and healthy produce, having witnessed strong demand for our selection of fresh local produce. We’re proud to announce another partnership with Emirates Bio Farm, which will no doubt provide exceptional value for customers across the emirates.”

KENT COLLEGE DUBAI GOES SOLAR WITH SIRAJPOWER AND CONTRIBUTES TO EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION ON SUSTAINABILITY UAE’s leading distributed solar energy provider, SirajPower, announced it has signed a partnership with Kent College Dubai to install a solar rooftop plant and solar carport of 1.3 MWp system capacity, generating 2.3 GWh of annual energy production and displacing approximately 1,600 metric tons of CO2 per annum which also corresponds to 200 million smartphones being charged. The school is SirajPower’s first project in the education sector and currently the largest in scale in Dubai. The initiative supports the school’s effort to promote education on sustainable development and is also in line with the UAE’s vision to empower youth and build sustainability awareness.


Hyatt® and Grand Hyatt® names, designs and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. © 2020 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

GRAND ESCAPES START HERE.

L O N G S T AY — Relocating to Dubai and looking for a new place to live? If yes, then our long stay promo is just for you! Enjoy 5-Star services such as • Complimentary laundry • Daily housekeeping • Practical amenities such as bottles of shower gel and shampoo, just to name a few. All you need to do is bring yourself, a few personal items, & you’re good to go! *Scan the QR Code for offer details. To book, call +971 50 197 8801


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STAY SAFE, GET FIT There’s a one month FREE offer at Easy Fit EMS Dubai! And if you want to look and feel your best, but are you afraid of crowded gyms and equipment that everyone else is touching, there is no better solution. With no weights required, this is perfect for training safe during the pandemic, with a FREE EMS personal underwear suite thrown in for good measure. An EMS trial session costs just AED95 and you can find more information at:  www.easy-fit.ae

DESTROY BACTERIA AND VIRUSES ON YOUR KID’S SCHOOL ESSENTIALS With schools reopening, a top priority for most parents is hygiene, and that means clean bags, shoes and uniforms. One sure and easy way to deal with it is to entrust a cleaning agency that can put your concerns to rest, such as Champion Cleaners, the region’s favourite five-star premium dry cleaning and laundry providers. Give your kid’s backpack and other essentials a new lease of life by sending them off to professionals who use the right methods to kill harmful bacteria without the use of harsh chemicals, making them 100% safe and effective for your little ones. With 34 locations across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and a user-friendly Champion Cleaners app, compatible with Apple and Android devices, it has never been easier to arrange your Champion Cleaners services.

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SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR YOUR LITTLE ONES For more information, please visit:  www.champion-cleaners.com or call 800-4556

AHLAN SIMSIM IS BACK! Ahlan Simsim, the Arabic children’s show by the creators of Iftah Ya Simsim and Sesame Street shows around the world, has returned to screens for a second season for children across the Middle East. The new season follows Basma, Jad, Ma’zooza, and Hadi as they play, sing, and learn together with their friends Elmo, Kaki, and Gargur. With a new video play date format, Season 2 reflects the way many families

For videos, storybooks, flashcards, worksheets, and more, visit:  www.ahlansimsim.org

are staying connected amid the pandemic and models playful activities to build the socio-emotional skills children need to reach their full potential. Along the way, the Ahlan Simsim friends learn new techniques for managing big feelings like frustration and sadness and ways to cope with the uncertainty so many children are experiencing. “We designed Season 2 to reflect the realities that young children and families are experiencing

today, with new virtual play dates and storylines with strategies and activities that families can do together at home,” said Khaled Haddad, Executive Producer of Ahlan Simsim. “Just when we need them more than ever, the Muppets of Ahlan Simsim are back to bring early education, comfort, and joy to children across the region.” Full episodes and bonus content is also available on the Ahlan Simsim YouTube channel.


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INSPIRE YOUR CHILD’S IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY Toys set the basis for how children experience life, and the right ones can be tools for understanding rather than just trying to keep them busy. When using the right toys, a child’s development will dictate its use rather it becoming obsolete. This is the reason why open-ended toys are so fundamental to your child’s development; they foster play, creativity and imagination, and can be very educational too. These toys do not age or date and are not age specific. In a nutshell, they are toys that are powered by imagination, not batteries, thus allowing each child to play with the same toy in completely unique ways, depending on the child, the day, his/her imagination and desire. What’s more, open-ended toys will also save a little of your hard-earned cash, with you only having to invest in them once rather than buying new toys on, what feels like, a weekly basis. To discover a range of perfect open-ended toys, visit:  www.EcoSouk.me You’ll find favourites such as Grimms Ranbow, Grimms Stepped Pyramid, Wobbel Boards, Olli Ella Play n’ Packs, and Piki Baskets. These toys are un-themed and parents can be happy to know that they will stand the test of time.

ONLINE HOME DELIVERY PORTAL TO SHAKE THINGS UP There is a new online ordering and delivery portal in town, and it is sure to please both service providers and customers alike. Goorder is a subscription-based portal which generates its income from a flat monthly rate instead of the everincreasing controversial commission and service charges from other third party aggregators. To help kick-start their digital revolution, they are currently offering a three-month free trial for all service providers who sign up. To find out more, visit  www.Goorder.com

NEW AI-BASED MOBILE APP TO ASSIST SCHOOLS IN COVID-19 COMPLIANCE Gibraltar Technologies (GT) has announced the launch of Wai-Eye, an AI powered mobile app designed to equip schools to meet the new Covid-19 health and safety protocols set by KHDA and Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), with other authorities in the region likely to follow suit. This innovation leverages the school’s existing CCTV infrastructure to capture, analyse and generate real-time data that will help maintain control over operations including

entry, pick-up and school visit procedures, screening and contact tracing, hygiene, physical distancing arrangements and school transportation. Over and above the basics of accurately monitoring mask usage, physical distancing and space occupancy, GT’s R&D Lab, the creators of this plug-and-play app, have also integrated facial recognition to facilitate automated school attendance, contactless door access, secure child pick up and contact tracing.


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THE APP THAT MAKES LIFE EASIER “The Kiddo app is super easy to use,” says Alicia Kedzierski, whose child attends Homegrown Nursery (Al Safa). “Previously, I had been largely unaware of what was available locally for my daughter. Typically, I relied on recommendations from other parents who don’t live in the same part of town, so it resulted in a fair bit of travel. The app has changed that. It’s effortless to search through and find the best activities for your child’s age range and what they’re interested in. It’s also a major bonus to be able to pay through the app using Apple Pay, which I already had, so no need to set up anything new.”

Kiddo takes about two minutes set up, and because users input preferences, such as the child’s age, location, and interests, it doesn’t bombard the user with information that is not relevant. “There is also a feature that lets you see what people you know are doing,” explains Alicia, “so a few friends and I are hoping to use this to see more of each other! “It is definitely an app that can make life much easier for busy parents. My husband is on it too now,” she concludes.

CHILDREN’S TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD Expo 2021 Dubai has launched Children’s Tales From Around The World, a collection of traditional children’s stories and folktales that celebrate the wonders of our planet and its people. Combining compelling storytelling and colourful, evocative artwork, the digital collection of 24 timeless tales is a gift to children and families everywhere. Many of the featured stories, contributed by some of Expo’s 190-plus participating countries, have been passed down through generations. They are brought to life by young artists from the country of the story’s origin, alongside professional illustrators and animators at Expo 2021, and around the world.  CLICK HERE to download for free, directly from the Expo School Programme website.

MY DISCOVERY LAB RELEASES SCIENCE-THEMED STORYBOOK

AED35

Fans of Rock it Science and their My Discovery Lab boxes now have another fun way to learn. The Big Blast Off is a science-themed storybook for three to seven-year-olds that brings the subject to life through creativity and play. Introducing concepts in an engaging, age-appropriate way, underpinned by the principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), it is priced at a very reasonable AED35.


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THE POETRY PHARMACY:

TRIED-AND-TRUE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR THE HEART, MIND AND SOUL IF YOU LOVE POETRY, YOU MAY HAVE PURCHASED SEVERAL ANTHOLOGIES OVER THE YEARS, BUT YOU SHOULD STILL TRY AND FIND A PLACE FOR WILLIAM SIEGHART’S ‘THE POETRY PHARMACY’ ON YOUR BOOKSHELF.

Sieghart is an excellent writer, and what makes this book special is not only the poetry itself but also the concise essays that accompany each one, which helps enormously when it comes to understanding the meaning of the poem and the intent of the poet. The Poetry Pharmacy provides a beautiful collection of poems for all sorts of problems and concerns in our lives, such as Mental and Emotional Wellbeing, Self-Image, and Love and Loss. Each section has poems for the different elements that make up the main groupings, some of them well known, such as Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If…’, while others will almost certainly be new to you. For those who have a hard time expressing themselves, reading The Poetry Pharmacy can have a genuinely positive effect.

Reading the individual poems allows you to see deep into the soul of the poet, what is on their mind and in their hearts, and can unlock doors to emotions that often lie dormant until that door is opened. Reading poetry can shine a light on all those shadowy and concealed fissures of the heart and mind once thought eternally closed off to the world. Sieghart also explains how The Poetry Pharmacy came about, as well as providing a piece on how to read poetry, which should help people new to this magnificent aspect of our culture. So, if you’ve ever wondered why you are thinking or feeling a certain way, or frustrated because your friends or partner cannot possibly understand you because you don’t even understand yourself, you could do worse than reach out for a copy of The Poetry Pharmacy.


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PODCASTS FOR PARENTS

PODCASTS ARE A UNIQUE AND VARIED MEDIUM. GLOBALLY, THERE ARE MORE THAN 700,000 ACTIVE PODCASTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE, IN MORE THAN 100 LANGUAGES. WE LOOK AT SOME OF THE MOST INFORMATIVE AND ENTERTAINING PODCASTS IN THE REALM OF PARENTING.

One of our favourites is ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’, where Giovanna Fletcher continues the conversation about motherhood she began in her bestselling book of the same title. This podcast is friendly but doesn’t pull any punches, with Giovanna discussing all aspects of parenthood, including the highs and lows, and the challenges and rewards. There is one episode a week, and the address you need is giovannafletcher.com/podcasts.

Los Angeles-based ‘Janet Lansbury Unruffled’ gives parenting lessons for elevating a child’s personality. Janet’s work informs, inspires and supports parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers across the world, helping to create relationships of trust, love and respect. There are three episodes a month at janetlansbury.com/tag/podcasts.

Want a little humour to lighten the parenting load? Why not try ‘Scrummy Mummies’, a comedy chat show for less-than-perfect parents. Hosted by comedians Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn, and featuring guest parenting experts, comedians and authors, this podcast covers the big issues affecting modern parents - from fish fingers to play-dates. Expect frank and funny chat as well as a large dollop of laughter. Three episodes a month are produced and can be found at scrummymummies.com/podcast.


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Providing more of a serious bent is ‘Practically Perfect Parenting’, where professor, researcher and author John Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D., teams up with parenting, child and intimate relationship expert Sara Polanchek, Ed.D. Children do not come with instruction manuals, and this bi-weekly podcast tackles some of the most significant issues parents face, with humour and wit. This podcast pairs cuttingedge research and proven techniques to help make you a practically perfect parent. Visit practicallyperfectparenting.libsyn.com.

Meanwhile, the ‘Parenting Survival’ podcast, presented by child therapist Natasha Daniels, offers parents support and guidance through the minefield of parenting kids with childhood anxiety and OCD. There is one episode a week at anxioustoddlers.com/category/podcast.

On a similar theme, ‘TILT Parenting’, an Amsterdam-based podcast, sees parenting activist, speaker and author Debbie Reber preside over transformational interviews and conversations with authors, parenting experts, educators and other parents. The podcast inspires, informs and supports parents raising differently-wired kids: giftedness, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, 2e, learning differences, sensory processing issues, anxiety, and more. You will find one new episode a week at tiltparenting.com/podcast.

‘Coffee and Crumbs’ is a wildly popular storytelling podcast about motherhood, covering everything from kitchen cleanups to stroller walks. Join hosts Indiana Adams, Ashlee Gadd and April Hoss as they chat about the beautifully hard work of raising children. There are 23 episodes a year to be found at coffeeandcrumbs.net/podcast.

Fathers haven’t been forgotten either, with ‘Further Fathering Radio’ featuring current issues that men deal with daily relating to the family structure as a husband, father and mentor. There are also a variety of special guests on this weekly podcast at blogtalkradio.com/furtheringfathering.

Finally, we all know how challenging the teenage years can be, and sometimes how challenging it is to get through to a teenager, so the ‘Talking to Teens’ podcast is a genuinely useful tool. Join parent-teen researcher Andy Earle on a quest to uncover the best techniques for getting through to teenagers about the toughest topics. Podcasts are once a week and can be found at talkingtoteens.com/podcast.

HOW TO LISTEN TO YOUR FAVOURITE PODCAST… 1. On a website using your regular browser (you can use the links provided in this review for each podcast). 2. On you smart phone or tablet, both Apple & Android devices have their own podcast app’s that are free to install. 3. From here you can search for these podcasts & download them to your device to listen to at your convenience.


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LAUNCH OF NEW EDUCATION PLATFORM The WGI Worldwide Company and GE have announced the launch of Lyra, a new app-based education platform that uses innovative advanced speech recognition and touchscreen analysis to teach reading and writing. It was co-developed by WGI and GE. The app represents the start of WGI’s transition to a digital provider of literacy learning, and makes learning literacy skills more accessible for both adults and children. The app’s 26 modules are based on the evidence-based synthetic phonics approach to literacy and builds on the foundation of WGI’s six years of in-person education. “We realised that while there will never be enough teachers, there are enough mobile devices, and they are already in the hands of people who can benefit from literacy training,” said Chance Wilson, WGI Chairman, CEO and founder. “We worked quickly to bring on new teachers and set up programmes in new communities; we wanted to do more given the urgent need.” Nabil Habayeb, President and CEO of GE Global, is championing the partnership and says: “Looking at the impact this app has the potential to make

around the world, GE is fully supportive of this effort. With so many people isolated and in need of developing new skills, Lyra can help meet a critical demand in underserved communities that have little or no access to literacy resources – a situation made even more dire in the wake of Covid-19.” The Lyra app features an engaging space-themed interface end-user experience. The theme reflects the name of the app – Lyra, which is the brightest constellation in the night sky. The app teaches letters and words by presenting them on the screen, pronouncing them, and then inviting users to say the letters and words out loud. Powerful voice recognition technology then analyses the response.

SHOP FOR UNIVERSITY. GET AIRPODS ON APPLE. No matter your major, Apple has you covered. Qualified purchasers can receive promotion savings when they purchase and eligible Mac or iPad with education pricing and get AirPods on Apple, you can even upgrade to AirPods Pro*. You can also enjoy discounts on accessories and AppleCare+

For more information, visit  www.apple.com/ae-edu/back-to-school

The app also uses the phone’s touchscreen to prompt learners to write the letters or words they are studying, then analyses the results to tell them whether or not the writing is correct. WGI and GE are poised to continue their partnership by working on developing new versions of the app to provide literacy lessons in other languages. Currently, the app provides more than two years’ worth of English language literacy lessons and is designed for those who speak English, whether as a first language or as a foreign language, but can’t read or write it. It is available for download now on the Apple and Android app stores as Lyra by WGI.

THE UAE’S FIRST LICE AND NITS REMOVAL SALON Lice and nits, whilst for many a taboo subject, is nothing to be ashamed of, and can be dealt with quickly, easily and once and for all. You’ll find a few medicated shampoo options at the pharmacy to counter them, but all come at the cost of precious hair health. The best choice, however, is an organic, chemical-free lice treatment option. No More Lice is one such organic brand and is the UAE’s first and only salon specialised in safe head lice and nit removal treatment. No More Lice’s mission is to get rid of lice both on hair and the environment around. Its salons use a patented and 100% chemical free suction system in the lice and nit removal process which is suitable to be used on people of all ages, including pregnant ladies and people with allergies. Its preventive products are all natural and respect the environment. Its Ozone Sanitizer is chemical free, as are all its services; it’s a completely natural and an organic process. The brand also offers home and car sanitisation to deal with those parasites, giving them no chance to survive. To discover more and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.nomorelice.ae and @NoMoreLiceUAE on Instagram.


Your Success is Our Legacy

Zayed University offers 24 undergraduate programs and 7 graduate programs in the following colleges: College of Arts & Creative Enterprises (Recognized as substantially equivalent by NASAD) College of Business (Accredited by AACSB) College of Communication & Media Sciences (Accredited by ACEJMC) College of Education (Accredited by NCATE) College of Natural & Health Sciences College of Humanities & Social Sciences College of Technological Innovation (Programs accredited by ABET) For more information about Zayed University programs and scholarship opportunities, please visit www.zu.ac.ae or call: +971 2 599 3593 (Abu Dhabi) | +971 4 402 1444 (Dubai)

Zayed University is a national and regional leader in educational innovation. The University provides highquality programs, offered by experienced faculty on two modern campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and welcomes Emirati and international students.


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THE UAE IS THE PLACE TO BE! Holidays are back on the agenda for many people, but going overseas can still present risks and a certain amount of hassle. But with so much to do in the UAE, that’s not really a problem. So, pack a suitcase, get in the car, load up the hand sanitiser and face masks, buy far too many snacks, and get on your way! The problem is, though, where do you choose to go, for this is a nation of extremes, from the Arabian Gulf through to the Hajar Mountains and the endless vistas of the desert. A place famous for superlatives, including the world’s biggest skyscraper and largest mall, the UAE also offers up some tremendous cultural and natural world experiences. Marvel at the amazing architecture, discover history and local heritage, swim with dolphins, ride a camel in the desert, enjoy a day at the waterpark, embark on a hot air balloon ride – the adventure never ends. Here, we suggest four destinations that will turn your well-earned break into a dream vacation.


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GRAND HYATT AWARD WINNING SPA AND CHILDRENS ENTERTAINMENT FACILITY UNDER ONE ROOF Grand Hyatt Dubai is a perfect blend of city conference and resort hotel, set within a lush oasis of 37 acres of landscaped gardens. Featuring 682 luxury guestrooms and suites, 13 restaurants, an award-winning spa, and a comprehensive children’s entertainment facility all under one roof, Grand Hyatt Dubai provides abundant opportunities for endlessly multicultural experiences. With treatments inspired by water, pearls, spices and herbs, Ahasees Spa captures the essence of Dubai, in a serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city, while The Kidz Club offers a world of fun and learning with exciting zones designed for creative stimulation for children up to 12 years of age.

OFFERS Girls package, long stay, Habib-tea, Work Hard- Playharder  reservations.grandhyattdubai@hyatt.com  www.hyatt.com +971 4 317 1234  Oud Metha, Dubai  @Grandhyattdubai  @Grandhyattdubai

BAB AL SHAMS DESERT RESORT & SPA

PRICES FROM AED455

CHECK INTO ANOTHER WORLD A spectacular desert paradise nestled among the dunes; the low-lying Bab Al Shams resort is the world’s favourite choice for dream desert getaways. From temperature-controlled pools to archery ranges and falconry exhibitions, Bab Al Shams offers all the elements required to create memorable stays. This is an adventure for all of the family in an enchanting desert hideaway where you even receive complimentary stays for your kids; relax in an infinity pool, enjoy a sumptuous desert dining experience with 20% off, and a whole host of fun desert activities. Experience luxury amidst the perfect sand dunes. NOW WITH 30% OFF ON YOUR STAY

OFFERS www.babalshams.com/offers - use code BSCHOOL  BAS.Reservations@meydanhotels.com  www.babalshams.com +971 4 381 3231  Al Qudra, Dubai  @BabAlShamsHotel  @BabAlShams


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RADISSON BLU RESORT

PRICES FROM AED270 exc taxes

WALK ALONG THE PRIVATE SANDY BEACH OF THIS STUNNING HOTEL Situated on 500 metres of private beach, the Fujairah-based Radisson Blu Resort offers guests magnificent views of the nearby Hajar Mountains and close proximity to attractions such as Al Bidyah Mosque and Madhab Park, with its healing mineral springs. All 257 rooms and suites feature Indian Ocean views and convenient amenities such as free high-speed, wireless Internet. From tasty buffets and allday dining at Breeze Restaurant to romantic dinners on the beach at Grand Bleu, this Fujairah hotel’s eateries cater to every taste and mood. In addition to five outdoor swimming pools, the resort also features a diving centre and a fitness centre.

OFFERS www.radissonhotels.com  reservations.fujairah@radissonblu.com  www.radissonhotels.com +971 9 2043 100  Dibba, Fujairah  @RadissonHotels  @RadissonHotels

DUBAI MARRIOTT HARBOUR HOTEL & SUITES

PRICES FROM Save 30% Sun-Wed 4pm to 7pm on dining

LET YOUR MIND TRAVEL Tower above the dazzling Dubai waterfront and find inspiration at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites! This 4-star hotel, located in the upscale Dubai Marina neighbourhood, offers all you need to focus, relax, and give a boost to your creativity. Spend your Dubai stay in elegant, apartmentstyle suites with full kitchens, high-speed Wi-Fi, sleek marble bathrooms, and full-length windows, an ideal choice for families, extended stay visits, or guests desiring a spacious luxury retreat. Designed for the modern traveller, the hotel boasts three vibrant restaurants with stellar views over Dubai Marina, as well as a well-equipped fitness centre and elegant outdoor pool.

OFFERS: Three distinct dining options  eatatharbour@marriott.com  www.marriottharbourdubaidining.com +971 4 319 4000  Dubai Marina, Dubai  @DubaiMarriottHarbour  @marriottharbour


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UAE RESIDENTS CAN TRAVEL WITHOUT HAVING TO QUARANTINE ON ARRIVAL…

CROATIA Croatia is open to tourists so long as they present a negative PCR test result on arrival, which was obtained within the past 48 hours. Otherwise, you’ll have to quarantine for up to 14 days. You’ll also be asked to fill in a travel announcement form, and provide proof of your pre-booked accommodation.

EGYPT Egypt is now welcoming tourists in possession of a negative PCR test certificate, issued within 48 hours of travel, and in paper format (no digital certificates). You’ll undergo health screening at the airport, and must have valid insurance that covers Covid-19. Although some parts of Egypt remain closed to tourists, the coastal regions of the Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh are open for business. Facemasks are required when out in public, and there are strict social distancing rules in place.

GREECE Greece has reopened its borders to some nations, including residents of the UAE – although there are a few steps you’ll need to take before soaking up the Santorini sun. First, fill in the passenger locator form (PLF) before you arrive in Greece. You’ll also need to provide proof of your permanent residence in the UAE, have return air tickets and hotel reservations, and provide the results of a negative PCR test, taken with 72 hours of departure..

KENYA Kenya began welcoming visitors from 129 countries for quarantine-free stays in the African nation from August, including UAE residents and citizens. Before you set off your African escape, you’ll need to fill in this health surveillance form and present a negative PRC test that was taken within 96 hours of travel.


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If you’re planning on hanging out for an overseas holiday, but don’t want the hassle of quarantining on arrival, plan an escape to one of the featured destinations where UAE residents can travel without having to quarantine on arrival.

As travel regulations and entry requirements are changing on a regular basis, be sure to check the latest updates from local authorities before booking. And, with flights yet to resume to all destinations, it might take a couple of flight transfers to make it to your dream destination.

LEBANON Lebanon is open to tourists – and what better way to support the country than spending a few Lebanese pounds on the ground. All passengers into Lebanon must fill in a health declaration form prior to departure, and provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test issued within 96 hours of travel. You’ll then have to undergo another PCR test on arrival and must have valid health insurance, which can be purchased when you arrive at Rafik Hariri International Airport. Keep an eye on the official Ministry of Public Health site for the latest travel updates.

MALDIVES Travellers to the Maldives must present a negative PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of arrival. Visitors can get a free 30-day visa on arrival. Tourists may now also visit more than one resort in the Maldives, so long as you make a request to the Ministry of Tourism two days prior to travelling. Keep an eye on the Maldives travel requirements here.

SRI LANKA According to Sri Lanka’s official tourism operation guidelines, tourists to Sri Lanka must commit to a minimum five-night stay, booking accommodation at ‘Safe & Secure’ certified establishments. You’ll need to bring your negative PCR test results (issued less than 72 hours prior to departure) and undergo another test on arrival. A repeat test will be conducted five to seven days later, or if you develop respiratory symptoms.

TANZANIA News is that restaurants and bars have reopened in Zanzibar, and there’s no longer a 14-day quarantine on arrival. You’ll just have to submit to health screening and follow the latest rulings from the local health authorities. If you’re displaying symptoms, you may be sent to an isolation centre for further testing. Keep an eye on tanzaniatourism.go.tz/en/ for updates.


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THE COUNTRY THAT HAS IT ALL Turkey is where eternal curiosity meets its match; at the crossroads of numerous civilisations, it has countless stories to impart. Virtually every street and building has a fable to communicate, with pristine beaches, spice markets, temples, and age-old cities thrown in for good measure. Straddling Asia and Europe, Turkey’s coastline is dazzling, with the Aegean coast, taking in Bodrum, Izmir, and Kusadasi, curling round to the spectacular Turkish Riveria – a piece of glorious shoreline located between Antalya and Fethiye. And for the perfect top-notch package holiday, look no further than Lara Beach, with its long golden sands and swanky hotels. Turkey has got some real surprises up its sleeve too. In Dalaman, Olu Deniz is home to the Blue Lagoon, which even travel writers can’t do justice to when they try to explain it. However, we’ll try! On Turkey’s southern coast, the Blue Lagoon is celebrated for its ever-changing shades of turquoise and azure, as well as its soft sands. Separated from the main beach by a sand bar and narrow channel, its shallow waters invite you to paddle barefoot along the shoreline or swim across to the tiny island at the mouth of the lagoon.


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There are countless other wonders, both natural and manmade, to track down in Turkey, including: Ankara Turkey’s capital city, offers a lively arts and culture scene with a sizeable concentration of museums, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Mardin Where the Old City, perched on a strategic hilltop overlooking the plains of Mesopotamia, offers a labyrinth of winding streets that lead visitors past terraced houses and to popular sites such as the Deyrü’z-Zafaran Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the world.

Konya One of the oldest cities in the world, famous for its extraordinary Seljuk architecture and Whirling Dervishes, is a large city in Turkey’s Central Anatolia Region.

Antalya Situated along the beautiful Turkish Riveria, is a pulsating city with myriad resorts, hotels, bars, and restaurants. Magnificent landscapes surround the city, including stunning beaches and verdant mountains sprinkled with ancient ruins.

Ephesus Europe’s most complete classical metropolis. By the first century BCE, Ephesus was one of the principal cities of the Roman Empire, boasting one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis.

And of course, we can’t forget Istanbul. Historically known as Byzantium and then Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Today, straddling the Bosporus Strait, one of two waterways that separate the European and Asian parts of Turkey, the city is where old meets new, and history meets the future. Not only is Istanbul packed to the rafters with architectural marvels, not least the Hagia Sophia, it is also an exotic paradise where you can explore market stalls or sit back and enjoy a Turkish tea in the sun. Many countries claim to ‘have it all’ – but Turkey really does. Pay a visit, and you’ll never forget the experience.


76 76 Myth or Truth

A Mystery of the Mind All too often, myths and misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease stand in the way of understanding it and helping those affected. Here, we sit down with Dr Rajarathinam Ayyanar, a neurologist at Zulekha Hospital in Dubai, to look at several of those myths and discover the truth about some of the more common beliefs surrounding it.

Dr Rajarathinam Ayyanar is a neurologist at Zulekha Hospital in Dubai. He worked as Associate Professor of Neurology for four years in India, had a stint in National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, UK, and Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Ohio, USA.


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Myth: One of my parents had Alzheimer’s disease, so I’m going to get it too. Truth: Familial Alzheimer’s disease accounts for less than 5% of all cases; there is a very low chance you will get Alzheimer’s disease simply because your mother or father did. Myth: You only get Alzheimer’s disease when you are elderly. Truth: A progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, it most often occurs in people over 65. However, it can also affect people in their 40s and 50s. Myth: Memory loss means Alzheimer’s disease. Truth: Not necessarily so. Nevertheless, if memory loss affects a person’s day-to-day ability to function, or is accompanied by a decrease in judgment or reasoning ability, it’s best to see a doctor immediately. Myth: Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t lead to death. Truth: Unfortunately, in the U.S., it’s the sixth leading cause of death, with most people living 8 to 10 years after they’re diagnosed. Myth: Some treatments stop the disease from getting worse. Truth: While specific treatments can help against Alzheimer’s symptoms, there’s no current way to stop the disease itself. Myth: It is no use going to see the doctor because Alzheimer’s disease is untreatable. Truth: Wrong again! Going to see a doctor is hugely beneficial, especially if you want an early diagnosis and want the medication to be most effective. It is important to understand that Alzheimer’s drugs work best in the initial stages and slow down the progression.

Myth: Aluminium causes Alzheimer’s disease. Truth: For years, aluminium has been suspected as potentially playing a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but conclusive evidence has been difficult to find. Myth: Alzheimer’s disease is caused by flu shots, silver fillings, or aspartame. Truth: Experts don’t actually know what causes the disease, so nothing can be ruled out, but there is no scientific evidence for any of the above. It could well be a mix of factors tied to genes, environment, and lifestyle. Certain research suggests it might be related to health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, but like aluminium and other ‘suspects’, there is no hard evidence to back this up. Scientists are becoming more interested in the possible role of lifestyle factors, including a healthy diet, exercise, being social (not on a computer!), and doing things that challenge your mind – all of these might lower the risk. Myth: There is no meaning to life once diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Truth: There is always meaning to life. Alzheimer’s patients, although with a disease, can continue to have great meaning in their lives. What’s more, there is hope. The battle with Alzheimer’s disease is being engaged in leading medical institutions and universities throughout the world – it is a physical disease, not a mythic curse; therefore it will ultimately fall to a physical cure.


78 78 Health and Nutrition

Your Midnight Worries Taken Care of:

HEALTH TIPS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE AND HEALTHY

It is back to school time again, and this year, in the shadow of Covid-19, it will be like no other, with many parents still wondering whether to send their children to school or not.

Dr. Nevine Elkabbany Specialist Pediatrician – Mediclinic Welcare Hospital


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There is no doubt that school plays a vital role in our children’s lives, not only on the educational level but for their social and emotional development as well. This time of change is the perfect opportunity to implement some tweaks in their habits for a healthy and happy back to school transition. Parents should educate their children on how to stay safe and protect themselves from all kinds of germs by practising good hand hygiene which is one of our best defences against getting sick. Packing a hand sanitiser is the best way to combat germs, but if their hands are soiled with dirt, the hands need to be washed thoroughly with soap and water. It is important to teach your children the cough and sneeze etiquette; this practice will keep the germs off their hands. Maintaining a physical distance of not less than two metres and always wearing a face mask are essential habits to avoid germ transmission.

Ease your child’s worries, accept their feelings and help them adjust to the new normal. Parents must remind their children to avoid sharing drinks, foods, and utensils with friends to prevent transmitting germs. Also, parents need to make sure that their children are up to date with their annual physical checkup and vaccinations. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, children between the ages of 6 and 12 need 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night, while teenagers between the ages of 13 and18 need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. Therefore, parents should help their children adjust their sleeping schedule to increase their performance in school. Studies have shown that children who eat a healthy balanced breakfast and lunch do better in school. Parents should encourage their kids to drink an adequate amount of water and pack creative lunch boxes to entice their children to eat new fruits and vegetables. Over the counter vitamins and nutritional supplements are not recommended unless under medical advice and children should get their vitamins from their food instead. In a way, the young child’s immune system has not been exposed to many infections, making him more prone to illness than older kids and adults, who have built up immunity to many germs. Parents are probably aware of how to treat their child’s ear infection, cold, stomach bug, pink eye, head lice and strep throat. Still, parents should be aware of serious signs and symptoms that require immediate medical advice. These include not drinking enough fluids, high fever or fever with rash, rapid breathing or trouble breathing, bluish skin colour, drowsiness, confusion or flu-like symptoms that are worsening.

Mediclinic Welcare Hospital now houses more than 10 paediatric sub-specialities with a wide range of experienced doctors who are here to hold your little one’s hand and take care of them. Call 800 1999 for more info.  www.mediclinic.ae/paediatric-and-nicu-services 24/7 Telemedicine Services, 24/7 ER, 24/7 home delivery of medication

 www.mediclinic.ae/telemedicine-services For peace of mind, we at Mediclinic Welcare Hospital are just one call away for both adults and children. No appointment needed. Call 800 1999 to speak to our team of experts. Back to School Offers  www.mediclinic.ae/back-to-school

Ease your child’s worries, accept their feelings and help them adjust to the new normal.

Mediclinic Welcare Hospital offers special pricing for PCR testing. In order to take advantage of the special rate, you are kindly requested to present your student, teacher or employee ID card.

Be safe, be healthy and know that there are brighter days ahead!

Call 800 1999 for more info or write to us at  welcaremarketing@mediclinic.ae


80 Health and Nutrition

FITTER, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER WE MAY ALL BE STUCK INSIDE MORE THAN USUAL, BUT THAT’S NO REASON TO LET OUR CHILDREN’S FITNESS FALL BY THE WAYSIDE, WITH BURNING OFF ENERGY AND STAYING ACTIVE CRUCIAL FOR THEIR WELLBEING. PRIORITISING FITNESS WILL KEEP THEM BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS AND PREVENT CABIN FEVER WHILE KEEPING PARENTS SANE.


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Covid-19 has introduced a new concept into our vocabulary, ‘socially isolating’, which can be especially difficult for children, who are used to after-school activities and playing with their friends. With this in mind, it’s essential to redirect a child’s energy to activities they can enjoy within the confines of the home. As we continue to combat the Covid-19 threat, it’s understandable that exercise may not be top of the family to-do list; in fact, for many, it might not even be on it. Yet keeping fit is not only good for kids’ physical health but their mental health too. MOVE AROUND AND HAVE FUN The World Health Organisation suggests that children should be physically active for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. Research shows that in addition to increasing fitness levels, staying active also helps young people to focus on schoolwork better, as well as enjoying more nourishing sleep and the ability to balance emotions. When in school, kids tend to enjoy breaks with friends where physical activity is the norm, adding to the sports lessons built into the curriculum. Homeschooling is a whole new ballgame though and requires a fresh approach from both children and parents.

It is crucial to realise that breaking up homeschooling days with some fresh air and activity times can do wonders for performance. Two 30-minute recess breaks throughout the day can pay great dividends, and it can be as simple as throwing a ball around in the garden. Other ideas include children’s yoga, a hula hoop contest, dancing or going for a family walk. There is no need for sports psychologists and intense competition! Just move around and have fun. It’s even possible to give the kids a few chores to keep them active. Okay, this probably won’t work with the older ones, but most five-year-olds love doing work around the house: sorting laundry, sweeping crumbs off the floor and helping to dust the furniture keeps the kids busy and the home a tad cleaner. Everyone wins! MAKE IT ENTERTAINING Without getting too complicated, the objective for exercise with kids is to keep things fun! For children to get moving, and to do so voluntarily, they have to be enticed with entertaining activities that make them smile. For the under fives, exercise is physical movement in any form, including floorbased play in different positions, such as ‘tummy time’, rolling, or reaching

for toys; throwing and catching games; and water-based activities. Children and young people in the 5-18 age bracket should take part in moderate to vigorous physical activities, working hard enough to raise the heartbeat, so that breathing is harder and you begin to sweat, but are still able to talk. This could take in skipping, body resistance exercises, such as sit-ups and push-ups, and bike riding. And because you may not have access to a gym, get creative with things you already own. Make use of bottles for weights or a well-made chair for step-ups. Now is also a chance to focus on family time and create new traditions. Why not have them help to cook dinner once a week, arrange a family game night, or simply pick a time to sit down and read a book together. FORCED TO SLOW DOWN Make sure to speak to your children regularly and help them work through their fears and concerns about Covid-19. Don’t try to fool them either, fobbing them off with platitudes such as “everything will be okay.” However, it’s fine to say that things will get back to ‘normal’ at some point, and the activities they love to do will be available once again.

Keep physically active for a minimum of 60 minutes a day One of the most exciting things to have happened is that the pandemic has forced us all to slow down, giving us time to pause and reflect. The frenzied pace of the modern world had made our lives into an exhausting daily marathon. But with almost everything shut down and social distancing becoming a norm, the forced slowdown has allowed us to take a pause and catch our breath. We have begun to notice nature and the environment more, we have time for friends and family, and we no longer live to the mantra ‘whoever has the most things when he dies wins’. Life has become gentler, and this is good for mind, body and soul.


82 Health and Nutrition

DUBAI BASED CITRON MAKES MEALS FUN FOR KIDS A family business based in Dubai, Citron offers an innovative range of products, including beautifully printed lunchboxes, food jars, snack boxes, lunch bags, water bottles and food cutters that make mums and kids’ lives easier. The company was founded by a mother who had a fussy eater and came up with a product to deal with the situation and, since its launch in 2017, has gone on to dominate the lunchbox and back to school market in the GCC, winning several awards in the process. Whilst the back to school period may be a little different this year, filled with some uncertainty, value and affordability will, without doubt, remain a key decision-making factor for all parents. Better still, the Citron range has been recommended by schools for parents during the Covid-19 era as the lunchboxes are so easy to open and don’t require adult intervention, making it safer for both kids and teachers.

NRTC FRESH INTRODUCES THE BACK TO SCHOOL BOX NRTC Fresh, the homegrown fruit and vegetable delivery platform, is proud to announce the launch of the new back to school box to help busy parents give their kids a healthy and balanced lunchbox for school.

AED86

Also, as a bonus, NRTC Fresh will be giving away a 10% discount for parents who use the code BACK2SCHOOL10 upon checkout throughout September. Priced at AED86, the back to school box contains precut and pre-packed fresh fruits and vegetables, that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and a whole lot of nutrients that will help you create recipes that are essential to give kids a well-balanced diet and boost their immune system while at school.


EXPLORE THE DIFFERENCE A SQUARE CAN MAKE! Ignite your curiosity at Times Square Center Dubai! A centrally located hub of relaxed retail, diverse dining and educational entertainment for the whole damily. +971 4 341 8020 | info@tscuae.ae | timessquarecenter.ae | Qtimessquaredxb Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE


84 Health and Nutrition

REAL FOOD WITH REAL BENEFITS

Our primary focus as parents is to get our children eating the good stuff – encouraging them to eat enough fruit and vegetables to thrive and grow into happy and healthy adults. But packing a fresh piece of fruit for a road trip, hike, or even just heading off to school is not always a great idea. When you’re on the go, fresh fruit can quickly become a sticky, soggy, smelly mess.


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All is not lost, though. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t require refrigeration and is nutritious and easily transportable, grab some dried fruit, one of the healthiest snacks possible when you need loads of nutrients in a small package. Dried fruits are a powerhouse of nutrition, as they are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants, and dietary fibre. But what about all that sugar? Well, there’s no denying that dried fruit contains sugar, but it’s densely packed because the water has been removed. As a result, dried fruit contains no more sugar than the piece of fruit it is derived from. Like everything in life, you just need to eat it in moderation. Dried fruit has, quite rightly, had a bad rap in the past, with dubious ingredients such as sodium bisulfite preservative, locust bean gum and dried corn syrup. But, just like humans, dried fruit has evolved and is now being produced by companies that are more knowledgeable and self-aware, creating products packed with pure ingredients. Nowadays, what you see is what you get! That’s why dried fruit has become so popular with so many people, from athletes who want to keep their energy levels high through to kids who want to enjoy a healthy snack at school. Moreover, thirty grams of dried fruit is considered to be one of your ‘five a day’, and an excellent healthy alternative to heavily processed snack foods like crisps and pretzels, which are high in refined carbohydrates and are almost devoid of nutrients. So now that you know the many benefits of dried fruit, be sure to incorporate it into your diet. Yes, these foods contain sugar, but they’re healthier than ice cream, confectionery or milk chocolate, and are perfect for a boost in the morning, after exercise or between meals. TNF Apple and Strawberry Fruit Bars, for example, consist of 89% apple puree and 11% strawberry puree. Indeed, with the apple puree made from apples grown in the Nelson region of New Zealand, TNF bars are not made from concentrate, but from whole apple pulp, meaning that there is more fibre than a fruit snack that uses fruit juice concentrate. The apple base is then blended with another real fruit pulp (strawberry, raspberry, apricot), poured into trays and slowly air-dried at 65o – 75o C. This preserves the natural taste and texture of the fruit, allowing the fibre and nutrients to be retained. Fruits are nutritious in any form, but none are so convenient as dried fruits – they’re ready when you are!


86 Health and Nutrition

FOOD SAFETY AND NUTRITION TIPS FOR YOUR CHILD’S LUNCHBOX

TIP 1: GET THE KIDS INVOLVED Give your kids healthy food options from each food group, and let them make the final decisions on what goes in their lunch.

TIP 2: INCORPORATE ALL FOOD GROUPS A balanced diet includes all of the food groups. These include fruits, vegetables, meats or legumes, grains, and dairy products.

TIP 3: ENCOURAGE HYDRATION It is recommended that schoolaged kids drink between 6-8 cups of water a day (even more in hot weather or if their activity level is high).


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TIP 4: MAKE YOUR OWN SNACKS AND LIMIT PROCESSED ONES Packaged snacks tend to lack important nutrients and can be high in sugar, sodium and saturated fats.

TIP 7: MAINTAIN FOOD TEMPERATURE TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF FOOD IN LUNCHBOX Use a frozen water bottle or place it in the fridge the night before to maintain the temperature of the food in the lunchbox. If packing a hot lunch, like soup, use an insulated container or thermos to keep it hot.

TIP 9: PREPARE FRESH FOODS DAY BY DAY Do not keep lunch leftovers for the next day’s lunch.

TIP 5: GET CREATIVE WITH VEGGIES! You can send raw baby carrots with some hummus dip, avocado dip or sour cream so they can enjoy it.

TIP 8: USE THE RIGHT LUNCH BAG An insulated or soft- sided lunchbox are preferable when dealing with perishable foods.

TIP 10: REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT Leave the lunchbox in the fridge overnight if preparing the day before.

TIP 6: PACK THE POWER TRIO: FIBRE, PROTEIN AND HEALTHY FAT These three nutrients are crucial to keep your child feeling energized throughout the day. Examples of this can include mixed nuts, whole grain toast with labneh or hummus and cucumbers.

#Food_Heroes


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AN EDUCATIONAL ECOSYSTEM The secret to getting mentally and physically fit is finding activities and developing a way of life that you love. This is the philosophy at StudioRepublik, a sanctuary where people of all ages (from as young as three) and abilities come to express, to evolve, to get healthy, and to have fun. Harnessing the finest talent and technology from across the world, StudioRepublik enriches lives across three platforms: The Lab (Integrated Wellness), The Stage (Performing Arts), and The Arena (Group Exercise). Then there is the Tech Lab room, which is part of The Stage platform, an educational environment that includes a computer keyboard, an organ keyboard, and a push device, where you touch the squares on a screen and manipulate sounds. In fact, you can do anything you want without actually learning how to play music: manipulate sounds, beats, the intensity and frequency of beats, add an echo or sound effect, and produce music. Sensation is everything at StudioRepublik - the

lighting, the sound, the energy; physical elements that can be manipulated. This covers live music, DJs, musicians, vocalists, live dance performances, and content management. There are different rigs of lights in every room; it's an environment on par with nightclubs, but offering a safe haven for children. Let's not forget drama either, which at StudioRepublik includes not just the acting, but also editing, scriptwriting, makeup, costume, casting, video, theatre, and more. And all of these disciplines are available for juniors and adults. Meanwhile, on the dance side, there is everything from contemporary, such as hip hop, through to traditional, including ballet, tango, salsa, and belly dancing.


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Finally, the Arena is a brave new world of Group Exercise, where people come together in an environment of expertly produced visuals, music, and lighting. Senses are stimulated, moods altered, and maximum physical attainment achieved. Classes cater to all fitness levels and interests, including Bootcamp, Aerial, Cycling and GX, Mind and Body classes (Pilates, Yoga and Meditation), as well as an extensively equipped gym. StudioRepublik is genuinely different – it's life without boundaries. So how big can you dream?

SIGN UP FOR A FREE TRIAL studio-republik.com/trial


ADVERTORIAL


ADVERTORIAL

THE FREEDOM TO DRESS WITH ITALIAN STYLE OVS, Italy’s leading apparel fashion brand for men, women and children’s clothing has launched its new store at the Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai. The store which will be dedicated only to the OVS kids selection, and offer a wide range of trendy kids clothing collections for all ages from newborn up to 14 years old.


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ADVERTORIAL 93

OVS is committed to protecting the environment thanks to a project launched in 2013 that collects and recycles used clothing, managed in collaboration with the I:CO/ SOEX Group – a world leader in the recycling of clothes and shoes – through which supports ‘Save The Children Italia’.


94 94 Look Good, Feel Good | Beauty

Don’t Let the Roaring 20s Take a Toll on Your Skin You should never let your skincare and health take a backseat. And to assist you in this quest, we’ve collated some tips, tricks, and recipes to help keep yourself glowing without hurting the wallet!


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Summer weather can leave your skin feeling tight, rough, and itchy, which is where the honey face mask comes in.

Every skin type fights a daily battle against moisture loss, resulting in dehydration. Here’s a solution.

HONEY FACE MASK

APPLE MOISTURISER

What you will need:  1 egg yolk (egg white if you have naturally oily skin)  1 tablespoon olive oil, warmed slightly (Use yoghurt if you have naturally oily skin or heavy cream if you have extremely sensitive or damaged skin)  1 tablespoon honey, warmed slightly  Optional: mash up half a banana for extra softness!

What you will need:

Method: 1. Mix ingredients thoroughly 2. Apply to face and neck 3. Wait for it to dry, then rinse off using warm (not hot) water 4. Pat dry – never rub

 2 apples  One teaspoon olive oil  4-5 tbsp rose water Method: 1. Cut the apples and remove the seeds 2. Using a blender, create a fine and smooth paste using the apples and olive oil 3. Transfer the paste into a pot and allow it to simmer 4. Remove pan from the flame and add the rose water 5. Store in a small jar in the refrigerator and use whenever needed

Note: Must be used within one week.

Not all face masks are created equal, so try this one.

The first noticeable signs of skin aging are fine lines and wrinkles. Combat it with this simple solution.

EXFOLIATING SCRUB

PAPAYA FACE MASK

What you will need:  1-2 teaspoons baking soda  Water  Optional: 2 drops essential oils (lavender and frankincense have best effects on skin)

What you will need:  ½ a Papaya (seeds removed and diced)  1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt  1 tablespoon white tea (brewed and cooled)  1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice  1 egg white

Method: 1. Add drops of essential oil to baking soda, if using 2. Slowly add drops of water until a paste-like consistency is formed 3. Gently massage the paste into your skin, avoiding the eye area, for a few minutes before rinsing off

Method: 1. Mash up all ingredients with a fork or food processor, until a thick paste is formed 2. Apply to face and neck 3. Relax for 20-30 minutes 4. Rinse off with lukewarm water 5. Pat dry


96 Look Good, Feel Good | Beauty

THE HEALING ZONE Training Centre

The Healing Zone Training Centre has been established since 1999 in Dubai and was the creation of our director Anne Cook to support the holistic therapy and beauty industry, therapists and business owners to achieve excellence.

Our training programmes are accepted by the Dubai Health Authority, and our graduates have the honour of being exempt from the mandatory internship, due to the level of training and copious work the students achieve. Our graduates are from all walks of life, many working and some not. All are looking for exceptional training and qualifications to enhance their careers. Some are working for themselves and with our training can bring more professional treatments and expertise to their clients. WE HAVE A GREAT TEAM OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS WITH OVER 65 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE BETWEEN THEM. We are launching the CIDESCO Swiss qualification suitable for school leavers. The programme includes holistic therapies and beauty treatments and is full time. CIDESCO was founded in 1946 is renowned for being the benchmark of all qualifications in the beauty and holistic therapy industry. We also offer CIBTAC, UK qualifications that are internationally recognised as they sit on the regional framework of qualifications in the UK, regulated by Ofqual and the UK government. Shorter workshop taster courses are also available as continued professional development or sample workshops, to dip your toe and experience top quality training. During this unprecedented time, we have created all theory classes now online, and students are able to learn at their own pace, in their own homes, or on the beach.

 www.thehealingzoneacademy.net  info@thehealingzoneacademy.net  +971 4 388 7552


Since 1996, The Art of Shaving has been a creator and purveyor of the finest shaving and grooming products, rooted in unique, multisensorial experiences. The Art of Shaving is considered one of the world’s leading premium grooming brands from head to toe with its trademarked “The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave” – Prepare, Lather Up!, Shave, and Moisturize - essential oils based grooming products, high-end shaving instruments, Barber Spas, and global retail operations.

The brand aims to induct discerning men into the “Brotherhood of Shaving”, a mission to help men elevate grooming from an act to a cherished ritual. It is the “Ultimate Male Grooming Experience for Men”. Today, The Art of Shaving serves as a destination for one-onone consultation and education, where men can get answers for any grooming question they may have from expert Shave Consultants and Master Barbers.

THE ULTIMATE MALE GROOMING EXPERIENCE Store information and to learn more about The Art of Shaving and its products, please visit www.theartofshaving.ae Email us at customerservice@theartofshaving.ae


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