Her Highness Sheikha Moza Participates In QF’s Celebration Of International Day Of Education

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Her Highness Sheikha Moza Participates In QF’s Celebration Of International Day Of Education

Doha, Qatar, 24 January 2024
Qatar Foundation Education

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, participated in a discussion hosted by Qatar Foundation as it marked the International Day of Education.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza spoke at the opening panel session of a series of activities and events at Education City, held through a collaboration between Qatar Foundation (QF) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, under the theme ‘Education is everyone’s responsibility’. Also attending the events at Education City was Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation.

During the session, Her Highness Sheikha Moza commended the decision by the State of Qatar to allocate three hours for parents and guardians to experience their children’s learning environment, welcoming this move as it reflects the State’s interest in education and its belief in the role of the family in the development of children.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza spoke about the identity challenges faced by students, stating that the root cause of this problem stems from students' own command of the Arabic language, and saying that while there is no weakness in Arabic itself, students are not practicing it as their daily language: “Arabic language is the incubator of thought, cultural understanding and heritage, and thus identity.”

In addressing these challenges, Her Highness Sheikha Moza emphasized that education is the responsibility of everyone involved in a child’s upbringing, including families, schools, and media institutes.

Addressing the students in the audience, Her Highness Sheikha Moza asked them to be proud of their identity, saying: “Have confidence in yourself and always bear in mind the unique and wonderful qualities of the Arabic language and culture. Be open to others and celebrate their characteristics, but I ask you to reject the aspects of global citizenry that require you to erase or weaken our local and national identity.”

The session discussed the collective responsibility that society holds towards language and identity, due to language being a critical component in shaping and strengthening people’s identity. It also explored the role of the curricula in developing awareness of local heritage; focused on the necessity of localizing education, especially in international schools, because of its impact on identity; and highlighted the role of schools, family, and media in promoting language and identity.

Also participating in the discussion were Abeer Al-Khalifa, President of Pre-University Education, Qatar Foundation; Sheikha Nouf Al Thani, Executive Director of Projects and Strategic Partnerships in QF’s Pre-University Education; Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khulaifi, a Kuwaiti educational expert, expert in educational psychology, and developmental psychology; Dr. Sharifa Al-Emadi, Executive Director of QF’s Doha International Family Institute; and Maryam Al-Muhannadi, Director of Public Relations and Communications at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

The discussion was moderated by Maryam Al-Hajri, Director of Partnerships in the Department of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships in QF’s Pre-University Education.

Abeer Al-Khalifa told the International Day of Education audience: “Today's celebration highlights the significance of education in fostering social growth, and building sustainable and resilient societies. And by commemorating this day, Qatar Foundation showcases its commitment and keen belief in the importance of investing in human development.”

“Bringing change for quality, comprehensive and equitable education by 2030 requires the collaboration between all partners in the public and private sectors, as well as from individuals and parents as the primary partner – and their commitment to prioritizing education.”

Al-Khalifa also spoke about the government’s decision to allow employees time off work to engage in the celebrations planned for the day, highlighting the importance of the family’s role in their children’s learning process.

Stressing that including the Arabic language as a language of teaching and learning in QF schools is an essential part of QF’s commitment to promoting the Arabic language and national identity,  and pointing out the importance of allocating sufficient time to learning the Arabic language,  Sheikha Nouf Al Thani said: “In addition to allocating sufficient time, there are two key elements – teacher training and developing the international curriculum in a way that is compatible with bilingualism.

“At Qatar Foundation, we have aimed since the beginning of our journey to provide high-quality education linked to our language, values and national identity.”

Speaking about increasing public awareness of the importance of education as a path to achieving national sustainable development goals, Al-Muhannadi said: “We must be proud of our national identity. The Arabic language is the foundation of our identity, and it is the language of teaching and learning in our educational system. Learning other languages is a journey of continuous education, not a destination in itself.

“Media based on promoting the values of citizenship and the use of the Arabic language through attractive, creative programs and ideas should be our choice and decision to enhance national identity, social responsibility, and build a strong and cohesive society.”

The International Day of Education activities at QF, held in the Arabic language, also showcased educational programs in an interactive exhibition and visits by secondary school students to QF’s partner universities, together with a series of panel discussions and the opportunity for parents to visit their children’s schools at QF and participate in workshops and community activities. The celebration of education saw 11 of QF’s schools participate, with a further 22 entities hosting activities.

It will continue to be held annually on 24 January, with the aim of inspiring public and private entities, as well as people across society, to actively champion and elevate the standard of education throughout Qatar.