Abu Dhabi Reads 2015, an annual campaign to promote reading among children, began on Monday and will continue until May 28.
Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) director general, launched the event by emphasising the importance of reading and the significant role it plays in forming an individual’s character.
“Introducing reading as part of a young student’s daily routine not only helps motivate students to want to learn more, it also enhances their knowledge, skills and boosts their self-confidence, while enhancing their imagination and creativity skills, all extremely important traits that will help drive an economy forward,” he said.
“At Adec, we are proud of the positive outcomes of the first and second Abu Dhabi Reads editions. Figures show that reading rates have increased among students, reaching 91 per cent for private schools and 85 per cent for public school students across the emirate.
“These rates apply to students who practise reading on a daily basis. We aspire this rate to reach 100 per cent and for daily reading hours to increase.”
The campaign not only focuses on strengthening language skills but in promoting national identity and cultural exposure, said Dr Al Qubaisi. Teachers, parents, Adec officials and other members of the community were encouraged to take on reading as part of the campaign.
Dr Najwa Al Hosani, Adec curriculum division manager, said that the initiative was an opportunity for teachers and specialists to develop methodologies, techniques and skills related to reading.
“This is reflected positively on students and motivates them to read, while helping school directors to create an environment that is attractive for reading and writing, alongside the encouragement and guidance of teachers and parents who play a pivotal role in achieving the campaigns objectives.”
The campaign, now in its third year, has been successful because it is directed at pupils and has been introduced to them in a gradual manner, she noted.
“A book is a loyal friend that stores information and lives with you; you adapt to each other,” said Dr Al Hosani. “It doesn’t recognise age, place, or time. Books are a source of trust, development and education, which is why we must encourage our children to love books from a very early age.”
This year’s campaign includes the Abu Dhabi Reads Award for the first time. It is divided into the “best short story category” and “best innovative strategy” to develop reading skills in Arabic and English. The award will recognise pupils talented in writing and innovative teachers.