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Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced the roll-out of its third annual wellbeing census on Sunday.

This year, around 100,000 students and 20,000 school staff are expected to take part in the census – answering questions on a wide range of topics.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the KHDA, said, “Wellbeing is an investment in the future and having good wellbeing today means we have a great future tomorrow. As students go through life, exam results will be less important, but wellbeing will become more and more important.”

He also noted students spend 17 per cent of their time at school and wellbeing was not only the school’s responsibility.

Dr Abdulla added, “Parents have to work together with schools, and schools have to work together with parents. These conversations help us improve each other’s wellbeing.”

Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Wellbeing at KHDA said, “We are already starting to see a positive shift in the conversations that schools are having with their parent and student community. There is a much broader awareness and both educators and parents are now taking a closer look at the wellbeing of children. Some schools have even created wellbeing teams that actively lead and support initiatives aimed at having a positive impact on the school climate.”

The Dubai Student Wellbeing Census is a five-year project to find out how students feel and think about their own wellbeing, happiness, quality of life and engagement.

Ghadeer Abu-Shamat, Superintendent – CEO of Al Khaleej National School said, “Wellbeing is an essential need for all the students and staff. The census is helping us to have a balanced character and we are seeing students and staff members become more aware of their needs and rights.”

Abdulla Raed, a student of Al Khaleej National School, “We need to build on our happiness and wellbeing is all about finding new ways to flourish. One of the ways to do is by spreading love and respecting each other.”

Sheim Sabaa, a Grade 12 student said, “It is important to have conversations with friends and families to look at what’s contributing positively to our lives. The wellbeing census has made me more aware of the need to have these conversations.”

School staff, including teachers and support staff are also covered as part of a separate Adults@School wellbeing census. The adult’s survey help school teachers and staff understand more about their own wellbeing and learn new ways to take responsibility for it. Open to teachers and staff working in Dubai’s private schools, each participant will receive a personalised report of their wellbeing, including suggestions on ways to improve it.

This year’s census will take place from November 3, 2019, and run until December 5, 2019. For more information about the census, visit