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Minister of Education launches an annual award in memory of Sheikh Zayed valued at Dh4.6m

HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan, UAE's first President and Founding Father.
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HE Hussein Al Hammadi, Director General at the Ministry Of Education.
HE Hussein Al Hammadi, Director General at the Ministry Of Education.

The Minister of Education launched an annual award valued at Dh4.6 million in memory of the country’s founder, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, on Tuesday.

The Founder Award, which was launched at the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) and Global Education Forum (GEF), will include four main categories: school performance, distinction in innovation, financial outcomes and creative ideas with real-life applications.

Hussain Bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said the award, which will honour 72 winners, aims to encourage the culture of innovation and excellence in education among public school students, schools and teachers.

“What differentiates the award from other awards in the country is the fact that the ministry will nominate the candidates through the Student Information System (SIS) programme, instead of schools nominating themselves. The programme will electronically document all the information of schools and students. Starting next year, for example, each and every activity a student takes part in will be fed directly to the programme and, based on the students’ marks and extra-curricular activity, a panel will shortlist the candidates,”

Each winning student from each school level — elementary, secondary and high school — will receive Dh50,000, while each school from each category will receive Dh100,000.

In total, the value assigned to the winners of the first prize in each category and each educational level will reach Dh1.5 million. The second prize will amount to Dh840,000, the third prize w Dh560 000, and the fourth prize Dh400,000.

Another Dh300,000 will be allocated to surprise prizes for unannounced category winners, so the overall total will reach Dh4.6 million.

The minister of education said the award will focus on public schools and will possibly include private schools in the next academic year.

“The awards standards and criteria will also change each year to include new educational developments,” said the minister.

Criteria for winning the award will include documented performance, official reports and findings, improvement in educational quality and achievement of objectives and directions.

It also aims to encourage the implementation of projects to develop and improve the schools and learning environments while raising efficiency in teaching, encouraging all schools to develop leadership and motivated teams to develop innovative solutions to meet the country’s national agenda.

Fact Box
Prize money

Value assigned to first-prize winners: Up to Dh1.5 million.

Second prize: will reach Dh840,000

Third prize: will reach Dh560 000,

Fourth prize: will total to Dh400 000.

Dh4.6 million

The total prize money


Each student’s prize money


Each school’s prize money

The four award categories

School performance

Distinction in innovation

Financial outcomes

Creative ideas with real-life applications