School staff in Abu Dhabi will receive training in awareness of child abuse and neglect from the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec).
Each of the 444 schools in the capital – including 189 private schools – will have one representative who will be responsible for the training programme.
Trainers from different police departments will also participate in the scheme.
The sessions will amount to 15 hours of intensive training in the concept of child protection, shielding youngsters from harm and abuse, and enhancing their safety and security.
The courses will include a session on the definition of assault on and neglect of children, the new child rights law and its penalties, how to support victims, how to detect and identify the risks surrounding children, and how to report on children who have been abused or neglected.
After training, caregivers are expected to do their part to protect the children in their schools.
Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, director general of Adec, said that because children spend most of their days in school it was vital to provide a safe and caring environment for their education.
Maj Gen Nasser Al Nuaimi, undersecretary to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior and chairman of the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior, said building the capacity of the various partners in the field of child protection enhanced their efforts to prevent abuse and neglect.
He said it was important to cooperate with those in the childcare field to ensure continuous improvement.
He called for those working with children to get to know the signs of abuse and how to report them.
Addressing parents, Maj Gen Al Nuaimi said it was important not to expose children to any kind of abuse – psychological or physical – and that families must provide a caring environment and positive emotional support.
This will create a healthy community, free of societal issues that could lead to its instability, he added.
Maj Mohamed Al Ali, director of the Child Protection Centre of the Ministry of Interior, said finding clear policies and procedures for protecting children in schools was absolutely necessary. He said cases of abuse or neglect should be reported and dealt with immediately.
He also said that the planned training courses should act as an example to caregivers for taking action.