With the support of its partners and hundreds of students
The Ministry of Education concluded its National Bullying Prevention Week activities over the weekend with a walkathon it organized at La Mer. The nationwide campaign was held under the patronage of H.H Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
The walkathon consisted of 300 students that joined the Ministry's representatives and partners to raise further awareness on bullying amongst the public and thank the partners for their ongoing support throughout the week of the campaign. A marching band and a horse parade were part of the activities taking place at La Mer for the campaign. In addition, the Ministry had also organized two walkathons during the campaign one was held at RAK Mall on 25 April and the other at Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi on 26 April.
H.E. Jameela Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for General Education, H.E Marwan Ahmad Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary for Academic Affairs at the Ministry and H.E. Dr. Amna AlDahak AlShamsi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Activities Sector at the Ministry of Education were at La Mer in the concluding walkathon along with several of the Ministry's employees.
On the conclusion of the campaign Dr.Amna AlDahak Alshamsi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Activities Sector at the Ministry said: "We were honoured by the number of partners we had for this nation-wide campaign which we all truly believed in its importance and impact on the future generations. We would like to thank each entity for their support and dedication in raising awareness on bullying in the UAE. We would like to change mindsets when it comes to such phenomenon's and no longer label them as taboo or have our children suffer in silence. We, as the Ministry of Education, are here to help and support our students, we are here to ensure their safety and well-being and we are here to safeguard the unique values that have been passed down from our forefathers such as tolerance and compassion."
H.E. Rym Abdullah Al Falasy, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood & Childhood, H.E. Afra Al Basti, Director General of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC), H.E. Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centres Sector at Ministry of Health and Prevention, Lt. Colonel Dr. Abdulrahman Sharaf, Assistant General Coordinator of Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, Col Dr Mohammed Butti Al Shamsi, Deputy Director of Dubai Police Academy, Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, Department Director at Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), Hanan Al Marzooqi, Director of Programs and Projects Department, National Program for Happiness and Positivity at Minster of State for Happiness and Wellbeing Office and Iman Harib Al Falahi, Social Protection Department Manager at Ministry of Community Development attended the walkathon on behalf of the entities that partnered with the Ministry during the National Bullying Awareness Campaign.
The National Bullying Prevention Week campaign, which was held from 22 to 28 April 2018, was held to raise awareness on bullying across the UAE and saw the partnership of more than 20 local and federal entities that included Ministry of State for Happiness, Sharjah Social Services Department, Ministry of Community Development, Dubai Foundation For Women & Children, Sharjah Education Council, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Ministry of Health and Prevention, United Arab Emirates University, Department of Education and Knowledge Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Emirates Youth Council, Supreme Council of Family Affairs, Dubai Police, Abu Dhabi Media and Dubai Media Incorporated.
On the National Bullying Awareness Week, H.E. Sheikha Khulood Saqer Al Qassimi, Assistant Under-Secretary of Inspection Sector at the Ministry of Education said: "The launch of National Bullying Prevention Week in Schools is an important step that supports the Ministry's efforts to raise awareness on bullying; and it actively contributes towards combating this phenomenon in schools in the UAE. Bullying impacts the academic and psychological future of students, hence why the joint efforts from administrative, educators, social workers and parents is key to address and combat the phenomenon of bullying, develop effective solutions that will put an end to it and prevent its recurrence in the future."
H.E. Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centres Sector at the Ministry of Health and Prevention said: "At Ministry of Health and Prevention, we are keen to spread the culture of compassion between all students through lectures our nurses conduct that aim to preventing bullying, raise awareness on its different forms and its negative impact on students."
Afaf Al Marri, Director of the Sharjah Social Services Department (SSSD), affirmed that the participation of the Department in the National Bullying Prevention campaign is in line with the commitment and dedication of the Department in its social domain. This is especially valid and true in terms of protecting the rights and care for children and safeguarding them from all kinds of ill-treatment. This is of vital importance especially in the scenario where the phenomenon of bullying among children has been growing rapidly. The Department is keen to involve the concerned authorities of the State to develop several preventive programs that would take the form of integrated and diversified activities that enable urgent intervention; which includes and protecting children from this invasive scourge on our society and preventing them from indulging in it.
Al-Marri also warned that the effects of bullying on a child is both immediate as well as lifelong, as it destroys the child's ability to see himself positively, thus leading to the loss of self-confidence and low educational attainment. A person who has been bullied may suffer from poor social relations, and his/her suffering will increase through psychological disorders such as anxiety disorder, depression and the tendency to inflict harm on themselves or others. Studies have shown that the bully is more likely to exhibit criminal behaviour at a young age, and that it will grow with him/her.
During the campaign trained educators and consultants visited public and private schools and shed light on various bullying topics such as what is bullying, its different forms, what is cyber bullying, what are the characteristics of a bully, the impact of bullying on children and how it could negatively impact their lives and mental health and why do bully's behave the way they do. During these visits the students will be advised on how to act or respond if they encounter a bully or witness anyone being bullied at school, home or anywhere.
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