* The participants thanked Ruler of Sharjah for his support of the School
Theater Curriculum Initiative.
The Ministry of Education yesterday launched the First Forum of Theater
Teachers under the slogan of ‘School Theater between Visions and Ambition’. The
forum held at Al Zuhri Hall, University of Sharjah, was attended by HE Marwan
Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs, HE
Dr. Hamad Al Yahyai, Assistant Undersecretary of Curriculum and Assessment
Sector, Dr. Habib Ghuloom, Advisor at
Ministry of Culture and Community Development, and Hassan Al Nafali, Representative
of Arab Theater Authority. It was also attended by a number of theater specialists
and a gathering of curriculum teachers.
The forum is aimed at demonstrating the philosophy and method of
building of the theater curriculum and familiarizing theater teachers with and
training them in the updated modern strategies for teaching this course with a
view to taking the educational process to higher levels, translating its
contents into reality and improving the characteristics of an Emirati School graduate
in terms of building his character.
At the beginning of his speech, Al Sawaleh thanked His Highness Dr.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of
Sharjah, for his support of the school theater curriculum initiative and his
instructions for the initiative to be implemented in co-operation between the
Ministry of Education and the Arab Theater Authority.
He emphasized that in view of the importance of the theater for
refining students’ skills from the scientific, emotional and artistic
perspectives, the ministry has introduced a dedicated curriculum for this course,
which constituted a comprehensive framework for many skills and information
sources capable of renewing the learning methods. He pointed out that the
ministry looks at the theater course as a major contributor to the Emirati
School because it is the way to enable students to take a constructive part in
developing their talents.
Al Sawaleh explained that theater teaching is based on considering a
student as the focus of the educational process so that students can practise its
arts during their long educational career, adding that the theater paves the
way for a renewed education that focuses on art at all its stages as a basic
component of education in the Emirati School.
Meanwhile, Al Nafali said the UAE is one of the first Arab
countries to establish a theater curriculum based on its firm belief in the importance
of theater for building awareness of the society, noting that introducing the
theater into the curricula of the Emirati School reflects the inspiring
futuristic outlook of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi and his firm
belief in the ability of the theater to make energetic generations.
The Arab Theater Authority is exerting ongoing efforts to highlight
the importance of the theater for inspiring students through a comprehensive strategy
devised by many Arab countries, he said, noting that adding the theater to the
curricula of Arab education systems is one of the exalted objectives of the Arab
The forum witnessed a panel discussion titled ‘The joy of theater class’,
which was attended by Professor Sharifa Musa, head of the theater curriculum
team at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Mahmoud Al Majri, a theater expert, Mr. Nabil
Mayhoub, a theater actor, and Mr. Faeq Humeisi, a theater actor and director.
“Nations are built by arts and the theater is the father of arts
and a comprehensive umbrella of creative people. Inspired by the vision of HH
Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, we have added the theater course to
enable our students to be creative and excel. The theater is a school in itself
that promotes the values of good education and help students gain personal
skills that enhance their self-confidence”, Musa said.
She explained that the theater curriculum in its test formula allows
a student to be an actor, scriptwriter and a stage director and to have artistic
taste with the theater curriculum integrating with all the arts, sciences and
information sources of the Emirati School. Theater teaching is not aimed at
making students professional in this field but at providing students with
communication skills and helping them employ their energies to discover
themselves, she added.
For his part, Al Majri said all advanced countries added the
theater as a basic component of their education systems and the UAE was one of
those countries that paid utmost attention to the school theater as embodied in
its step to add the theater to the curricula of the Emirati School. The theater
is associated with enjoyment and such enjoyment should be employed to convey
whatever values needed to be instilled in the minds of students to enable them
to be active members of the society, he added.
Talking about the features of the theater curriculum applied in the
Emirati School, Humeisi said the curriculum is unique and distinguished from
all the theater curricula applied in Arab countries in view of its comprehensive
and proficiently worked out structure.
Mayhoub concluded the panel discussion by saying the theater
curriculum addresses students of full knowledge, placing a double
responsibility on the part of the theater teachers to exert strenuous efforts
to consolidate the values of the theater in the minds of students.
As part of the forum, a number of workshops were organized for
theater teachers to enable them to grasp the content of this course and how to
present it to students in the best way.
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