The Ministry of Education (MoE) has started implementing a
sustainability plan by replacing regular school textbooks with environmentally
friendly, 100 per cent sustainable textbooks as part of a participatory step
with the national efforts to conserve the environment and reduce the UAE carbon
footprint. The process will contribute to reducing the total textbook printing
cost by 23 per cent and the schoolbag weight by 30 per cent.
The MoE started implementing this plan from the second semester by
printing 9.7 million textbooks using environmentally friendly paper as part of
its preparations for the second semester. This idea was put to test during the
first semester and proved feasible, effective and highly important.
The environmentally friendly textbook technology is based on
recycled paper, which is processed before being used in printing textbook several
times. This process has positive effects that serve the UAE’s environmental
orientations in such a manner that conforms to the global sustainability
standards and benefits all the themes related to the indicators concerned with measuring
the Moe’s private environment conservation levels.
The importance of applying this technology stems from the fact that
it is environmentally friendly. Using environmentally friendly textbooks contributes
to saving around 25 liters of water and 2.5 kilograms of wood per textbook as
well as rationalizing energy consumption by 5 kilowatts per textbook and reducing
carbon dioxide emissions by 0.1 kilograms per textbook, not to mention the other
harmful gases that cause global warming.
“The UAE is a leading country in implementing environmental
sustainability standards as evidenced by signing several international
agreements on environment conservation and sustainability. We, in turn, are an
integral part of the national institutional movement concerned with
crystallizing the UAE’s efforts and plans aimed at conserving the environment
and preserving the national gains and financial resources,” said Eng. Abdul
Rahman Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of Ministry of Education.
To this effect, the MoE surveyed the available options and how to
contribute to conserving the environment and hence recommended the idea of
using environmentally friendly paper for printing textbooks without compromising
the quality of textbooks, he added, noting that this followed extensive
studies, which showed the importance and several advantages of this step for
the environment, students and cost-saving.
He explained that conserving the environment is a pressing requirement
that necessitates the collaboration of all entities, government and private establishments,
national forces and members of the society to make a qualitative difference and
hence make a success of the various environmental sustainability plans approved
by the UAE in an effort to conserve the environment and protect biodiversity.
Al Hammadi pointed out that the MoE is making great strides to root
this trend by starting to use environmentally friendly paper to print textbooks
as a test since the first semester. After this test proved successful, the MoE
approved the use of this type of paper for printing textbooks by 100 per cent
for use in the second semester of the current academic year, he said. This
procedure proved feasible and greatly contributed to bringing the environmental
sustainability plans adopted by the UAE in all its government programs and
strategies to higher levels, he added.
He explained that concurrently with this move, the MoE leveraged
the modern education technologies as well as its smart education structure to
provide 408 electronic without the need to print them and also enabled 532 already
printed books to be available online through the smart learning system. This
should support the MoE’s efforts to reduce the costs associated with printing books
as well as the consequential negative environmental impacts and implications,
Earlier, the MoE prepared a total of 940 titles covering all
curricula of the second semester. As many as 1,170 public and private schools
benefit from these titles and textbooks through a specific mechanism that the MoE
adopted to provide textbooks to all schools in collaboration with the concerned
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