The Sharjah Baby Friendly Office (SBFO) has announced that registration is now open for its ‘Child-Friendly Schools’ (CFS) project for all private schools and public nurseries in Sharjah.
SBFO has partnered with the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) and Sharjah Education Council (SEC) to launch the project in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The project offerstwo accreditations – ‘Child Friendly School’ and ‘Child Friendly Nursery’ – for educational institutions that meet the project criteria. To register, institutions must first complete the application form,followed by a self-assessment and development of an action plan; capacity building of teachers and staff through training workshops; and monitoring and evaluation of project indicators. The final accreditation will follow upon the successful completion of the process.
The purpose of the project is to move schools and education systems in the emirate of Sharjah progressively towards quality global standards, addressing all elements that influence the wellbeing and rights of a child as a prime beneficiary of the teaching process, while improving other aspects of school functions in the process.
The project will address four key elements: raising awareness about children’s rights; supporting children’s participation in school and community initiatives; protecting children from all forms of violence and abuse; and the integration of children with special needs into mainstream education.
Dr. HessaAl Ghazal, Executive Director of SBFO, said: “The project offers private schools and public nurseries in Sharjah the opportunity to contribute to the development of an integrated educational system that empowers children and protectstheir rights, reflecting the UAE’s national policies to invest in human capital and promote innovation to meet future needs. Empowering children in the classroom is the first step in this developmental process.”
“The accreditation granted to qualified schools will help improve the quality of the learning environment and encourage schools to adopt best practices to ensure the protection of children’s rights and equality in education opportunities for children of all capabilities. It will also enable them to deal with students of various abilities with the highest levels of understanding and confidentiality in order to empower them to be successful in the future,” she added.
HE Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, Chairpersonof Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) said: “As part of our commitment to work on improving the educational system and providing a student-friendly learning environment, our aim in implementing this project in private schools supervised by SPEA is to ensure children’s rights in education are put into practice within an integrated system.”
Mohammed Ahmed Al Mulla, Secretary-General of Sharjah Education Council (SEC), commended the initiative, saying:“The project supports the Council’s aims to provide an educational environment in nurseries where children’s rights are protected in early childhood and teachers are fully qualified to deal with young students in accordance with the highest standards.