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Tuesday 06 July ,2021

More than 6000 Teachers Participated in the National Archives Eighth Annual Forum for Training Teachers

More than 6000 Teachers Participated in the National Archives Eighth Annual Forum for Training Teachers

The National Archives held the eighth annual forum for training teachers over four days to virtually train and educate teachers on the history and heritage of the UAE, with the aim of promoting and enhancing their national values as well as raising their awareness level of the history, culture, civilization, heritage, customs and traditions of the ancient UAE society, which in turn contributes to enhancing the values of loyalty, belonging and national identity among teachers, students and future generations.

More than 6000 teachers from across the UAE participated in the virtual forum, where they took a virtual tour of the National Archives facilities, and watched national documentaries, and inspected an exhibition of historical films and photos documenting the UAE education process and journey.

With this forum, the National Archives aims to enrich Arab and foreign teachers’ knowledge of national values derived from the history and heritage of the United Arab Emirates, and enhance their experience with the Emirati society virtues and exploits that must be instilled in students so they can be good citizens capable of continuing the UAE national march and legacy in the future.

The Eighth Annual Teachers Training Forum focused on promoting the values of tolerance and coexistence, upon the directives of the wise leadership that spares no effort towards the advancement and development of the UAE people and nation.

In his inaugural speech at the forum, Mr. Farhan Al-Marzouqi, Director of the National Archives’ Corporate and Community Outreach Department, stressed that this forum was a great event among a series of National Archives’ projects and initiatives, and an enjoyable valuable educational experience that reflects and comes in line with the directives of the UAE wise leadership on investing in knowledge economy and stressed the importance of investing in teachers to develop their capabilities as the basis of any sound educational process and its key pillar.

He added that this forum is considered an important national initiative which paves the way towards building generations of students, shaping their future, enriching their knowledge, enhancing their creative thinking skills, and promoting or instilling in them the values of love, loyalty and belonging to the homeland and its wise leadership. This was the celebrated legacy of the past fifty years. The National Archives as it looks forward to the upcoming UAE celebration of the year of the Fiftieth to carry on dedicating its efforts, and full potentials and capabilities to support the educational system within the framework of its national role as a key partner and a main pillar in future generations civic education.

The Director of the Corporate and Community Outreach Department expressed to the participating teachers his wishes that their next academic year will hopefully be Covid19- free, and that the world will have contained and overcame this pandemic, which had a significant impact on the educational process, as it became mostly virtual, and that students will return to schools in a sound and healthy interactive educational environment. He finally wished the forum to achieve great success and all its desired goals.

On its first day, the forum’s activities focused on the UAE centennial anniversary celebration, highlighting the solidarity of the UAE Union and the role of the founding fathers, their effective planning and vision, which contributed to crowning their march with innovations and creativity which resulted in the comprehensive development, prosperity and advancement over the past fifty years. From this vision, "UAE Centennial 2071" carries on its next five decades’ march of leadership and sustainability, and constructs a clear organized and long-term work plan to enhance and promote the UAE distinguished status, reputation and soft power.

In addition to the photo exhibition, presented during the forum, which reflected the extent of the late Sheikh Zayed’s interest in education, along with his brothers the founding fathers, who closely followed-up the educational process and took great interest in its advancement, the UAE wise leadership currently follows the forefathers’ footsteps and adopts their approach. A documentary film entitled “The Building of a Nation" was presented which recounted the story of the early educational development in the Emirates, and the achievements that this field witnessed in a comparatively record time.

Dr. Aisha Bilkhair, the National Archives’ Research Advisor, enriched the forum by delivering two lectures, the first of which was on the first day of the forum, and was entitled: “Education Centennial: From Katateeb to Mars”, where she addressed the following themes: From kataeb to artificial intelligence, empowering women, leadership, talent, and accelerators, Good manners, ethics, etiquette, tolerance, support, solidarity, and peaceful coexistence. She also tackled the UAE achievements and leadership in various fields, including but not limited to: equality and social justice, and virtual education after Covid 19.

The lecturer discussed the early education form or stage of Katateeb then the regular schools, and from there to “illiteracy elimination” schools and adult education, then to higher education and scholarships abroad.

The lecturer discussed at length Emirati women’s education, their empowerment, and the attention they received that resulted in their assuming UAE leading and key positions alongside their male counterparts. With well and thoroughly considered plans and unlimited support from the builder and founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (Mother of the Emirates) who dedicated all means towards the advancement of UAE women, along with their family and society as a whole. The Speaker linked how all these elements and achievements led to the realization of Sheikh Zayed's dream and aspirations of the UAE reaching space in cooperation with the International Space Station, with Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati Astronaut’s arrival to space, and the UAE sending the probe of hope to Mars. Thus the UAE proved that it is the nation of possibilities that beats any Impossible, as it reached Mars with its Probe of Hope, and successfully operated the Barakah peaceful nuclear power plant to produce nuclear energy, and took a leading role and position among the world states in countering and containing the emerging Corona virus.

The UAE continues its march under its wise leadership, and is incorporating artificial intelligence into educational systems to pave the way and prepare for a brighter and a more promising future.

Dr. Aisha also discussed the deep-rooted Emirati heritage, from which the present culture stems, and the accelerators according to her theory, such as: good morals, manners, ethics, etiquette, tolerance, support, solidarity and peaceful coexistence.

The forum interestingly organized for its participants a competition with three questions closely related to the education field.

The second day of the Eighth Annual Forum for training teachers, virtually held by the National Archives, tackled Emirati history. It began with a documentary film reviewing the United Arab Emirates’ past and present, stressing the importance of the National Archives and its role in preserving the memory of the nation.

The forum took its audience and participants on a virtual tour in the National Archives to explore its facilities and services that offer and allow the public easy access to its valuable holdings of historical records and documents. The tour began with the Arabian Gulf digital archive (AGDA), which is an important source for historical documents on the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and a key resource of rare documents and information which support raising and promoting awareness of the history of the region.

Then the virtual tour continued in Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan’s Hall at the National Archives, where its visitor explored the various aspects of the UAE history, and from there to the Emirates Library which is an important and integral part of the National Archives academic and research program. It provides its services to researchers, scholars and knowledge seekers to benefit from its rich and specialized collections that cover the history of the UAE and the Gulf region whether in paper or electronic form. The tour ended at the Customers Happiness Hall, which provides researchers with the historical documents they request from the National Archives.

On the second day, Dr. Aisha Bilkhair's second lecture entitled: (History of the UAE: the history of a nation and the Civilization of a People), in which she reviewed the history of the UAE from its ancient civilizations to its current development, advancement and prosperity.

The lecture began with an invitation to the public and all individual to educate themselves employing whatever available means; she used paper currency as an example for the opportunity to provide learning and education. With a careful look at it, one realizes from the printed pictures on it the UAE heritage and historical monuments. Then she moved to the UAE ancient history, as indicated by archaeological finds and discovered pearls. This confirms the fact that the UAE is not an emerging nation in history but is rather a nation with a long and deep-rooted history that calls for its people to take pride in it.

The lecturer also called upon future generations to follow the footsteps of the forefathers, to employ and utilize their wisdom in all aspects of life, and to adopt their inherent values that promote civic education and national identity.

The Lecturer discussed at length the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision and wisdom, as manifested in his belief in his people’s development to preserve their dignity, and as indicated through all his achievements, where his advanced ideas and vision to build his nation and develop his people were clearly manifested.

The Forum’s Agenda was concluded with a discussion session where the forum’s audience and participants interacted and further enriched their knowledge with important information on the history of the UAE in general and the National Archives in particular.

It is noteworthy that the four days’ National Archives eighth annual forum for training teachers, presented its activities in Arabic for two days, and in English for the other two days.