ABU DHABI -- 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, stressed that the wise leadership in the country prioritises education following in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who spared no efforts in supporting education and the educated.

Her Highness was speaking during the conclusion of the Anti-Bullying Campaign on Wednesday at the Umm Al Emarat Park. She said that the country supports the education process and implements programmes that elevate its level. The campaign, which was executed by The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in the schools of the Ministry of Education, in co-operation with the Ministry, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, and the UNICEF, was one such programme.

Her Highness clarified in the speech, which was given on her behalf by Al Reem Abdullah Al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, that the initiative which lasted around two years targetted school children, principals, academic guides, and even nurses.

It is considered the first of its kind in the Arab world due to the great importance given to distancing children from negative elements that affect their education journey. She stated that it was designed after reviewing over 13 successful international programmes to find out what would be appropriate for the UAE.

She said that bullying is a common negative phenomenon that has dangerous effects on the health and safety of the bullies, the victims, and the viewers equally. They lose their sense of guilt and self-confidence, they are vulnerable to chronic illnesses, they also become increasingly hostile and this affects their education, she added.

She said that protection from bullying guarantees children their right to education and protection from all forms of violence according to the Children's Rights' Agreement, UAE Vision 2021 and the National Strategy for Motherhood and Childhood adopted by the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

Her Highness pointed to the evaluation made by the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and UNICEF at the end of the past school year, included in the campaign, highlighting the effectiveness of the project as bullying cases decreased, while the evaluation results were encouraging.

She expressed her appreciation for the authorities who participated in executing this programme, which included 64 schools in the country, especially after the encouraging results shown by the campaign's application as the number of students being bullied decreased and the instances of positive social relations between the students increased.

Jameela bint Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, gave a speech during the celebration where she expressed her appreciation to H.H Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for adopting this sensitive topic in the Anti-Bullying Campaign.

She clarified that despite the large number of initiatives and programmes, which are designed and executed to counter the bullying phenomenon in schools, she was sure that Her Highness, the Mother of the UAE's adoption of this initiative would enable schools and the members of the community of fathers, mothers, educators, school leaders and students to know more about the negative effects of bullying, as this behavioural issue has always produced negative results and cast its shadow on all members of the community from different ages, sectors and educational levels, which greatly affects the character of the individual and his or her thinking patterns, turning the person from a positive to a negative individual.

Jameela Al Muhairi gave an example of bullying by telling part of a story about H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, during his study abroad where a lecturer was bewildered by his name. She highlighted that the word, "bullying", is an unknown expression in school communities but the behaviours related to it and its effects, which are destructive to the character, can lead to cases of suicide and crime that can, unfortunately, happen at any moment, and a great number of people from all sectors and ages have become victims.

Source: Emirates News Agency