The Ministry of Education organised the Education Day opening ceremony at the Legacy Theatre in the Greening Education Hub, themed ‘Legacy from the Land of Zayed’ in the Green Zone at COP28. Among those in attendance were Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President; Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education; Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology. Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State; Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; Sara Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education. Additionally, education ministers from various countries and senior officials from the UAE in the fields of education and sustainability were present.
Dr. Al Jaber said, “In accordance with the leadership’s directives to instil the values and principles of sustainability in the upcoming generations, a vital aspect of the legacy established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, we were delighted to visit the Greening Education Hub themed ‘Legacy from the Land of Zayed’. “The Hub serves as a dynamic and impactful platform featuring a variety of activities aimed at deepening the understanding and awareness of young people regarding the significance of climate action. It emphasises the necessity to adopt sustainable lifestyles and underscores the pivotal role of climate education in conferences of the parties, making substantial contributions to finding innovative solutions for global climate issues.” He commended the Ministry of Education for its dedicated efforts and active participation in COP28, highlighting the importance of instilling the principles of balanced sustainable development among the younger generations.
Dr. Al Falasi emphasised the significance of the ‘Legacy from the Land of Zayed’ Hub, stating that it conveys a powerful message from the Land of Zayed to nations worldwide. This message underscores the belief that education is the sole pathway to success and to building generations capable of confronting future challenges.
He highlighted the transformative shift in the country’s educational sector, moving from a focus on quantity to a prioritisation of the quality of educational outcomes. This shift involves investing in advanced skills and future sciences, aligning with the nation’s commitment to establishing a knowledge-based and globally competitive economy. Dr. Al Falasi commended President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for announcing the Union’s aspirations for 2024. His Highness set the path to attaining more ambitious achievements, steering the people of the UAE towards a brighter and more prosperous future.
He also highlighted the pivotal role of education as a crucial contributor to the nation’s goals across various domains. This includes reinforcing Emirati personality traits and showcasing them on both local and global stages. He also underscored the role of education in promoting sustainability across all aspects of life, thereby enhancing the country’s position, competitiveness, and international presence. Dr. Al Falasi announced that the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with its partners in the National Committee for Green Education, has achieved significant milestones in integrating green education into the national educational system. Notably, he mentioned that 52% of schools and 36% of higher education institutions in the country have enrolled in green programmes, progressing towards official environmental accreditation.
The Ministry has introduced standardised climate curricula for all schools nationwide and has actively supported the involvement of over 240,000 students from more than 1,000 schools in comprehensive environmental lessons and initiatives. Furthermore, the Ministry has continued to enhance the climate capabilities of educators, with 1,380 educational officials and over 10,000 teachers participating in specialised training programmes focused on climate education. Additionally, more than 1,000 teachers and educational officials have completed their climate training. In line with fostering community participation, the Ministry has also developed models covering all seven emirates, aiming to elevate climate awareness at the community level as part of its broader efforts.
Dr. Al Falasi noted that the accomplishments thus far mark just the beginning of a new phase for the Ministry of Education. This phase involves carrying forward the legacy of the Hub by furthering support for climate education and integrating sustainability into educational systems on a broader scale. The Ministry collaborates closely with local and international partners to devise programmes and initiatives encompassing all facets of the Green Education Partnership. The overarching goal is to extend the incorporation of sustainability principles within educational systems and to share the UAE’s pioneering model in this domain with nations worldwide.
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, expressed her pleasure to be at the Education, Youth, Children and Skills Day Opening Ceremony at the first-ever Greening Education Hub. Gianni noted that the Hub is proof of the growing recognition that education and climate change are closely intertwined, as education is essential to the climate crisis solution. Giannini also stressed that real transformation can be achieved only through strong partnerships.
The Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO pointed out that the Green Education Partnership has so far united 82 countries and over 1,100 organisations worldwide with a common mission to promote green schools, green curricula, green communities and green capacities.