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The session was organised by Aqdar, and it focused on Students eAwareness and School's eSafety.
The moderator Dr Ibrahim Aldabal (Director, Aqdar) talked about the Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students, a project that was formed in 2011 under the auspices of Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan (United Arab Emirates Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior).
Aldabal explained that the Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students is a partnership between the United Arab Emirates government, Safer Internet UK, and the UN. He elaborated that the programme’s mission was to promote online safety in schools, to counter the risks of today's digital world such as extremism, terrorism, cyber-attacks, cyber-bullying, cyber-blackmail amongst other vices. Further, he said that the programme will revolutionise online safety in schools in the United Arab Emirates, as well as protect and support students online.
Aldabal indicated that the Students eAwareness and School's eSafety programme focused on four main categories, namely: Personal skills, Health and Safety, Crime Prevention, and National Awareness. He also pointed out that the first copy of the programme’s National Curriculum had been launched, and handed over to Al Nahyan.
Aldabal went on to explore the linkages between the Students eAwareness and School's eSafety programme and the Global SDGs. In regards to Goal 3 of the SDGs, he outlined that the project will immensely ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for everyone. As far as Goal 4 is concerned, Aldabal stated that the programme would contribute to an inclusive and equitable quality education, and hence promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, including parents, teachers, students, and the community at large.
In his concluding remarks, Aldabal added that the Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students would nurture a generation of students, capable of achieving and building a resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation, making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and last but not least, promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies, all in line with SDGs 5, 9, 11, and 16 respectively. Aldabal summed up his session with a Kirkpatrick model presentation, a standard perceived as ideal for evaluating the effectiveness of trainings across four levels; reaction, learning, behavior, and results.
Asked by a participant how the Students eAwareness and School's eSafety programme could be customised and utilised in other countries, Aldabal explained that the United Arab Emirates model could be adopted by other interested countries and tailored to their own specific needs as they deemed fit.
by Bonface Witaba