Reading challenge is way to knowledge - GulfToday

Reading challenge is way to knowledge


The decision to declare March as the Month of Reading in 2016 has proved to be a remarkable initiative.

Reading shapes minds, builds harmony in society, enhances communication and is the best-known way to expand one’s knowledge and wisdom.

The UAE leadership has been creating a generation of readers by consistently promoting the culture of reading among the community.

The decision to declare March as the Month of Reading in 2016 with nation-wide activities that aim to spark the passion for knowledge across all society segments has proved to be a remarkable initiative.

The tremendous response elicited by the Arab Reading Challenge 2020 (ARC) is an unambiguous proof of how the project has turned into a global phenomenon.

The participation in the 5th edition of the Arab Reading Challenge that marked a new record of 21 million students supported by 120,000 supervisors from 96,000 schools across 52 countries highlights its growing popularity.

As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, mentioned in his Twitter message: “Reading broadens horizons and enlightens the mind and thus, accelerates the journey towards development. The Arab Reading Challenge demonstrates our region’s capability to collectively carry out vast knowledge initiatives. We take this opportunity to thank Arab education ministers, supervisors and coordinators across the world and congratulate our Arab students upon this new level of achievement.”

It should be noted that for the fifth consecutive year, the Arab Reading Challenge participations continued to increase, drawing 21 million students from 52 countries in the 2020 edition that records a 55 per cent increase from last year’s 13.5 million students from 49 countries.

Since its inception, the Arab Reading Challenge attracted more than 54 million students who summarised books they read in 50.5 million printed challenge ‘passports.’

It is clear that solid coordination with ministries of education across the Arab world has led to a notable increase in the number of participating schools to 96,000, marking a 43 per cent increase from last year’s 67,000 schools.

The 5th edition saw a 21 per cent increase in participating supervisors to 120,000, as compared to last year’s 99,000 supervisors.

Another interesting aspect is the participation of new countries. This year’s Arab Reading Challenge has attracted participation of Arab students from four new countries of Switzerland, Turkey, Luxembourg and Austria, bringing the number of participating nations to 52 including 14 Arab countries.

The participants go through a tight process. The Challenge features several qualification stages to select the Arab Reading Champion among students who read and summarised 50 books.

Students start competing at class level, then school level, proceeding to the level of the educational district, directorate or governorate, leading up to selecting the top 10 students from each country before filtering down the national winners.

The semi-finalists partake further evaluations before competing for the grand prize in the final ceremony scheduled to take place in October in Dubai. Specialised committees evaluate participating students based on their comprehension and understanding acquired from the diverse selection of the 50 books they read. The largest-ever Arab literacy initiative has a noble intention: Building a generation of knowledge, innovation and excellence in all fields, empowering the Arab youth with wisdom and promoting a culture of dialogue and coexistence through reading.

Going by the positive response the initiative has been eliciting from across the globe, one can rest assured that the future generation is moving on the right track.

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