Well-being of kids prime concern of UAE - GulfToday

Well-being of kids prime concern of UAE


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If there is one disservice the pandemic has done to children, it is robbing them of their school life. Getting ready for school has been part of regular routine for thousands of children here and in other parts of the world. For many, though the lessons could be a major challenge, school is one big go-to destination, where one hones his or her skills to better use. The mere joy of interacting with friends and classmates from school is an altogether indescribable feeling. Playing games outdoors, drawing illustrations to kindle their creativity – these are some areas that spell a lot of happiness for the child.

Overnight, things have come to a standstill. Terms like lockdown have been locked down deep in the innermost recesses of children’s brains, from which there seems to be no hope of escape, at least not in the near future. The fact that their entire life revolves around a computer at home, around a video call, may initially give a frisson of thrill to some students who feel studies at school are like the burden of Atlas. But in the long run, it becomes a focal point of vexation, a headache that just won’t go away.

A fourth-grader from Oregon says, “They sucked everything out of school that makes school, school.” Another student, a 12-year-old seventh grader in Arizona, says, “Every morning I woke up crying because it was another day of online school.”

This is where the UAE comes to the rescue, with its varied activities that help children relax a lot. It has a lot of educational and recreational activities. The ‘Takween’ Summer Programme 2021 by Abu Dhabi’s Early Childhood Authority, scheduled to begin on Sunday, will continue till the end of the year.

It helps develop skills among children and parents, encouraging interaction between the two, and enhancing quality time parents spend with their children. A child’s early years are a crucial phase in his or her growth, and this is where the programme also focuses on. The summer activities hone a child’s abilities during their early childhood, strengthen family cohesion, and improve the quality of comprehensive care provided by parents to children.

The focus is on four sectors: health and nutrition, child protection, family support, and early care and education.

A guide will be issued for fathers to spotlight their vital role. These guidelines cover various stages, including pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, crawling, pre-school and school age.

An interesting feature is a plan to kickstart a community initiative entitled Child Voice, which dwells on establishing a panel consisting of parents and children. The panel aims at maintaining constant interface between mothers and fathers and their kids.

The Early Childhood Authority also plans to launch the “Dreamers” initiative, which targets realising the wishes of children till the age of 8. Investing in a child’s early years and education is the best investment for the future. The UAE makes earnest efforts to see that children get the best care they need, and equips them with the necessary skills in this regard. The UAE just does not care for its children, it also lays the foundation for empowering future generations.

The pandemic is another area where it spreads out its protective wings. It highlights the risks of the diseases to them and charts preventive measures.

The “Children’s Protection Law” (Wadeema), which was issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, under the official name, Federal Law No.3 for 2016, is another classic instance of protecting child rights.

The selection of the UAE as the first Arab country to join the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children is a new recognition of the country’s successful national policies to protect children.

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