Student Support Groups Launched Nation-Wide To Empower Youth
The National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing has launched student support groups in schools across the UAE in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and as part of the 'Let’s Talk' initiative, which targets students in cycles two and three.
The groups seek to empower students to support one another, share their stories and experiences, and talk about the challenges they face and how to address them. In addition to supporting the students, the groups allow them to develop their communication and dialogue skills, embrace positive practices, and cultivate a sense of teamwork.
The sessions will be administered by an academic counsellor and an assistant academic counsellor, with experts in psychology lending support. The programme provides coordinators with the necessary training to hone their skills and expertise in directing discussions, which tackle subjects of interest to the students, from mental health and eliminating everyday stress to acquiring social skills and values to improve self-awareness.
Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, and Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, asserted that the students feeling of support in their environment is key to develop their creativity and skills. "With that in mind, we are working to develop an academic model that provides a well-rounded experience for students, empowers them to help one another in facing challenges, and helps them acquire useful skills," she said.
"Our initiatives aim to embed wellbeing concepts and practices among students and today, we join forces with the Ministry of Education to launch the students support groups initiative and play our part in supporting the UAE Government’s efforts to develop an Emirati school model that offers its students an integrated experience," Al Roumi added, noting that the support groups represent a platform for students to voice their concerns and challenges in a supportive environment.
"The vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, seek to empower people to face life’s challenges and adapt to any developments," the Minister said, noting that the UAE Government is working to implement this vision and promote happiness and wellbeing as values, practices, and a lifestyle among students.
Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education, noted that the Ministry of Education is committed to establishing a supportive and positive environment for students. "The ‘Let’s Talk’ initiative complements the National Agenda for Wellbeing and its objectives," she explained. "The fact that the initiative answers the aspirations and challenges facing school students and their life experiences is what will ensure its longevity and success. It breaks the routine and eliminates barriers between the students on the one hand, and between the students and faculty members on the other."
"We all share the responsibility to empower students and create an environment that encourages them to share their experiences, challenges and solutions," Al Muheiri continued. "This ground-breaking initiative is set to transform schools into a stimulating environment for students and encourage them to adopt habits that improve their wellbeing, hone their life skills, build their personality, and enhance their mental health."
She noted that the Ministry of Education strives to go beyond developing curricula and courses to building a holistic educational system that allows students to develop their personality, have confidence in their abilities, be aware of their responsibilities, and express their views, ideas, and experiences.
The ministers attended the launch of the initiative along with a group of students from the Sheikha bint Saeed School for Girls and the Humaid bin Abdul Aziz Secondary School for Boys in Ajman.