ABU DHABI- The General Secretariat of the Khalifa Award for Education held the first meeting of the Awarding Committee for the Khalifa International Award for Early learning, which was launched at the beginning of this year.

The Award includes two categories: Best Research and Studies, and Best Programmes, Curricula, Teaching Methodologies, and Practices.

Dr. Louay Jeroudi, Advisor for Khalifa International Award for Early Learning, commenced the meeting by stressing the importance of early childhood education in the UAE and its efforts in launching a global model that elevates the status of children's development and care.

He added that the Award in early learning would enhance creativity and innovation in early childhood care and education, both locally and internationally.

Professor Steven Barnett, Founding Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in the US, said that early childhood is one of the vital foundational stages in shaping human life. He addressed how the purpose of launching this field for the Khalifa International Award for Early Learning is consolidating a culture of excellence, enriching the educational sector with specialised studies and policies.

This field, he said, caters to achieving a shift in education quality and childcare system, based on the highest international standards, in addition to stimulating human competencies to present the ambitious developmental visions of the country.

Throughout the meeting, the committee members addressed the process and timeline for receiving candidates' applications from individuals, institutions, and work teams which began on 10th January. All agreed that applications will continue to be accepted until 31st March. A specialised screening committee sorts these applications, and the winners' names will be announced next July.

The committee members reviewed what was achieved since the launch of the Award and the events and activities that enhance public awareness about it. Additionally, a presentation was held to update the committee on the electronic evaluation process of all works submitted by candidates.

Khalifa Award team introduced a friendly user guide simplifying electronic evaluation systems and screening processes for the committee.

The meeting was attended by members of the Awarding Committee.