|06 March, 2019

Over 13million students from 49 countries in the largest-ever literacy initiative

Final Qualifications of the Arab Reading Challenge 2019 Begins amid Huge Participation

Over 13million students from 49 countries in the largest-ever literacy initiative

United Arab Emirates, Dubai: The final round of qualifications of the Arab Reading Challenge (ARC) 2019 starts this month to select the top 10 students across participating countries.

The fourth edition of the ARC, held under the umbrella of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) to instill the habit of reading among young generations, has so far attracted over 13 million students from 49 countries, 16 of which are Arab countries.

The final qualifications will continue for two months across participating countries to select the top 10 winners before each country announces the top student, supervisor and school in ceremonies held locally. The crowned champions will then represent their countries at the semi-finals and finals in Dubai.

Najla Al Shamsi, secretary general of the ARC, said the huge regional and international participation highlights the challenge’s success in spreading the culture of reading among students over the last four years.

“The challenge has surpassed all expectations in student participation and the social impact it has created among communities.”

She added that public and private educational institutions across Arab countries have integrated the challenge into their strategic plans by organizing reading activities and programs throughout the academic year. Al Shamsi noted that many schools use the evaluation of student performance in the challenge to indicate the students’ overall academic achievement. 

Al Shamsi noted that the Higher Committee of the ARC ensures constant follow up with educational institutions in the Arab world to provide logistic support that ensures an effective student and school participation.


Arab libraries

Abdullah Al Nuaimi, project manager at MBRGI, said the Higher Committee closely follows up every stage of the competition through its representatives across participating countries to overcome surging challenges. He added that the Higher Committee has supplied books to school libraries and classrooms in less fortunate areas over the past years to encourage students in remote villages and cities to adopt the habit of reading.

Al Nuaimi noted the Higher Committee’s coordination with public and national libraries across the Arab world, adding that Library of Alexandria, considered the biggest in the Arab world, has dedicated a special section for ARC’s students to read from a wide selection of books.

Another section will be added to the National Library of Tunisia, with plans to expand the initiative across libraries in the Arab world.  

Qualification stages

Final qualifications will start in Saudi Arabia, followed by Egypt and Kuwait and moving to the rest of the Arab world before it concludes in the UAE.

Arab students participating from 33 foreign countries will join final qualifications at a later stage under a supervised system coordinated with the Higher Committee. 

The Arab world champions, filtered in each country from the top 10, will represent their countries in the semi-finals in Dubai before competing for the grand prize in the final ceremony that will take place in October.

Thousands of supervisors and teachers evaluate nominees during every stage of the competition, in a process that the ARC’s team supervises.

Participating students of the ARC have gone through several evaluation stages that started in schools, then moved to education zones where students were selected for the final round of qualifications that will name the top 10 in every participating country this month. In the next stage, every country will hold a ceremony to crown one winner, who will meet semi-finalists in Dubai to compete for the grand prize.

About the Arab Reading Challenge

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched Arab Reading Challenge in 2015 to encourage one million students to read and summarize 50 books in one academic year.

While the challenge attracted 3.5 million students in its first edition, it saw double the participation with over 7.4 million students in the second year. Last year, over 10.5 million students participated after the competition opened the doors to Arab students living in foreign countries for the first time.

© Press Release 2019

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