UAE high school students can look forward to lessons in diplomacy
Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Education (MoE) and Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) have signed a framework agreement to impart the year-round diplomacy programme to high school students in the country.
Since the diplomatic relations between the UAE and countries of the world are rapidly expanding, the country looks for training more and more diplomats who can represent the UAE overseas.
According to the MoE, the UAE had 500 ambassadors in 2014 for different countries but this year the UAE will be represented by 1,080 ambassadors in 11 different countries of the world.
The agreement was signed between Marwan Ahmad Al Sawaleh, undersecretary of Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs and Bernardino Leon, director general of EDA, on Thursday.
Speaking about the agreement, Al Sawaleh said, “Today we mark the beginning of a collaboration framework between the MoE and the EDA. This framework enables the MoE to fully align our diplomacy programmes with the EDA.”
He said this is the first of its kind year-round diplomacy programme for high school students in the country.
“Our probation will also allow the EDA to fast-track the MoE prospective political science students and to the EDA higher education scholarship programme,” Al Sawaleh said.
He also highlighted the importance of training teachers and community-based diplomatic programmes.
He said the “UAE had 500 ambassadors in 2014 for different countries but this year the UAE will be representated by 1,080 ambassadors in 11 different countries of the world.”
When the decision was made to add diplomacy with us with the programme in the beginingg of this year, we could never had imagined the level of interest experienced into this programme across the emirates, he said.
“This year we have a total of 1,144 applications for our diplomacy ambassador’s programme with only 50 places available,” Al Sawaleh said.
The ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century’.
Speaking about social media impact, Rashid Shabib, cultural adviser to Minister of State, Zaki Nusseibeh, said, “Social media plays a big role today that impacts our lives too but I think credibility of contents online is a major issue because whatever is available online faces factual challenge.”
The former British ambassador and current adviser at the EDA, Tom Fletcher said, “social media is an amazing platform but at the same time it’s a dangerous tool so we have to be very curious because it distracts us in different ways. Today everybody is on social media site.”
He sought to remind that youngsters venturing overseas wield immense soft power in terms of diplomacy and they need to think as ambassadors of the country.
“You are the cultural icons of the country and the stories you tell the world make an image of the country,” Fletcher said.