Meet the Emirati students who bagged Sheikh Mohammed scholarship

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Sheikh Mohammed called on the best Emirati students across the country to grab the opportunity with both hands

Back in March, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubaiannounced the debut launch of the Mohammed bin Rashid Distinguished Students Programme.

A programme which offers scholarships to some of the best private schools in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed called on the best Emirati students across the country to grab the opportunity with both hands.

And when the application process opened between April 18 and May 9 via the Knowledge and Human Development Authority’s (KHDA) website, it recorded a total of 550 student applications.

With 18 private schools from Gems Education and Taaleem participating in the programme, the successful applicants will now be joining there new schools come September.

Though many students have now received confirmation of their scholarship, Fatma Al Marri, CEO at KHDA told Khaleej Times some applications are still in the stages of completion.

“We have been able to bring together some of the best private schools in Dubai to support this important initiative and provide access to high-quality education for Emirati students. KHDA is in the process of finalising the scholarships and is working together with the participating schools to identify the deserving students.”

A programme which provides a “stepping-stone towards a better future for UAE nationals”, she said all successful applicants will start classes from next month.

Here, Khaleej Times spoke to a few of those successful students.

STUDENT PROFILES

Student: Sherina Yehya Belhasa, Grade 8
School: Al Mizhar American Academy
Value of scholarship: Dh58,000 (amount increases to Dh64,000 per year for grades 9 to 12)

1. How did you hear about the scholarship opportunity?

From family members. My mother, father and older sisters encouraged me a lot during the application process, especially because I had a lot of fears about changing schools in the beginning.

2. What are you favourite subjects and what is it that makes you a high-achieving student?

I love science and English. I’m usually very focused in class and I also like to challenge myself a lot in order to become a better student.

3. What was your reaction when you received news of the scholarship?

I was at home when my mom came back from work and told me that I got accepted. I jumped with joy, it was such a happy moment.

4. Why did you choose the school you did?

I chose Al Mizhar American Academy because it has an excellent education program and helps build strong student personalities so young people can achieve their goals. I’m very excited about the new change but I’m also nervous because I will be a new student, which means making new friends and missing my old friends.

5. What are your hopes for the future?

I want to become a very successful movie director. I’m full of creative and innovative ideas and I want people to look at me and say “she comes from Dubai, United Arab Emirates”. I want to hold my country’s name up high, and someday inspire other girls into believing that they can be anything they put their minds to.

Name: Abdulaziz Sharaf, Grade 10; Omar Sharaf, Grade 8; Ahmed Sharaf, KG2
School: Uptown School
Value of scholarships: Dh150,000

(Abdulaziz answering questions)

1. How did you hear about the scholarship opportunity?

My father told me about it. I thought it was going to be a great opportunity from two perspectives. Financially, it was beneficial for my parents, and as a student, gaining a scholarship is a great feat. I wasn’t confident at first though, I didn’t think I would get in.

2. Why did you choose the school you did?

I had heard good things about the school. I will be joining as a new student but I’m looking forward to the move. Last year I transferred from another school too, so I’m used to moving around. My brother will be joining me as well as he received a scholarship like me.

3. What was your reaction when you received news of the scholarship?

I was on vacation in Europe when my father told me that I was successful. I was so happy.
Father: I believe Abdulaziz is very smart. I have three kids but I feel he is very special. When we were on vacation in the US, my close friend who is a professor at a reputed university was teaching him graduate stuff about GPS and satellites, and he understood it all. The professor was shocked.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

Right now I have no clue what I want to do for a job, but I do know that I want to pursue a career in something to do with computers. Aside from that, I’m just grateful for this opportunity.

Name: Alyazya Salem Almarri
School: Al Mizhar American Academy
Value of scholarship: Dh58,000

1. How did you hear about the scholarship opportunity?

My parents first heard the news while listening to the radio. We then got in touch with the KHDA for more information, which is when we applied online.

2. Who encouraged you to apply for the scholarship?

My parents, family members and mostly my aunt encouraged me to move to a new school where all the subjects are taught in English.

3. Why did you choose the school you did?

Because I think it will be a good challenge. I am transitioning from a government school where we only learn English as second language, but I am excited for the new experience. Right now I am experiencing many feelings, I’m sad that I will not see my friends anymore in school, but I’m happy to meet new friends.

4. What was your reaction when you received the news of the scholarship?

I was shocked, happy, excited, I had all kind of expressions on my face and I truly can’t wait for school to begin.

5. What are your hopes for the future?

My plan is to complete my studies in high school and university, then I want to become an astronomer and join the Mohammed Bin RashidSpace Center (MBRSC)

Name: Hind Salah Ismail Alamadi
School:  Al Mizhar American Academy
Value of scholarship: Dh58,000

1. How did you hear about the scholarship opportunity?

I read about it on the Internet. My parents and my sister told me to apply for it. My favorite subjects are Science and English and I believe hard work, hope and faith in myself is what helped me achieve this scholarship.

2. Why did you choose the school you did?

My cousin recommended it to me as the reports on it were positive. It has a high level of teachers on board and the activities available at the school really appeal to me as a student. I’ll be moving schools because of the scholarship. I’m excited about that but a little nervous too, however it’s good to take on the challenge and change curriculums from a government school to a private school.

3. What was your reaction when you received the news of the scholarship?

I was so happy and excited to be given this opportunity and be a part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Distinguished Students program. It’s an honour.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to be a successful teacher or a scientist.

Meet the young siblings who bagged two scholarships

Four-year-old Hamdan Al Hashmi, and 6-year-old Mansoor Al Hashmi may share the same family line, but they also share a love for learning. So much so, they both bagged a scholarship for the new academic year.

Come September, the siblings will be joining GEMS World Academy with a combined scholarship value of Dh137,000.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, their mother Fareeda said she first learned about the Mohammed bin Rashid Distinguished StudentsProgramme from the KHDA’s Twitter account.

“I immediately rushed to register,” she said.

The scholarships now mean that both children will be joining a new campus this year, but Fareeda said they chose this school based on its “academic outcomes, facilities and the value they would add to the students”.

And when the family got news that both children were successful, they were over the moon.

“We were so happy when they broke the news to us, especially given the fact that the assessment phase was very thorough and holistic. We, as parents, value quality education a lot and always had the dream of equipping our children with all it takes to ensure they qualify to study in top worldwide universities, graduate and come back to UAE to help build and payback what this amazing country had given us.”

Source: Khaleej Times