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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 30/09/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Recognised around the world for its innovative approach to education, the Italian-based Reggio Emilia-inspired programme has been launched in the UAE.

Ambassador Kindergarten, located on Mankhool road, Bur Dubai, began a joint collaboration with Italy's Reggio Children, an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. The nursery currently houses 515 children in the age group of 3 to 6. The main aim of the collaboration is to re-look into the current approach of primary education in Dubai.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman and Director-General of Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), officially launched the school campus, along with Giovanni Favilli, Consul-General of Italy in Dubai and members of the Reggio Children organisation, on Wednesday.

Though there are a few other schools in the UAE that follow the Reggio Children principles, Ambassador is the first one to start a joint venture with Reggio-Emilia.

The creation of this programme is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, community through exploration and discovery in a environment based on the interests of the children. "We opened the school in April this year and responses from parents and students have been very good," said Kamal Kalwani, CEO of Ambassador Education. The school currently has a staff of 25 lead teachers. However, as part of the collaborative process, 14 teachers, and few members of the administrative staff from the school were sent to Reggio in Italy for a five-day long training programme. "The Reggio philosophy is not a curriculum, but a technique of imparting education. It encourages a harmonic environment that brings out development of the child," clarified Kalwani. The 50-year-old Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy named after the northern Italian town of the same name.

"The learning and the association between Ambassador Kindergarten and Reggio Children will be a life-long process. The principles of Reggio are like guidelines, and reference points which are solidly rooted, full of potential, and encourages children to thinking independently," added Claudia Giudici, President of Preschools and Infant toddler centres of Reggio Emilia and Member, board of directors Reggio Children.

The kindergarten in Dubai has specially designed premises with child safe interiors and amenities that include smart boards and CCTV monitoring in every classroom. Speaking at the opening, Al Karam said: "Early childhood education is experiencing great growth in Dubai, and we welcome new schools which can nurture Dubai's youngest learners and provide parents with greater choice."

 






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