Indian students are the “happiest” ones in Dubai schools, Arabs have the highest perseverance, and Western pupils are the “least worried”, according to the latest well-being survey of Dubai’s education regulator.
The 2018 Dubai Student Well-being Census of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was released on Monday at the What Works conference. A total of 95,875 pupils in Grades 6 to 12 from 181 private schools took part in the survey – nearly a third of them have lived in the UAE for the majority of their lives.
The census measured students’ social and emotional well-being, relationships, engagement and learning, physical health, lifestyle, and after-school activities. The results showed that 81 per cent of students are happy overall, however, Indian students ranked the highest in this category.
Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi, the Minister of State for Happiness and Well-being, said at the event: “Well-being and education receive special attention in our national agenda because we know that conventional education no longer suits our interconnected, fast-changing world. Knowledge has become more accessible than ever before and it is no longer the sole objective of education.
“Life skills, such as emotional and social intelligence, grit, optimism and perseverance and many more, have become indispensable, therefore, we need a more holistic approach that shapes well-balanced, positive citizens of tomorrow. Well-being sits at the heart of this approach.”
The UAE government has put the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing in place, which aims to make the country the happiest worldwide. The KHDA launched the well-being census in efforts to measure the state of students in private schools. This year, adults – such as principals and teachers – also took part.
Hind Al Mualla, chief of creativity, innovation and happiness at the KHDA, said many factors played a role in determining the well-being of students. She told Khaleej Times: “We’ve noticed that there is a link between a good amount of sleep at night, having breakfast, and having a diet with fruits and vegetables – it contributes to the overall perception of well-being.”
A total of 85 per cent of students said they’re more likely “to be satisfied with life” if they eat breakfast, 89 per cent said if they get a good night’s sleep, and 84 per cent said if they eat fruits and veggies. The survey, however, also revealed that 66 per cent of senior students use an electronic device before going to bed.
“It’s an interesting figure. We think it’s high, and so we highlighted it,” Al Mualla said.
As for the ‘relationships’ category, only 54 per cent of students feel highly connected to adults at school, whereas, 75 per cent feel highly connected to adults at home and 76 per cent feel highly connected to close friends.
Nasir, S (2019), “Indian students are ‘happiest’ in Dubai schools” Available at: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/news/education/indian-pupils-are-happiest-in-dubai-schools-
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