The Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) Abu Dhabi Office this month successfully concluded a twelve-month series of joint collaborations, projects, activities and studies with various UAE governmental bodies and institutions for the educational and human resource development of young Emirati talent.
The collaborations were focused on a number of educational, societal and even sporting areas including projects centred around the creation of a more inclusive society for people of determination, bilateral programs for the technical and personal development of young Emirati and Japanese football players, Japanese language advancement among Emirati youth, and the establishment and review of programs for the integration of moral education within the existing curriculum of UAE schools. The programs were considered a resounding success by all involved, resulting in the continuation and expansion of a number of programs for the next year ahead.
Says Mr. Shigeto Aoki, General Manager, JICE Abu Dhabi Office: “We at JICE are always ready to support human resource development between the UAE and Japan in the areas of leadership, education, science and technology, sustainability, agriculture and food security. We expect the partnership between Japan and the UAE in these areas to mutually grow and broaden based on our shared values.”
Highlights from the last twelve months included a ten-member delegation headed by H.E. Abdulla Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) which visited Japan to receive insights on how to create a more inclusive society for people faced with challenges. The eight-day visit was held in June 2019, and ZHO delegation met key Japanese researchers, service providers, experts and policy makers who promote and are tasked with devising and implementing programs for an inclusive society in Japan.
Aoki added: “We hope we will also work together more for the empowerment of women for the coming operational year.”
Additionally, the Abu Dhabi – Japan Football Partnership Program, a joint programme with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council is a bilateral program on the technical and personal development of young Emirati and Japanese football players. 16 players from the Abu Dhabi football league visited Japan’s “Urawa Reds“ professional football team in November 2019, for a series of cross training, professional clinics and friendly matches, as part of an initiative to both develop and provide exposure to Emirati talent to international training techniques, playing styles and new skills.
In early 2020, Japanese moral education experts also visited the UAE as part of a field survey to examine how UAE schools are integrating moral education into the existing curriculum. The survey is part of an ongoing collaboration between the UAE and Japanese governments to promote tolerance and instill universal principles and values shared by humanity; in line with the UAE’s broadened vision of building a sustainable society, grounded in the happiness, wellness and social well-being of its people.
In the area of technical development, 12 Emirati students successfully completed summer internship programmes at leading Japanese technological companies. The internship programmes were set up exclusively for the development of promising Emirati talent specialised in the fields of chemical, electrical, mechanical and engineering, petroleum engineering and renewable energy. The 7 to 10 week internship programmes were unique as participants not only received invaluable work experience while conducting research at some of Japan’s cutting edge technological companies, but they also allowed the interns to immerse themselves in both Japanese societal and corporate culture, as well as undertaking Japanese language classes.
At the centre of many of JICE’s activities in the UAE has been the advancement and support for Emirati students to further their tertiary studies at Japanese institutions. Since the JICE Abu Dhabi Office was established in 2013, 802 Emirati students have studied in Japan in both degree and non-degree programmes. Currently 108 students are pursuing tertiary degrees at various Japanese educational institutions.
The popularity of studying Japanese language among Emirati youth has been growing year by year, with Khalifa University of Science and Technology extending its Japanese language curricular courses coordinated by JICE for a fourth year this year.
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