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GEMS Education launches safety partnership with Dubai Police

Students trained by Dubai Police for pilot Student Ambassador Programme

Dubai–GEMS Education, the world’s largest K-12 private education provider is supporting Anti-Bullying Week (15-20 November 2020) with a series of initiatives and programmes aimed at making young people aware of bullying behaviour, preventing it and empowering them to speak out.

This year GEMS has partnered with Dubai Police to participate in a pilot scheme to introduce a ‘Safety Ambassador Programme’ (SAP), where students are trained to support their peers with issues such as cyber-crime and bullying.

GEMS has nine schools participating in the pilot and, following the success of the new initiative, aims to roll it out further. The SAP is an evidence-based program that harnesses the power of students delivering children rights, to prevent and stop the mistreatment.

GEMS schools pride themselves on creating a physically and psychologically safe environment for all students to learn and thrive in and has continuously developed new student-led initiatives to empower students to shape their school communities and positively impact the lives and wellbeing of their fellow students.

Sara Hedger, Head of Child Safeguarding and Child Protection, said: “GEMS Education has always spearheaded an anti-bullying philosophy and ensuring our students are safe and happy is of paramount importance. We are delighted to partner with Dubai Police on the Student Ambassador Programme. This initiative is not only helping to foster a deeper sense of unity and support in our participating schools but is enhancing the students understanding of the law and their rights.”

Naoufel Boussafa, Coordinator – Awareness and Education section, Dubai Police, said: “Dubai Police are delighted to work with GEMS Education on this initiative. The Safety Ambassadors Programme with GEMS Education relies on the “inside-out” approach to improving school climate. Student bystanders see, hear, and know things adults don’t and can intervene in ways adults can’t. This partnership programme empowers students and further enables schools to take the most appropriate course of action.”

This year, due to the pandemic, young people across the region are spending more time on online platforms and social media, and making students aware of online dangers, unkind comments and how to handle them is a large part of the work of GEMS anti-bullying awareness work.

As a result, GEMS First Point School – The Villas has partnered with eCadets to deliver a digital safety curriculum to its students. The eCadets programme coaches’ students to be online safety experts, delivering and sharing their acquired expertise to their peers. The programme is UK-based, but the students at GEMS First Point – The Villa are now working with eCadets to develop a more UAE-specific curriculum taking into account regional and cultural laws and customs.

Anti-Bullying Week is an initiative created by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and the week culminates with World Children’s Day (20 November), which promotes the rights of the child and improving children’s welfare.

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